While violence towards women are ignored, the notorious SARS whose victims are mainly men has been overhauled.
The move was met with celebration and endorsement across the media. For the first time in a while, citizen activism in Nigerian actually became something worthwhile and yielded positive fruits, but the gender wars across the world will not let slide.
On Saturday, August 18, 2018, a Nigerian feminist and YouTuber Hafsah Mohammed, (@hafymo) expressed some concerns that #EndSARS succeeded because victims of SARS were mostly men. Her point stems from how continued neglect and nonchalance trails the serial abuse and mistreatment of women from Uber drivers, issues of pedophilia and sexual abuse get less media coverage.
At 8:21pm on Saturday, August 18, 2018, the Human Resource graduate of the University of Lagos, tweeted that, “I just want to note quickly that one of the reasons the #ENDSARS movement had an impact was because 90% of the victim are men. Good night”
She goes ahead to validate her point with how issues peculiar to women enjoy less impact and do little to no media rounds and are not canvassed as they should on her Instagram story post here;
She completes her advocacy for male support of feminine causes through her late tweet, when she highlighted her metrics that, “Right… that is why I said, “one of”. We don’t keep this same energy when it comes to getting this justice for women though. When are always beside men fighting their battles, but when it comes to our issues, we have to convince men to believe us first.”
Her entire clamour is about male participation in female advocacy a charge, not necessarily a tirade. She has since locked her Twitter account.
While there has been a huge clamour by Nigerians for the government to curtail the excessive and illegal activities of SARS, there has been little or no organized effort to reduce sexual allegation, harassment, molestation and rape in the country.
This also includes pedophilia which if the frequency of reports on social media is anything to go by is on the rise. Despite the frequency of violence towards women, it seems the Nigerian society could care less about what happens to women.
With rape convictions in Nigeria still ridiculously low, it seems no one is speaking up for women. The illegal activities of SARS were centered around the wrongful profiling on young, male Nigerians as Internet fraudsters.
While men have been predominantly the victims of SARS operatives, women have been harassed by the police special unit though not as much as men.
Still, it is important that Nigeria starts to pay attention to crime against women. We should also raise our voices when women are at risk.