The Criterion canvasses education to overcome domestic violence, abuse


National Ameer of The Companion, Engr. Kamil Olalekan (left); Awardee, Alhaji Musibau Oyefeso; The President (Ameerah) of The Criterion, Hajia Fatimah Oyefeso and others during Criterion 2nd International and 11th Biennial Conference in Ibadan

Towards ending violence against women, The Criterion (Association of Muslim Women in Business and Professions), has urged Muslim women to leverage education to overcome abuse, assault and financial deficiency.

The adoption of religion and western education, according to scholars, has become imperative if women are to prevent domestic violence.

Speaking during the association’s Second International and 11th Biennial Conference, tagged Oluyole 2021in Ibadan, the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General, Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), His Eminence Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, CFR, called on women in Nigeria to return to their fundamental role of nation-building that Nigeria’s dwindling family and national values may be restored.

The Sultan, represented by the Attah and Paramount Ruler of Aiyede Kingdom, Ekiti State, Oba Alhaji AbdulMumini Adebayo Orishagbemi, Arojojoye Abolokefa IV, noted that the best education that can remodel the society is better offered in the home and that the right teachers to impact such knowledge are the women, that is, mothers.

He also called on leaders of the country at all levels to work closely with traditional institutions, women and youth groups in the search for solutions towards regaining the family values and national integrity that are required to put the nation back on the path of peace, harmony and economic successes.

The Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Raufu Aderemi Olaniyan, assured women in the state of adequate protection for themselves and their children, noting that the Oyo state government has been proactive in getting a positive society. According to him, there is an existing law of government against women and child abuse.

The President (Ameerah) of the association, Hajia Fatimah Oyefeso, said the association is passionate about the wellbeing of women, children and family issues, adding that its programmes and activities are organised towards achieving this mission.

“As part of this year’s conference, we have been demonstrating our good motherhood and sisterhood. We identified the inmates of Sekinat Olapeju Adekola centre for the disabled, by providing a borehole with enough access points, reservoir tank and concrete tanks for use at the hostel dormitory. We equally visited some villages and organised rural dawah and presented some gift items to them. We had interactive sessions with our mothers, various Asalatu groups in and around focusing on ‘parenting values and ethics in the new reality. Also realising the central role of the youth in securing our present and future, we had a talk with a secondary school in Ibadan.”

The Iya Adinni of Yorubaland, Alhaja Sekinah Olapeju Adekola, urged Muslim parents to strive to train their children on the way of the Deen, as knowledge of Islam goes a long way to shape children future.

“ Muslim parents are fond of living their children at home when they are going for Islamic programmes and that is a detriment to the growth of Islam. We need to involve our children in our religion by encouraging and taking them to mosques and Islamic functions. Whenever we are going to a religious function, let’s endeavour to take our children along.”

She commended the association’s efforts in ensuring Muslim women are recognised in society and advised them to create youth wings in their various districts to afford the youth access to Islamic knowledge.

“Most of our Muslim youths are leaving Islam because they don’t have adequate knowledge of Islam. Immediately they gain admission to higher institutions, they forget their religion and join other religions.

The National Ameerah Federation of Muslim Women’s Associations in Nigeria (FOMWAN), Alhaja Rafiah Idowu Sanni, said assault and abuse of women in the society begin from individual homes. Lack of proper education from home will continue to result in violence.

She noted that the home should be founded on knowledge and fear of God. “Somebody who does not understand the reason behind marriage may not be able to handle marriage well. And once it is not handled well, it is going to affect the children and in return, it will affect society. So, everybody should go back home and do it right, so that we can get it right.”

The National Ameer of Companion, Engr. Kamil Olalekan commended The Criterion for working tirelessly to address the challenges facing women in contemporary society.

He said the theme of the conference is apt to address the challenges facing Muslim women. “ The role of the average career Muslim women in child upbringing has become much broadened as the world evolve. The moral decadence in society today is no doubt part of the upbringing we give to our children.”

The guest speaker, Lecturer at the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Ibadan, Prof. Hafiz Oladosu, advised Muslim women not to allow the societal challenges to mislead them into doing things that negate Islamic practices.

He said that Nigerians should recognise that they were in trying times, with numerous challenges, ranging from poverty to insecurity.

“So people’s ability to respond to issues differ; some respond in violent ways, while others do so harshly.

“A Muslim woman, who finds herself in such a situation, should try to forgive and forget. Give others the benefit of the doubt, try and empathise, and see beyond the ordinary.

“Through that, we begin to cut down on the tempo and diffuse the situation,” he said.

Oladosu advised those in positions of authority to stop benchmarking their prosperity against the adversity of the citizens.

Rather, he said that they should keep in mind the reasons they were put in office and do the needful to confront the numerous challenges facing the country.

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