Thursday, May 14, 2009

Interview Thursday: "It is my belief that men must be involved in protecting women’s rights..." - NDQ

This is a rare opportunity of interviewing another powerful member of blogsville that I admire greatly. Nigeria Drama Queen is our invincilble guest this Thursday and I am delighted she shared with us.
NDQ is Nigerian-American woman, an extrovert, a drama-queen, a realist and an optimist. She is a hopeful human rights lawyer which we kind of share in common. A potential poet and a wanna-be writer. She is a woman of many parts that believes so much in women's human rights. It's a pleasure known this smart individual.
Her blog won the "Best Literary Blog" in Naija Bloggers Award 2009

What has being your experience so far on blogshere/blogsville?
Blogsville has been like a family to me. I have learned from the different perspectives and opinions on here. I have laughed out loud and pushed back tears reading some posts. There are some bloggers I feel I know, solely based on their words, and many that have been there for me when I needed it. Of course there has been the occasional drama, and then the great absence felt when loved bloggers leave. I tried to leave but I couldn’t!

I could recall how touched and disturbed you were over a story on Female Genital Mutilation you posted, how can we correct this menace in how society?
Female Circumcision is a cause dear to my heart-I wrote my thesis on it. Since that post, my opinions have changed a little. I know for one that laws alone cannot stop female circumcision as a lot of parents often perform this procedure believing that they are fulfilling cultural/religious obligations and/or acting in the best interest of the child. Here are some things I believe have proven to be helpful in the downward trend of this practice that is now being seen in some countries:
*Empowering women: when women are empowered economically, socially and financially, they will move away from harmful practices like female circumcision. An example of this is the Greenbelt Movement founded by Nobel Prize Winner Wangari Maathai where women in Kenya have been empowered by owning communal land. Female circumcision has dropped to a low of about 35% in Kenya. *Alternative rites of initiation: Female circumcision represents a rite of passage in many societies. Alternative rites like Kenya’s “Ntanira na Mugambo” (Circumcision through Words) where girls are taught about hygiene, sex, etc during their coming out ceremonies have been effective. *Male participation: It is my belief that men must be involved in protecting women’s rights, if there will ever be lasting change. In Senegal for instance, the organization TOSTAN has been successful in reducing female circumcision rates largely because they involve men in their dialogues and processes. *Education: I believe that as this new generation becomes increasingly educated (especially through technology) a lot of the traditionally harmful practices against women will cease. This has been the case in Egypt for instance where after school programs that educate young girls on circumcision have led several hundreds of families to renounce the practice. Female circumcision will stop from the grassroots: one woman, one family and one nation at a time.

Is it a wise choice for women to stay in an abusive relationship?
Personally, I would NEVER stay in a relationship where a man so much as lays a finger on me. I have seen abusive relationships ultimately end with the death of the woman. I sympathize with women in such relationships though, because it is an entirely different perspective being in that situation.

What do you think women in abusive relationship should do?
The answer to this question changes depending on the individual and the situation- especially where children are involved. I have an aunt who stayed in a once physically abusive relationship, and all is bliss now (according to her at least). I also have a friend who almost lost her baby because people told her it would be a disgrace to get divorced (even though her husband was beating her while she was pregnant). Personally, I would run faster than you could say Jack, but to each his/her own.

Given the moment and the opportunity, what will you rather blog about?
My blog is collage of randomness: from poetry to prose to politics. This gives me the opportunity to blog about whatever I choose at any time. Each post is a confession . . . a snippet of how I feel at a particular time. I haven’t felt the need to go with a particular theme right now, but maybe in the future I will.

Economic recession, global warming, do you think these issues are overrated?
To the extent that news reports on economic recession, global warming, etc cease to be informative and start to thrive on fear, yes I believe they are overrated. While the economic recession in the US is worse than it has been since the 80s, it is definitely not as bad as the great depression…contrary to some news reports. 
Is globalization the cause of economic recession and global warming?
I don’t believe globalization is the sole cause of global warming but it definitely fuels it. I remember reading somewhere that “Globalization is to global warming what warm water in the Gulf of Mexico waters was to Hurricane Katrina.” For instance, there are the definite carbon footprints that come with the travel that is necessary for global trade. New technologies are also definitely responsible for an increase in carbon emissions, etc.

Could there ever be an end to all the negative issues in the world? Could there be an end to all the negative issues in the world? Maybe. Will there be an end to all the negative issues in the world? Probably not.
What do you think need be done to have a peaceful world?
Good leaders. Period!


Rita said...

Another wonderful interview...

Rita said...

Where do I start from to comment?
NDQ had a permanent place in my heart after that post on FGM...I felt at last someone understands. And of course the room in my heart increased with her very inspiring posts and comments on my blog.

I am so enlightened by the things she shared to help with reducing FGM, especially the male participation.

I also agree that the global recession thing is overrated. It is instilling so much fear that people are responding to it.

I am hopeful that there will be improvement in our economy.

Standtall, well done.

Adaeze said...

Wonderful interview that speaks of so many important issues.
Can someone put up a link to NDQ's FGM post? I would like to read. Have also studied quite a bit on the subject and it is heart breaking. But I loved all the tips she shared on how to battle FGM, very enlightening indeed. I couldn't agree with her more, that it needs to change from the grassroots for an actual effect to take place.
Here they have tried battling it by suggesting compulsory medical examinations of girls from 5 and up. THe suggestion got voted down arguing that it was racist (being that only girls from certain nationalities would be examined). Even if this came to place I don't think it would change much. So, great ideas NDQ .And great job Standtall: My e-mail is coming shortly!

Adaeze said...

let me add come and follow my new stories-blog

Afrobabe said...

Brilliant lil sis…just brilliant…I feel your intelligence here just like all your writings...

Nice Anon said...

smart and precise. Good!

Zena said...

That's my NDQ,

FFF said...

NDQ (btw, i don't think she's a drama queen at all) is just sensational. This interview is rich & strong. & i totally agree with men being highly instrumental tools of change in the fight for women right. I came upon that realisation when it dawned on me how many whites threw their strength with the blacks with the race struggle. We really all need each other, even wen it may seem that we r fighting each other. Nice words there, NDQ. U r an inspiration.

FFF said...

New posts on Ruffin’ It and BAMBINA. We have a BAMBINA contributor, y'all. A dude!!! He is sharing his story of how he 'cornered' his woman & got her pregnant!! Next week, Brown Girl will be sharing her antenatal experience & more. Be sure to drop by again. Plus, new contributors are still being sought, so feel free to add your own story. Visit for details on how.

Good Naija Girl said...

NDQ's intelligence and articulateness shines through in this interview, and her point about men needing to be part of those people protecting women's rights is spot on.

Great interview, Standtall!

Kafo said...

beautiful interview

another insightful one

Original Mgbeke said...

Intelligent babe! You made lots of sense in this post. You will go places, no doubt. :-)

seye said...

WHY AREN'T GUYS INTERVIEWED????????????????????????????????????????


I like what she said:

Could there be an end to all the negative issues in the world? Maybe. Will there be an end to all the negative issues in the world? Probably not.

Courtney said...

I have been a little absent from the Blogosphere recently..trying to get my life in order for the summer.
But I had to check NDQ's blog today...something told me I HAD to. When I did, I realized I had to read the interview here. It made me so happy to see her featured on Interview Thursday.
I know NDQ personally and she is every bit as interesting in real life as she is on the 'net.
This really made my day. Thank you StandTall.
Brilliant women, you both are.

Enkay said...

Really nice.
Went to NDQ's blog for the first time today and got directed here.

From your responses, I could tell that she's a really intelligent lady.

Thanks for the awareness on FGM.

Great job Stand Tall!

O'Dee said...

Good to have NDQ here.
Love her view on female circumcision.

Rose said...

Such admirable intelligence...Wonderful interview Stand-Tall...We can always count on you...:)

poeticallytinted said...

Yes, I love this interview. NDQ is my girl joo!! :)


Doja 2.0 said...

Re: WHY AREN'T GUYS INTERVIEWED????????????????????????????????????????

Because there are not enough men to go around I guess!!!

StandTall-The Activist said...

@ Seye and Doja 2.0: I have interviewed a few men in the past if u will check my archive but my purpose f "Interview Thursday" is 2 ceIebrate women and let their views be heard on issues affecting them and thier world and that of other women... I include men that have deveIopment views or contents on their blogs.

@NDQ: our amazon where are thou? It's ur space, feed us back!

The poets voice ~~~ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The poets voice ~~~ said...

Nice interview, it's informative and an eye-opener!
Great Job Activist!!...I like the job u're doing in trying to get women heard!

Doja 2.0 said...

A recent study found that over 60% of bloggers are women, so I think no matter the purpose of the interview more women will always be interviewed because there are very few male bloggers.

StandTall-The Activist said...

@ Doja 2.0: this recent study, does it incIude maIe bIoggers around the worId or is it Iimited 2nigeria aIone?

Danny BaGucci said...

WOW.. Another one of dem insightful posts...Just goes to demonstrate a well thought out worldview that permeates every aspect of life! Nice.. and Thanks Standtall..

Doja 2.0 said...

it was worldwide actually

Writefreak said...

Great interview...I shall read more of NDQ from now!

NigerianDramaQueen said...

@Rita: Because of women like you and Standtall who are concerned about traditionally harmful practices that affect women, I am convinced that there is hope for our Africa...and your spot on about the economy-the fear instilled in so many people is stopping them from doing the spending the economy needs. Thanks for always being the inspiration that you are, and for reading my interview!

@Adaeze: I will soon do another post about female circumcision views have changed alot since then. You bring up two very important points: the medicalization of female circumcision (which has not worked so far) and racism. Something that "1st world feminists" and "3rd world feminists" argue alot about, especially when it comes to female circumcision is the rhetoric and procedures used by these western women to address our problems. They often come from the view point of "your practices are you are barbaric...and we must help you". It is this missionary and racist undertones that bothers alot of African women and makes them support the practice against their better judgement. Infact..this in and of itself is a post!

@Afrobabe: Thanks big sis! Your always encouraging! Muah!

@Nice Anon: Thanks! And all credit to Ms.Standtall for asking smart and precise questions!

@Zena: I heart you right back babe!

@FFF: Lol...please come and tell all my friends I'm not a drama queen oh! I've been called that so mujch that it's just stuck I make a really good comparison with the whites that were a part of the civil rights movement. Great analogy!

@GNG: Thanks so much babes! Yes I really do believe men need to be involved...some campaigns have tried the approach of showing men the process or describing the circumcision process to them. Surprisingly, alot of men do not know what the circumcision process involves or that it is not necessary. It has led several men to renounce the practice in their families and communities...

@Kafo: Glad there was insight to be gleaned despite my rambling. Thanks!

@Original Mgbeks: Thanks so much babes. Hopefully, I will live up to that compliment!

@Seye: Guys are interviewed oh! If I'm not mistaken, the last guy that was interviewed was Doug (where is he btw?!). Oh and glad you caught that line! Thanks for reading the interview. Look forward to reading yours on here soon!

@Courtney: I am humbled my friend. If there is any one with the stuff of is you. Can't wait to see you! As a matter of fact...I'm headed to facebook to hit you up! Muah

@Enkay: I'm glad you checked out my blog and this interview-thank you so much!

@O'Dee: Mrs Oluwadee ki lon popping? Thanks for reading the interview babe!

@Rose: You're so right about our Standtall. She always manages to come at each interview from a different perspective doesn't she?

@Poetically Tinted: You know your my personal person na!

@Doja: I'll let Standtall answer that....although you do have a point about there being more female bloggers than male bloggers in general!

@Standtall: Can you imagine I typed all the responses to this at the same time that I responded to the ones on my blog only to find out they didn't post! My computer died so I've been using my blackberry/I-touch to blog-surf which is quite tasking!lol. Once again, it was a pleasure and I look forward to doing some more gender-related/women's rights focused posts with you soon:-)

@The poet's voice: Yup that's our standtall...our blog she-roe!

@Danny: Your right about Standtall's worldview...the different questions she asks in each interview show that!

@Writefreak: Thanks! I shall be reading more of you too!

StandTall-The Activist said...

@ NDQ: I will be glad if we can do posts on women's rights and gender together, that will be a good start before we handling cases together, I foresee that. Hope you have fixed your computer. Srry sis.

wellsbaba said...

NDQ NDQ...definitely an enlightened blogger...i've learnt a few but invaluable things from her(blog?) personally i think d strongest weapon against this "mutilation" is education n PERSUASION...attimes we know wat we r doin is wrong but pride n stoburnes wont let us stop...persuasion is a strong tool

Tairebabs said...

Lovely interview and really very insightful. Love NDQ, I am glad she didn't quit blogging afterall.

My Passion, my focus, the change that I want to see in the world - is my propellent factor.

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