From Kehinde Adewole
Female lecturers from the Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE) and Ekiti State University (EKSU) have called on the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, create well equipped rehabilitation centres for victims of rape and other gender related violent acts.
The female dons, Drs. Lara Owoeye, (EKSU) and Tosin Tume, (FUOYE), gave the government the advice during a recent monthly reading organised by the Ekiti State chapter of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) under the chairmanship of Dr. Sola Balogun of the Department of Theatre and Media Arts, (FUOYE).
The reading, which was dedicated to celebrating the 60 years of a play, A Dance of the Forests by Nigeria’s noble luareate Wole Soyinka, featured a reading and discourse on three feminist plays written by Dr. Tume, which are The Victims, The Pact and Not That Woman.
According to the playwright who also belongs to several global organisations in support of women’s rights and empowerment, her three plays stressed the role of women in nation building.
“I consider the role of women in nation building very apt. This is why in my work l try to give women a voice. So they would not be ignored. I want women to realize their powers and use it for their well being and in nation building.
The plays are in focus are The Victims, Not That Woman and The Pact. The Victims is about how insulgency affects the lives of women, children . The play is built around a love triangle among three charaters, Sule, Gimbiya and Nura.
With the play, I want all to realize that we have been at war and women are the spoils of war,” she said.
To buttress her position she read a scene where Gimbia narrates the her gory experience of the gang rape of her mother by mindless Boko Haram insulgents euphemized in the play as the Movement. She noted that most of the gory scenarios recreated in the play were real life events.
“Women become victims of rape, physical assault, slavery, and other ugly gender practices.”
A second play , The Pact, presents the story of two villages at war and two women have to wade in to bring peace.”
Dr. Tume said that it is a play about women and children being victims of a war started by men and other deprivations caused by the war.
In her views: “The plays illustrates how powerful their impact can be if the women use their powers. Women are always smarter because of their biological nature and role. In pages 36-37. I am sending a message to women to realize their power and use it.”
Not That Women, the third play, is about the need for women to condemn harmful social , cultural practices and be independent, raise their sons to respect women. Stating that women should refuse to be an enabler of inequalities to fellow women.
Commenting on the thematic preoccupation of the plays especially regarding the battle of the sexes, Dr. Owoeye said: “… that men should know we are not at war against them, if men wants submission, they should live their women.”
While making anadvicacynfor women’s liberation, empowerment and protection of their rights, Dr. Tume said: ” Today’s women need mentoring and guidance. A lot has gone wrong. the female child should be raised to realize who she really is, her potentials, etc.
I believe in the principles of love your neighbour as yourself.
Muslim acceptance of marrying more than one wife is a sarcasm taken too far. I am a humanist and every humanist should be a feminist because you have a women as a mother, wife, sister, daughter and lover etc.”
She urged government to provide well equipped rehabilitation centres for women who have fallen victims of Gender Based Violence, saying: “
We do not have the right facilities to rehabilitate rape victims and victims of other Gender Based Violence, and the consequence of this is that victims may become predators if not properly rehabilitated. Government is challenged to rise to the occasion and provide facilities to rehabilitate rape victims.”