Women’s rights – fighting rape, corruption and voodoo in Nigeria

When I say HANDBAG what do you think of? In Nigeria, a handbag is any woman in politics. The only women that make it that far use their body to get there, a pretty thing to give sexual favors, take notes and make the men look good. Alice Ukokowon’t stand for the way women are treated in Nigeria and has been fighting, full-time since 1994, to change the tide.

Nigeria, a place about 200 years behind the west in terms of women’s rights. It’s a place were government is an old boys club, a superstitious club regarded by most as one of the most corrupt countries, full stop. It’s a place were the educated elite practice voodoo behind the doors in the government, a place where women are regarded as objects.

Rape is used to control communities, with police and other officials bringing the evil. Young girls are targeted with gang rapes by officials – virgins are favored because they are aids free. The elite have learned that if they scare the community, it will learn to be subservient. If the police are part of the problem, who do you run to? Connected to this is the problem of communication, since LIGHT (what Nigerians call electricity) is sparse and women cannot communicate with each other (email etc) to become educated, banding together to stand up against the muffled horror.

Amidst death threats and opposition, Alice has been living between Nigeria and London, mixing with politicians, media (such as the BBC) and key influencers to give voice to the women of Nigeria.

I asked her on this video what she wanted to be remembered for and she responded:

“I would like to be remembered as a woman who came to this world, not for myself but for the sake of others. A woman who has made the contribution and accounted for the time and the space occupied to empower other people. A woman who made a contribution to the development to the world.”

George Dickson also asked Baroness Joyce Gould (associated with the Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom) before her departure to the UN what gave her passion in this cause and why she supports Alice.

For more info please visit  womenofafrica.org or wilpfinternational.org

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