International women's day and the uncertain life of young women in Nigeria by Nusaiba Zubairu

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It was only in 1977 when the United Nations recognized 8th of March of every year for the celebration of International Women’s Day despite the status of women and the significant role they play in any society. Fortunately, women all over the world, particularly in the developed countries have come out en mass to celebrate the day and champion this year’s theme “Press for Progress”. It’s evident that this year’s celebration differed from the others. It kept the spotlight on women calling for change, demands for an end of violence against woman, gender parity and gender pay gap. This year’s celebration came on time when the women including teenagers in the developing countries like Nigeria are yearning on how to cope with the endless upheaval situations they encounter.
In the current 21st century women have been subjected to a whole lot of ridicules in the society which are affecting their social standing. They were seen as a sex objects, good for marketing products and also to satisfy lustful desires of men. In other climes, though women are placed on a high pedestal, but in some societies they seem to be valued for their bodies and not their brain. The hardship experiences of women vary widely between and within different societies. At the same time, their adherence to uncertain conditions is a shared factor that affects their lives to a varying degree.
However, it’s obvious that in every crisis whether farmers-herders clashes, Boko Haram insurgency and ethics crisis, women including the minors are ones who suffer most. Perhaps, this could be their nature of vulnerability or they are the target. In contrast, there is no scripture in this world that allows the unlawful killing or humiliation of women. All the holy books, including the Holy Qur’an and the Holy Bible provide high status to women. Thus, demands for an end to violence against women, equality in the workplace and more diverse representation in positions of political power are collective responsibility upon everyone who respects human rights.
It’s on record that despite government’s effort in tackling the threat, a number of women were brutally killed in suicide bombings, some became widows while other force orphans and displaced from their homes across Nigeria as a result of Boko Haram and other communal conflicts.
Similarly, 8 March marked the celebration of women in the world to access their achievements, contributions to societies and the hurdles the face and the challenges vary. The abduction of over 200 Chibok school girls was among the terrible experiences of women in Nigeria and has attracted the attention of international community. Thus, the recent abduction of Dapchi school girls in Yobe State is increasingly becoming a threat to national security.
In a nut shell, the protection of women’s rights is our collective responsibility and it requires strategic action from the government of all levels. And country’s human rights will be enhanced when women are protected and granted their rights, and by allowing women into the mainstream of politics will be supportive to the development of the nation’s economy.
Zubairu is a 300 level Mass Communications student of University of Maiduguri.

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