Saturday, March 29, 2008

We forget we are impeccable

"We forget we are impeccable" was a scene from Vagina Monologues 2008 at Muson centre, Onikan, Lagos. It brought to the surface, our past female heroes the likes of Queen Amina who fought in battle, Powerful Efunsetan Aniwura and Moremi Ajansoro of whom halls of resident in O.A.U and UNILAG were named after.

It's to remind us how powerful our species is. So, powerful that it women are required to be submissive to thier husbands to be able to checkmate the powers they have!!! Submission didn’t come because women and lesser than men but because women are far more powerful than men. We are intelligent and are capable of achieving anything we set our minds to do.

Women are the leaders of men as it’s obvious in women raising men that later become the rulers of the world. All glory to their mothers, sisters and wives that fed, kept them together, advised and impact knowledge in them to face the world. Why then do we forget is a woman’s world?

But the submission issue has being used as an advantage by men to take away so many things from women. You have to relinquish your father’s name to take that of your husband. If you prefer to combine your names people see you as being up to something. Even though men combine their wives names to form a compound name the world over, (don’t let go there in order not to be told those men are either weakling or wanting something extra from the marriage). There must always be an explanation for daring to be different and dropping outdated beliefs and traditions.

Women are to forgo their religious beliefs and take up their husbands. This religion issues led to an argument in “our family” commercial car on our way home yesterday. Some school of thoughts comprising of 3 women and 2 men believe you have to take up your husband’s religion because a woman doesn’t have religion except after marriage!!! They said and I objected.
A man that happened to be in my school of thought was crucified for supporting my claim that women do have religion among other things they rightfully have. I pointed out that women have a choice; it’s their fundamental human rights you are trying to sweep under the carpet. I was warned that the man would just chase the woman out of HIS house if she fails to comply. HIS house or their house? Why is the house HIS? In this age and time that women contribute heavily to the upkeep of their families. HIS house? And chase her away like that because she choose to practice her religion?

Despite all my explanations of several men converting and joining their wives religion or beliefs, and many women with solid examples remaining in their religion after marriage and having wonderful children and a happy family, I was still made to look controversial.

Making me look bad because I was trying to correct a wrong impression doesn’t change anything about women having their rights like that of men. Even though people have chosen to still claim and hide under traditions to cheat women. Their rights are there. Women are to baby seat them men, wash their clothes, cook their food, warm their bed, make their babies and expect nothing in return, looks more like a master/slave relationship to me.

A true love, a true marriage should be filled with happiness with both parties being the decision makers, helping each other in all ways and supporting each other every step of the way not the man/ his family or her family/ the society expecting the woman to change all her life styles for him in the name of headship, submission to his authority and wanting to remain in HIS HOUSE!!!.

We are impeccable, we are powerful, we are rich, we are the rulers of men. But why do we forget????

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Wedding

I went for the wedding like I said I would yesterday. I could only meet up with the reception though.
My ex-boyfriend’s clicks (we all used to be friends back then in secondary school) were fully represented, so, I just reunite with them, they couldn’t believe their eyes because to them am now slimmer and with my low cut? Oh my God, you look too young, they said.

I don’t really like weedings, burials and what have you. My reasons for not liking weddings are not far fetched, I detest Aso Ebi and gele stuff, to crown it all, they will make the bride subjective in all their programs by telling her stuff like respect and submit to your husband and making her serve him on her knees (feeding of cake and wine) without remembering to tell the husband his Godly roles in the marriage. A lot of shits that always affect my feminism belief.

Burial? They are always wasteful in Nigeria. Instead of opening a foundation in the memory of the late person, na to waste money to bury am. May be the person even suffered through life without anyone to help but befitting burial is a must. (I have a lot to say on this topic but not now).

So, I got to the wedding reception and choose to tango with my former secondary school click. Almost all the guys are married. One of them Niyi came with his wife and kid. Very fine baby girl. The couple choose to be calling themselves mummy Zainab and daddy Zainab. I said to myself in this age and time? I planned not to eat anything at the wedding but I could not resist the Amala and egusi soup with plenty fried beef I was offered. Well, it got to a point that they brought take away gift for us and only the women were given. About 6 glass cups in each package. So, now gift is be stereotyped too? Glass cups for women and nada for men.

One of my click members said to a lady friend of his (God knows what the conversation was all about) that you women always take from men, you can’t fend for yourself. What an insult, when a lot of women are taking up jobs to support their families, when some are doing 2 jobs so their husbands can go back to school, when some young girls are forced to look for jobs to take care of their families. He sure did not know what he was talking about!!! 

Did I enjoy myself? I can’t really say yes or no because I always observe issues that are not good for my health in events like this but in all, the reunion was fine and the fact that I was able to display my new “African Queen’s look” was refreshing.

Friday, March 21, 2008

This Holiday

I have quite a lot of plans mapped out for this Easter holiday. To sleep and sleep and sleep. It seems am not going to get my wish as I am having a house full of friends!!! I even brought some assignments home from work. Well, I am on for a busy Friday as I made beans cake (akara) one of its kind since my marriage 8 Months ago!!!

I have a wedding tomorrow in fact a vigil tonite but God forgive me, I don’t think I will go because I will just sleep throughout Saturday!!! After the wedding of Tolu Cole (my ex-boyfriend’s brother), I need to check out my angels – Ibukunoluwa and Oluwadamilola, 2 intelligent teenagers that are two wise for their age. They now school outside Lagos and they always make me feel guilty when they call me cos I have no time to go visit them anytime they are in Lagos.

I have got no choice; I must see them tomorrow after the wedding even though the places are two worlds apart!!!

A cousin of mine that I have not seeing in 10 years will be coming in from Kwara State to visit me. First she will not meet me at home tomorrow, second, I hope she will not have a boring time with my husband that she will me at home cos that one (my husband) only find it very convenient gisting and playing with me!!!

What do I do? I still have to go to church on Sunday and its 2 services for that matter. It is Easter Sunday remember? My Monday shall be full of rest and my work assignment must get done. No negotiation.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


The sweet memory of my childhood and friendship.
The way we used to play and share.
Where our moments were always full of fun and excitement.
Where our hearts were filled with love.
But I left it all behind.

I left it all behind.
A place where dreams were shared with friends.
Like my siblings they were.
But time and tide have spread us all apart.
My Ikirun was all my friends and family.
But I left it all behind.

I left it all behind.
My bitter memories.
Where growing up was full of corrections and admonitions.
Where mother would not spare the rod.
You must be the best and you must be perfect.
She would say over and over.

But I left it all behind.

I left it all behind.
My bitter – sweet memories.
The pains I felt, the joy I had. 
All swept away with the tide of life. 
But I left it all behind.

I left it all behind.
Mother gone, father gone, family uncare.
Friends all scattered to find their future.
Where is my connection?
Where is my yesterday?
But I left it all behind.

I left it all behind.
Due to no fault of mine.
But that of facing reality of the time.
I left it all behind.
But the memories linger.
The memories stronger.
But reality no longer.
I left it all behind.

Standtall- 2/09/05

My Color speaks to you

My colour speaks to you
My color is brown-
It’s unassuming, unpredictable
It’s the colour of earth, 

Where we live and die
It’s me inside out

My colour speaks to you
It’s a representation of me
My color is white-
It’s the peace I brought
It’s my purity and my innocence

My colour speaks to you
My colour is black
My power, my sexuality, my mystery
Black, bold and beautiful
It’s universally loved and accepted
My colour is people friendly so am I

My colour speaks to you
My colour is purple
I am royal,
It’s distinguished and dignified

My colour speaks to you
My colour is wine
What a unique dark red
It’s my excitement, my passion
It’s the love I give

My colour speaks to you
Listen and feel its aura
Discern its capacity
Can you hear my color speak?
By Standtall 1/09/05

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Women in ICT Forum

Titan of Tech's Women in ICT forum is a few days away. Here is a quick excerpt...Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) are for everyone and women have to be an equal beneficiary to the advantages offered by the technology, and the products and processes, which emerge from their use.
ICT in convergence with other forms of communication have the potential to reach those women who hitherto have not been reached by any other media, thereby empowering them to participate in economic and social progress, and make informed decision on issues that affect them.

Purpose of forum:

The forum seeks to create a platform for women in ICT to:
1. Network and synergise
2. Share ideas
3. Chart a course for women empowerment
4. Explore the avenues for national development created by ICT

Participants profile
Women CEOs of ICT firms
leading women in ICT from the public and private sectors
the academia
market women leaders (Idumota, Oshodi, Ikeja, Mushin and other major markets across Lagos State),
female students.
Sponsorship benefits
For sponsorship details - contact us
Theme: Women in ICT Forum
Date: April 4, 2008
Venue: Muson Center, Lagos
Time: 10am – 5pm

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Diary of a Rebel Damsel as a new name for my blog.

I am sure in your heart of heart you will be wondering why the diary title? See, me I be a proper rebel (lol). I started this dairy when I was in the university with one of the university's news boards. I was always writing about my day to day affair which would feature my non-conformity with so many issues especially on gender equality, students unrest, children's rights, relationships and so on. I am on the progressive side and a lot of "the tradition says" people saw me as too daring and too controversial. I send them???

So, today, I ask is it too much to give my diary a rebirth? I think I should...

Today... the gist be say, I am too tired to go to church. I have not even brushed till now and I am about to take my lunch. I managed to clean the bathroom and toilet. My husband offered to do it but he was either too lazy or too tired himself. No sweat, na him go cook lunch. He's already on it... Well, let me fill my tummy and see if I gat more gist to share...

Great Bloggers

These days I blog
These days I dsicover great bloggers cos I blog
These Great Bloggers like Funmi Iyanda
will make you feel blogging is the best thing that happened in this time
Not her alone though another great blogger is Ore
She will blow your mind with relevant information
Or is it baba oro, Gbenga Sesan - letting out the words in his fabulous style,

These 3 are so great.
Note: the picture to the right is Funmi Iyanda

behind it all: Just Photos(35)

behind it all: Just Photos(35)

Friday, March 14, 2008

My cat is a Lesbian

My Cat is a Lesbian!!!

For a while now we (my husband and I) have being wondering if Garfield one of our 3 cats and the second female cat is sex confused. Now, we are clear as she is interested in mating with her sister (Molly) and not her brother (Scofield).

Hmmmmmmmm, more gist when I find out more…

Thursday, March 13, 2008

V-Monologues 2008

V-Monologues: The Nigerian Story

It's that time of the year once again: time for the Nigerian adaptation of the Vagina Monologues. However, this year there is a welcome change - the monologues, re-titled as V-Monologues: The Nigerian Story have been adapted to our Nigerian society. Sifting through over 150 stories of various acts of violence against women, some were selected for this year's show.

The dates are venue are:

* Thursday, March 6 2008: Shehu Musa Yar'Adua Hall, Abuja

* Friday, March 7 2008: National Centre for Women Development, Abuja

* Wednesday, March 12 2008: MUSON Centre, Lagos

* Thursday, March 13 2008: MUSON Centre, Lagos

* Wednesday, March 19 2008: Terra Kulture, Lagos

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


“I have to get my car. I need to buy a car. I can’t cope with this kind of behaviour anymore”. I tell myself this everyday I enter a bus. I know that having one’s car comes with a lot of hassles too but I am sure the advantages far out weigh the disadvantages like I will sure have my space to myself and my privacy not invaded!

I don’t think I will be crossing my boundary if I say that a lot of commuters especially the men do leave at home their courtesy before coming on board. It’s hard enough having to endure somebody resting on you through your own very back seat for lack of space since everyone is packed like sardine not to now mention the annoying way men reach for money in their pocket. They will reach into their trousers pocket shoving and poking away at your ribs or hips not minding how inconvenient it is for the person sitting next to them be it a man or a woman, a girl or a boy (better believe it!). And the worst part is they do without courteous words like “excuse me” or “sorry” as the case may be seeing how the next person to them is trying to adjust to give them space out of none to do their stuff.

Speaking for myself, I am continually a victim of this and I am reaching or have reached a breaking point. So now I have to be telling them to be courteous when reaching for their pocket (I will start this next week). Like me, I am very ticklish, so any slight movement affects my brain in a negative manner and this is quite beside the point, the real thing is when someone is touching other people while getting to his pocket, courtesy demands that the person apologies knowing that he is invading other party’s privacy. Or is it too difficult to tilt forward or stand up a bit to pick money from their pocket? Can’t that money be kept in a safe place of the shirt’s pocket? And this is commonly done by educated men!!!

Fine, I have sworn to get my own car but the reality of the situation is that I can’t afford one now so what do we do? Hopefully some of this men guilty of this behaviour will read this article and adjust or people like me affected on a daily basis need to rehearse how to ask politely that they take it easy in order not to give in to an argument that will ruin one’s mood if not one’s day!!!

Being courteous is a sign of having etiquette. We need to show more of this in all we do to show how civilized we are.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Compound Name

I suddenly found myself in a hot argument on my way home from work in a commercial car popluarly referred to as "our family car", since everyone practically knows one another.

We plunged into a discussion on how daring it is for married women to combine thier fathers' names with the husbands' names.The school of thought of 3 men including our driver insisted that it's not done.According to them traditionally, a woman is to drop her father's name and take that of her husband. It's a must and any man who allows his woman to form a compound name is no man enough. It was even mentioned that in the bible that women answered their husbands' names.

I was quick to piont out that nobody was referred to with thier surnames in the bible unless they are reffering to who begat who, so it's not suffice to say it was bible that set the pace. Well, it was a tough one because the men cannot see beyond thier traditional roles. They forgot a woman as a right and a choice of either combining her surnames or sticking to one by either ing to her husband's or keep her father's .

No logic was enough for them to sumbit to. No superior argument to bow to. Their minds (the argumentative men) are made up. Aren't we still backward? My telling them that I even formed a compound name further infuriated them and some insults were thrown at me.

Hmmmm...... this will never deter me from advancing women's rights. We have a choice and the right to be who and what we want to be without fear or favour.

Friday, March 7, 2008

In commemoration with International Women's Day (IWD)

“All across the nation, all around the world, women are longing to be free
No longer in the shadow, forced to stay behind but side by side in through equality
So sing song for women all around let ring around and never never cease
So sing a song…. Equality, development and peace”.

I love this song with all my heart. It shows the essence of our struggle for equality and equity. I recalled reading my bible and I found in genesis 1:26-27 where God said male and female he created he them and gave (both male and female) dominion over everything on earth. What a total equality from God the Mighty Himself!

But some where along the way, God’s word was neglected; women were made to play a second role, to be a second fiddle, to be discriminated against, to forget their identities and essence, to be controlled and bullied. This is far away from God’s plan for humankind. Placing men and women side by side to dominate the world without one oppressing the other was God’s original plan from the creation of the earth.

But here we are, fulfilling our own desire and ignoring what it was from the beginning. God said so and He meant it. All the struggle fighters that are advocating for women rights are gender equality therefore are on the right track. God hate injustice. So, the freedom fighters are given greater assignment by God.

With all the awareness and unrelenting efforts from men and women advocating for equality in the society, it baffles me that a very vital area is still affected. A lot of people about 90% of Nigerian (my own statistic) still discriminate against women through their day to day derogatory statements/remarks made on women.

I have come across so many educated people with common derogatory statement against women. They say it without flinching! And even some of the educated people condemning discriminations against women in work place, in family and in society unknown to them, they play a vital role in derogatory remarks against women.

I believe that so many of this age long derogatory remarks that are stuck on women are borne out of stereotyping women which is part of discrimination known of, some of which are listed below:

Women are emotional Men are rational
Women cook Men participate in politics
Women take care of children
Women are inferior
Women Nag Men work outside the home
Men are superior
Men are factual

In our patriarchal Society, a lot of adults grew up with stuff in their heads that they were made to believe are true so is the derogatory statement that even women use on themselves without critical analysis of such remarks.

Below is some of the list of the typical and common derogatory remarks:
- You are a WOMAN better change your attitude because you will someday get marry
- A WOMAN has got an EXPIRY DATE either get marry on time or you lose!
- You are as CUNNING as a WOMAN
- Why are you CRYING like a WOMAN
- Women, they TALK and GOSSIP too much
- Why are you ARGUING with a WOMAN?
- You have to learn to ENDURE, aren’t you a WOMAN?
- WOMEN, you can NEVER PLEASE them.
- WOMEN, they will spend all YOUR MONEY on CLOTHES AND SHOES?
- Why are you WHINING like a GIRL?
- Why are you FIGHTING like a GIRL?

The above remarks/statements are not only derogatory, they are impolite and uncivilized and Aristotle a scholar of high standard partook in that remarks when he said that women had “inconclusive reasoning powers and that their nature was, for the most part, inferior”! If Aristotle could think women are inferior how would he believe he has equal rights with women if he could make such remark?!
Unfortunately Aristotle didn’t know better and he wrongly misinformed his disciples.

As we celebrate women at this year International Women’s Day and week, we need to bear in mind the need to re-orientate the society on dropping derogatory remarks tagged women with. For life without women is incomplete, for future without women is no future, for plans without women are not plans and above all women made men!

Oluwatoyin Ajao –Dawodu is a Project Coordinator, W.TEC.

For more articles visit

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

IWD celebration

The Nigeria Association of Women Journalists – Lagos State Chapter in commemoration with International Women’s Day organised an event with the theme “Financing for Gender Equality: Empowering the Nigerian Widows” at the NUJ Secretariat, Iyalla Street Alausa, Lagos, today Wednesday, March 5 2008.
And it was a terrific event. The paper presented by Ore Somolu the director of the Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre touched on so many issues affecting the widows and how the government, civil society and the media can come to their aid. For more on the paper presentation visit or
Enjoy and contribute.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Gender equality, or equality between women and men, refers to the equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities of and for women and men, girls and boys. Gender equality is not an issue to be treated casually. This is a human rights issue and a precondition for sustainable people centered development.

Equality does not mean that the biological differences between women and men will become the same, but that women’s and men’s rights, responsibilities and opportunities will not depend on whether they are born male or female.The fight for gender equality is not an easy one. It’s not an easy one because the society keeps placing much emphasis on cultural and traditional barriers that have over time cheated women of their fundamental human rights.

The gender differences and relationships are socially constructed and learned through socialization process and in essence have given birth to gender roles over the years. These roles are learned behaviours in a given society, community or in a group, in which people are conditioned to perceive activities, tasks and responsibilities as male or female specific. For instance, women and girls have been given the roles of going to the kitchen, taking care of children, doing all the domestic chores while the men and boys read development books and newspapers, go to work, give money for the upkeep of the family and choose whatever sport to play at their leisure.

Women do not have economic empowerment because, they are meant to get marry and serve their husbands who in quote are the “heads of the family”. The rights to education are often denied women because they are to “end up in the kitchen” while the husbands bring all the money, socialise and make all the connections. This has always have devastating effects on women due to the lack of income for not having means of livelihood. When marriages collapse the women suffer the most. Society has down played the importance of women’s roles in Nation development for so long that it sounds strange to people that women should have equal rights with men. Equal economic participation, equal power sharing and decision making between men and women for example are strange to our society.

Despite the universal declaration of human rights as an instrument of human rights protection, which was adapted by the UN member states on December 19, 1948 to protect the rights of every human being, women’s rights and other issues that are women related and specific are not recognized and protected in practice. Also, the International Bill of Rights (IBOR), which consists of Universal of Human Rights (UDHR), International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) guarantees many rights and freedoms for all women and men. However, in reality basic rights of the vulnerable members of the society like women and children are still not fully recognized as part of human rights in practice.

Women are vulnerable in the society because they have been made to suffer economic injustice, lack of adequate policy on reproductive health, domestic violence and all other forms of discrimination.

To advocate and protect women’s human rights, instruments such as Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) was adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly and came to force in 1981. The instrument is specifically for the protection of Women’s Human Rights. Though ratified in Nigeria since July 13th 1985, CEDAW is still yet to be domesticated. This in itself has caused a big constraint in the implementation of CEDAW articles in Nigeria.

To be able to further the work already done by the Non-Governmental Organizations working to promote women’s human rights in achieving gender equality in Nigeria, women human rights instruments such as CEDAW needs to gain recognition because it is vital for development, protection and promotion of women’s human rights in Nigeria.

There is an important role for the youth in Nigeria to play in contributing to the achievement of gender equality in all facet of life. Women’s human rights need to become an integral part of every day life. Therefore, it becomes inevitable that the youth involvement approach would give Women’s human rights much needed awareness as the empowered youths are the agents of change and vehicle of continuity.

The youth involvement approach would serve as an awareness creation and advocacy strategy forum for Women’s human rights among Nigerian Youths at tertiary institutions and by so doing impart the larger society. This can be best achieved through the creation of CEDAW clubs in tertiary institutions with the major aims of building a culture of Women’s Human Rights activism and advocacy among Nigerian Youths and also to build gender discrimination-free culture on campus and among Nigerian youths.
in conclusion, Youth involvement in promoting and development of Women’s Human Rights in achieving gender equality is very vital and essential. The youth are the leaders of tomorrow and the bedrock of any nation therefore their involvement will further hence awareness creation on Women’s Human Rights issues which will assist in achieving gender equality in Nigeria. If more youth were involved before they become policy makers in the future, they would have been well exposed to women’s human rights issues and this would aid their sensitivity to gender issues and as such gender sensitive policies would be easy for them to make and execute.

This article was submitted byStandtall to Baobab for Women's Human Rights as a requirement for employment seeking in 2005.
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ICT4D (1) Wrong Culture and Belief (1) Yar'adua (1) Youth as agents of Change (1) meeting US bloggers (1) my love (1)