‘Don’t Blame Mothers, Blame The System That Has Failed To Produce Responsible Citizens’ – Human Right Activist, Fijabi Reacts To Baba Ijesha’s Child Molestation Saga

Mufuliat Fijabi is a gender and development practitioner and has worked as a passionate women’s human rights activist over the last two decades. She is Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Women’s Trust Fund (NWTF). In this chat with journalists when she was engaged in Ibadan, she spoke about women participation in politics and some other salient issues. Ooduabulletin.com brings the excerpt:

In our contemporary society woman are always relegated to the background especially when it comes to decision making in terms of politics, what is your advice for women?

My advice for women is that they should keep the flag flying, they should not relent in their efforts in terms of being included in the decision making processes in Nigeria, because it is a reality that women’s participation is important so that we can have a balanced society. I will also like to say encouraging women’s participation is not about competing with man, it is about us having a society that is well developed and that is balance and inclusive of all most half of the population; and it also a way that acknowledging the fact that we can attain peace when we hear the voices of woman playing important role in the society.

Recently, a well known face in the Nollywood was accused of molesting an underage girl through a video that is viral, it was discovered that it was due to the lackadaisical attitude of the mother, what is your advice for the mother in taking care of their girl child?

Actually, I would not want to agree with fact that a mother lackadaisical attitude is a reason why any man that is fit to be the child’s father or brother should go and molest or harass her, regardless of whatever circumstances we find ourselves there is dignity of the human person and every child’s right must be respected. So, the society is responsible for every human being so I do not appreciate and like the fact that young girl went through that experience so we shouldn’t blaming the mother rather we should blame the society where we all come from that has not enable a system that would produce responsible citizens who would acknowledge the right of everyone and make sure that the society we live in is one that is free of violent because the young girls right have been violated and peace have been violated am sure she is psychological affected now.
Although I call on mothers to be more vigilant but at the same time we expect men who are brothers, fathers, uncles to also respect the right of women, girls and to believe that they also have future and they are not to be used as sex object or as toys to be played around with. I am very hopeful that with the Violence Against Persons (VAP) Act in place in Nigeria and most states domesticating it that when culprits are caught they will be made to face the music and the necessary cost of justice will take it to a rightful place.

Emphasis is always on training the girl child leaving the boy child who eventually grow up to be a nuisance in the society like in the case we just mentioned, what is your take on this?

Both the male and female child have every right to be educated, they have every right to be supported, to become responsible citizens. So, the fact that you hear often time that people talk about girl child education is because of the patriarchal society that we live in that does not encourage girls child education most times they believe that if a girls is educated she ends up in her husband’s house, she doesn’t answer the father’s name any longer and that why there is an emphasis on girl child education and that not to the neglect of the male child education. both girls and boys child should be sent to school to be educated , responsible to contribute their own expertises to the development of the country No child should be left behind they are all important.

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