Women in many parts of the world, play an active role in the informal sector of the economy through the sale of less expensive goods to cater for the poor and some of the rich. The women in Nigeria and most developing countries have been affected by religions, cultures and traditions that place enormous emphasis on women being less empowered and under the control of their husbands, brothers and even sons in some cultures.
In particular, the women of the Niger Delta local communities in Nigeria have been victims of gender based discriminatory practices for many years now. Oil exploitation activities has destroyed their sources of livelihood as they depend mostly on fishing and farming, which have been exposed to pollution through oil spillage and other environmentally harmful practices in lands and creeks. These women are also underrepresented in the strategic heights of politics, government, economic, educational institutions and employment, particularly in the oil industry. In the rural areas even to this day women are only supposed to be seen and not heard.
The result of this discrimination has led to rising incidences of female prostitution, teenage pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS and broken. This is because women and their daughters who lack financial and social welfare end up in the hands of some government officials, multinational oil workers and militants. These oppressors have often been very brutal to the women, behaving like animals as they take advantage of the poor hungry illiterate women and girls of the Niger Delta, by making them victims of their lust forcefully in the form of modern slavery.
This is an interesting short video clip I found on youtube explaining on the ongoing situation in the Niger Delta local communities:
So in order to address these problems it would be useful for you to:
· Use this medium as a platform to increase awareness of the on-going problems not only within the region and its local province but also on a larger scale through support from nation and international bodies.
· Suggest ways in which the DeltaWomen can improve ways to educate women on these issues whilst providing new training materials to improve their skills.
· Suggest ways in which we can improve mobilisation and participation of women in the decision making processes that affect their communities.
Please do Spread the Word and feel free to leave your suggestions! Have a great impact on the treatment of women today and in the future!
-Chioma Nneji (Chi Chi)
Emmanuel Osewe Akubo (2011): The Travail of Women in the Crises in the Niger Delta Area.
Sofiri Joab-Peterside (2009): Survey on women and livelihoods in the Niger Delta: An overview of women’s economic activities in oil producing communities in Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and Rivers States.