Rise Up To Societal Challenges In Nigeria, Religious Leaders Task Women

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By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan


The General Secretary, Christian Council of Nigeria, (CCN),  Reverend  Dr Evans Onyemara on Friday asked Women to rise up and approach the societal challenges for a solution. 
Dr Onyemara made the call while speaking at a workshop for women religious groups themed “Changing the narrative of religion stereotyping among religious women in Southwest Nigeria” at the Institute of Church and Society, Samonda, Ibadan. 
The CCN General Secretary maintained at workshop  facilitated by an inter-government organization that promotes inter religious dialogue to prevent and resolve conflict, the International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID) that the society needs to go beyond theories and allow women rise up and approach societal challenges as mothers, noting that changes will occur.
“The man who is causing trouble in the society is born of a woman, and most times when mothers talk to their children even if they don’t agree immediately, with time, you will see them continue to think about what the mother has said and often times lead to change in attitude”, he said.
Dr Onyemara added, “so, if our mothers will rise up to the challenge of changing the narrative because we have talked about theories and paper works for a long time and it has not helped us as solution. But if mothers will now rise up and approach it from their own dimension as people who gave birth to everyone, I want to believe that there will be enormous change”.
He stressed,  “so, we shouldn’t only be looking at traditions in our various faiths that cannot change except change it self and people must draw strength, from their faith perspectives that gives them strength. Not the faith issue of doctrine and dogma that keeps putting them (women) down and makes them to be slave in the midst of their beliefs.
Speaking further , the CCN General Secretary said, “let the religious leaders go back to their faith tradition and perspectives and see which aspect that has tied women down for long and then look into how they can begin to untie them and liberate them because no family is complete without a woman”.
“It takes a mother and a father to make a father and it also takes a father and a mother to build a very viable society and that is what all of us are looking for in Nigeria.Therefore, we must step away from religious stereotyping, so there is need for us to change the narrative and that is why I want to believe that this workshop will bring a change dimension in the whole scenario and narrative”
The Chairman, Muslim Community of Oyo State, Alhaji Kunle Sanni while speaking lamented that  many religious leaders have taken undue advantage of the weakness in women to spread false and negative religious practices
The Arabel Chief Executive Officer and one of the facilitators, Hajia Shareefah Andu in her remarks tasked women on the need to learn how to operate from the areas of strength as someone loved by the children to help mould them to be better people and resolve issues in the society.“We need to start changing how we think, how we perceive the other person and appreciate that differences is a kind of beauty in itself because if we are all looking the same, seeing things the same and feeling the same, what is the beauty of that, so, we should be able to see differences and appreciate other people and live together in peace.”, she said.

Hadjia Andy added, “women have strong roles to play in curtailing violence around the country because the children always listen to them more.  The children fears their fathers but they love their mothers and they don’t want to make them unhappy. So if women really know and take ownership of their feelings and they know how powerful and influential they are, they will be able to tell the children, the right things to do. But, then, you can’t give what you don’t have. The mothers also must know so that they will be able to impact the children. With this workshop, I know the women participant will be better off in terms of understanding and knowing the powers within them, so many of them do know before now but, they need constant reminding.”

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