Sunday, 20 July 2014

CONTROLLING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS


This post was written by volunteer blogger from Nigeria, Emepuru Albert Somkelechukwu  
A WRITER, YOUTH ACTIVIST, AND AN INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS ANALYST.


According to Black Law Dictionary, domestic violence is a behavior used by one person in a relationship to control the other. It includes violence between members of a household or other violent act committed by one member of a household against another. For example, battering a child, a woman, child abuse, elder abuse.

The free encyclopedia says that domestic violence occurs when a family member,partner or ex-partner attempts to physically or psychologically dominates another. It goes further to define domestic violence as violence between spouses or spousal abuse but can also include cohabitants and non-married partners. Domestic violence occurs in all cultures, people of all races, ethnicities, religious, sex and classes can be perpetrators of domestic violence.


CAUSE OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS.
There are plenty cause of domestic violence against women and girls but few are to mentioned and examined here.

Some behaviors, attitudes and practices in the society present men as more important than women. In many communities in Nigeria for example, women are seen as people whose role in the society should be to obey orders without complaining. Such behavior, attitude and practices only encourage violence against women.

There are traditional customs and beliefs which treat women as weaker than men. For example, in some Nigerian communities,women are not expected to prticipate in decision making and they are not expected to challenge even wrong decisions by some men. When the women eventually challenge such decisions, it leads to violence against them.

Women make up a higher part of those who are the poorest and the most unprotected group of persons. For this reasons they  are prone to domestic violence.

Existing laws which are meant to protect women and girls (and everybody) from all kinds of violence are not strictly enforced in the society. The result is that people commit all kinds of violence against women and they do not get punished for it. When this happens, other people are encouraged to also commit violence against women and girls.


HOW TO CONTROL VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS
Women and girls who are the symbols of the mothers of our nations must be protected from violence. Violence against women can be controlled by individual women and girl, women groups,girls' groups and the government.


WHAT INDIVIDUAL WOMEN AND GIRLS SHOULD DO
Individual women and girls should exhibit orderly behavior at any point in time. They should be conscious of their interaction with members of the public, and report any act of violence against women to appropriate quarters.


WHAT WOMEN AND GIRLS' GROUPS SHOULD DO

Women groups such as National Council for Women Societies (NCWS), Christian Women Organization (CWO), National Association of Women Journalist (NAWOJ),Federation of International Women Lawyers (FIDA), and various other women groups should embark on sensitizing our women and girls on their rights. They should protect women and girls from all kinds of violence against them by carrying out awareness campaign activities for everybody about violence against women and its danger to the society. These groups should identify women and girls victims of violence and encourage them to speak out and seek redress. Women groups can also help in providing free legal aids and services for women who are victims of violence.


WHAT GOVERNMENT AT ALL LEVELS SHOULD DO
Domestic violence should not be viewed as a private family matter that needs not involve government or criminal justice intervention. There should be response to domestic violence by the law enforcement agencies, social service agencies and the courts. State and Local Governments should build more rehabilitation centres for women girls and children who are victims of unfortunate circumstance, such as that of violence against women. The Federal Ministries of Women Affairs and Social Developments should embark on research on the incidence of violence against women. Government should enact more laws which will adequately help in controlling violence against women and girls, and make sure that legal punishments pronunced for all kinds of violence committed against women is carried out.


THE POSITION OF THE LAW ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
There are statutes, several international declarations and conventions that work to exclude violence against women and girls in all spheres.

ARTICLE 1  of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 provides that. "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reasons and conscience and should act towards one another in the spirit of brotherhood". The essence of the provision is the equality in dignity and right of human beings. It did not draw any distinction between men and women as to right to life, liberty and security of persons. The United Nations General Assembly in 1993, adopted the declaration of elimination of violence against women. According to the Declaration: "Any act of gender based violence that results in or is likely to result in physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivations of liberty whether occuring in public or private life is an infringement on women's Fundamental Human Rights."

The 1986 United Kingdom's convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women imposed duties on state parties under Article 2 and states as follows:

That States should embody the principle of equality of men and women in their national constitution, adoption of appropriate legislative and other measures, including sanctions where appropriate, prohibiting all discriminations against women, refraining from engaging in any act or practice of discrimination against women and to ensure that public authorities and institutions shall act in conformity with this obligation; taking all appropriate measures, including legislation, to modify or abolish existing laws, regulations, customs and practices which constitute discrimination against women, repealing all national penal provisions which constitute discrimination against women, it therefore urges the states to refrain from engaging in violence against women and to exercise due dilligence.

The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended makes ample provision for the protection of women and girls and in fact everybody from violence. The provisions are general provisions that include women. Chapter four(4) of the constitution provides for fundamental rights. Section 34 (1) provides that "Every individual is entittled to respect for the dignity of his person and accordingly": no person shall be subject to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment, no person shall be held in slavery or servitude, and no person shall be required to perform forced or compulsory labour.

All these provisions exclude violence against women and perpetrators of these violence are not left unpunished.


RECOMMENDATIONS
There should be a clear statement of abolition of harmful traditional practices to protect the rights and equality status of women. Harmful traditional practices include Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Wife Inheritance, Widowhood Rites, Bride Price and Early/Forced Marriage. These practices are of no benefit to anyone nor do they have any social value. They are rather harmful and dehumanizing to women. The constitution must entrench the abolition of such traditional practices. Government at all levels should enact more laws for controlling violence against women and also setting up special courts to try cases of violence against women. Female members of the State Houses of Assembly, Federal House of Representatives and the Senate to live up to expectation by fighting this ugly war against humanity, against women and girls in particular. This can be done by sponsoring bills in the Legislative arms of the Governments, so that we can use the instrumentality of the law particularly in democratic dispensation to track down perpetrators of violence against women.


REFERENCE:
Iwuji J.U  :   State CID, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria.   "Domestic Violence And The Law"


Monday, 14 July 2014

HOW TO AVOID DISEASE WHEN TRAVELLING




Being on a journey can be most exciting.  The worst thing that can happen is getting sick far away from home – it makes you feel just so helpless. But no matter, by reading this post you may just save yourself some expensive medical bill or failing to get to the hospital because no one understands what you are saying if travelling to a foreign language speaking land or even getting ripped off while you are sick, nightmare!
The following tips may prove useful, if followed of course.

DO YOUR RESEARCH
What location are you travelling to and is it prone to particular disease. These are some things you have to know if you are to prepare on preventive measures.  In any case research how to get to a hospital or emergency beforehand. It may prove useful on your journey.

CARRY YOUR MEDICINE
It is possible to be ill and only develop the symptoms while airborne or maybe your body may be reacting to the sudden change in climate, in any case carry some useful medicine or painkillers that can boost your immune system should need arise. Do not drink the medicine should there be no need to but always seek the advice of a professional doctor instead of administering self-help. Also be wary of administering your medicine to other people without the consent of a health professional – you may just make it worse.

GET TRAVELERS INSURANCE
Some travellers insurance may seem costly or even burdensome but medical attention away from home can prove even more burdensome and that’s made worse because you’re not in your best shape either. Insurance gives you the confidence that someone has your back should you fall ill. However, health insurance is not a free pass to recklessness that can lead to disease.

AVOID ALLERGENS 
Are you allergic or have some health related problems such as diabetes, asthma or anemia. Then it is important to keep in mind your health condition when travelling. Carry your anti-allergens and medicines near you all the time. If travelling with someone or in a group, let them know about your condition so that they may know what to do if you suffer a health attack.

KEEP CLEAN HANDS
Practicing hygiene is very important in day to day life activities but it is very crucial when in a foreign land that your body isn’t used to. Wash your hands with soap and carrying a hand sanitizer is very useful but apply it in a manner that won’t prove offensive errm, in private that is, you don’t want to appear snobbish.

STAY IN SANITARY ENVIRONMENT
The room and bed you will be sleeping in should be clean and comfortable. A hard bed after a long trip can give a headache. Use a clean bathroom and wear flip flops when bathing if you are not sure about the sanitation. Use your own soap and bath clothe as well. Avoid dirty toilets and clean properly after you use one. Avoid sharing towels.

AVOID OVERZEALOUS FOOD TASTING
Be confident about the food you are eating and the way it was prepared. If you are not sure about a certain food, best not to eat it. If trying out new foods, do it one specialty at a time. Do not try many different foods at the same time because should you get sick, you would not know what caused the symptoms.

DRINK PLENTY WATER
It is important to drink plenty of water even before the trip. Even though this may lead to multiple toilet visits, it will help cleanse your body immune system and replenish you. Tired of drinking the water, opt for fresh fruits and make certain they are well cleaned before you eat them.

REST
Giving your body a chance to recuperate is very important in fighting disease. Resting before the trip, during the trip and when tired will lower the chances of your body getting ill just to force you to rest.

LEARN BASIC FIRST AID
Being equipped with basic first aid knowledge can give you the confidence and knowledge needed to prevent a situation from getting worse. Get basic tips online or go for a First Aid to be mentally equipped on how to administer First Aid should the need arise.

Hope these tips helped you. Tell us about your experience with health when abroad, did you fall sick or someone you know had a health scare. What did you do? Let us know.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

5 WAYS TO CREATE A SAFE PLANET



It is near impossible to live a safe life if the environment around us is not healthy. Natural disasters due to climate change has claimed many lives and changed the face of many cities without warning. It may seem as though we are helpless to nature but it is important that we take care of our environment so that we better understand it.



CLIMATE CHANGE
Excessive carbon emission that has come with industrialization is causing the ozone layer to deplete. This means temperature is becoming hotter than usual and the cycle of the earthly seasons are being disturbed. This leads to poor agricultural production which in turn leads to famine, it also cause the polar ice caps to melt faster than usual which can cause flooding which in turn leads to the destruction of homes for Earth’s population as well as death of crops, animals and humans. Sounds grim, but there is ample time to save the future from such disasters.

DIMINISHING RESOURCES
Plundering resources that are not renewable has left the Earth with just enough to manage. Without good management we may just experience an increase in fresh water supply, the earths minerals would be depleted which is disastrous for humans and other species alike.

ANIMAL EXTINCTION
Rare animals are getting killed by poachers and thus their population is getting narrowed down quicker than they can reproduce. This means a disturbance in the food chain. Human beings are at the top of the food chain and if we destroy that chain, we are destroying ourselves. Nature and its species need to be preserved. Humans are meant to preserve and not destroy because with each passing day a species on Earth is being lost.

POLLUTION
Water pollution, air pollution and noise pollution to name but a few is slowly devastating the peaceful ambiance of Earth’s environment. Pollution can cause natural disaster, health problems and contributes largely to climate change.

The above mentioned are but a few that are affecting if not marring the Earth’s environment. Earth is our only home and if we don’t take care of it, we won’t have anywhere to go. Even if it were possible to up and shift to Mars, preserving the Earth is the priceless responsibility that has been handed over to us. This is so that the future generations can enjoy it and not have to ask why we hadn’t done so.
Consequences of climate change, pollution, diminished resources and extinction among others are famine, clean water shortage, children being born with deformity, extreme temperature and an uninhabitable planet.

How then can we create a safe planet?

1. PLANT A TREE
Combating deforestation is key to saving the planet. Tree’s help produce oxygen and carbon dioxide bringing balance in our air thus stopping the ozone layer from depleting – this saves us from the sunrays burning us. Planting a tree and growing it not only saves the planet but it is a refreshing activity. Planting a fruit tree can also be rewarding in your lifetime.

2. GO ORGANIC
Know where your food and products come from. Better yet, grow your own food if you can. Make sure the companies you buy from are not using forced cheap labor or using chemicals that are polluting the air, land and/or water. It will not only help save the planet but it will keep you informed.

3. RECYCLE
Reduce, re-use and recycle. This way energy is saved and resources are not exhausted to produce more. You can reduce on using plastic bags and re-use bottles whilst recycling batteries. There are also many cute DIY ways of reusing things to create other useful tools. Use renewable energy or save on energy by simple acts such as using fluorescent lamps, not leaving tap water running, turning off the lights, unplugging devices and powering off your computer among many other things. 

4. WALK
By increasing your footprint, you are decreasing the amount of unnatural gas being emitted in the air. Use public transport or share a car to reduce on gas emissions. Take a bike when you can instead of using a car or better yet, walk as this will not only be good for the planet but excellent for your heart as well.

5. RAISE AWARENESS
Urge your local industries to be environmental friendly. Lobby for the rights of animals nearing extinction. Start a campaign or initiative that can help solve climate change.

The environment can only help us if we preserve it.