Recently, I was walking in my neighborhood in Lagos, Nigeria, with my sister and my father. As we walked, I explained to them my fears of walking through the streets when it was so dark. My sister confidently replied, “We will be safe if anything happens because we have a man to protect us.”
This should not be the case. Men should not have to protect women from violence.
In many communities, women and girls need protection because violence against them is so prevalent. According to the World Health Organisation, 35% of women and girls around the world will experience intimate partner or non-partner violence in their lifetime. Every two minutes, a woman is sexually assaulted in the United States. That equates to 30 women every hour, and 7,200 women every day. In a recent post by blogger Diane, I learnt that some girls in India are born into brothels and are “bred” for a life of abuse, exploitation and violence.
Violence against women and girls must stop.
When I hear stories of girls who experience violence and stigmatization, I am infuriated. In October 2013, a Nigerian girl was gang raped by three unidentified men. This young girl committed suicide because of stigmatization and shame. She was ostracized in her community because she was raped. She did not deserve to experience such pain and trauma. At this moment, 223 school girls are still missing in Nigeria after being kidnapped.
It is for girls in Nigeria and around the world that I demand justice.
I demand justice because:
- No girl should be raped, sexually abused or exploited
- No girl should be cut
- No girl should be trafficked
- No girl should feel her only option is to commit suicide because of shame and stigmatization.
I demand justice because all human beings were born equal with the same inalienable human rights.
A young girl once told me “to be a woman is to feel pain.” I want this to change. Imagine a world without violence against women and girls. We would be free to walk on the streets without fear. Girls would not experience the pain and trauma of rape, FGM, abuse or neglect.
“There is one universal truth, applicable to all countries, cultures and communities. Violence against women is never acceptable, never excusable, never tolerable.” Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations
I demand justice for the millions of girls who experience violence everyday. Do you?
Share your ideas below or tweet us @GirlsGlobe
- Sign the petition on CARE USA: Voices against Violence
- Apply to become a blogger or featured organization with Girls’ Globe
- Donate to Plan UK’s Girls’ Fund