The Nigerian Paradox: Where Marital Rape is Legal and Consensual Homosexuality Is Not
“Violence is a regular part of most women’s experience in Nigeria, especially at homes intended to nurture the psychological upliftment and development of its members. Domestic violence refers to violence within the home. It is carried out mostly against women and children. These acts include rape (forced sex); physical abuse; verbal abuse; incest; Female Genital Cutting (FGC); denial of food; denial of time for relaxation; forced marriage and child marriage” (Joda et al., 2007 via Journal of AIDS and HIV Research Vol. 1(1) pp. 001-007, October, 2009)
Let’s start with the figure: More than two thirds of Nigerian women are believed to experience physical, sexual and psychological abuse at the hands of their husbands. To make matters worse in October of 2013 Vanguard reported a surge in rape statistics: “unreported rape cases are on the increase. More alarming is that the epidemic affects underage persons.” But what is President Goodluck Jonathan doing to address these serious problems? He’s jumping on the anti-gay bandwagon ignited by American Evangelicals in Africa and surreptitiously criminalizing consenting relationships between his fellow Nigerian adults of the same gender. Old habits die hard. Every day, women and girls are forcibly raped HETERO-sexually everywhere in the world. In fact, Africa is the world’s rape capital. Every day people suffer (HETERO) sexual harassment. Every day there are HETERO-sexual parents who abuse and sometimes even murder their children. Every day. And yet, instead of responding to these HETERO-sexual travesties, the priority of the Nigerian president is to harass adult men and women who choose to share a bed with other adult men and women. Please don’t confuse what I’ve just said for an attack on heterosexuals and/or heterosexuality. It is simply an illustration of how different standards are applied to the homosexual minority. One that shows the perfidious nature of the anti-gay movement and its nefarious intent. One in which lies and Goebbels style propaganda are used to legally institutionalize prejudice, hate and the exclusion of innocent people. It is time for us to stand up and be counted. We, from the nations who heavily support various African countries through aid, must write our congress-members and senators, we must not let these injustices be perpetuated without consequence.