By Cecilia Ijuo
Moral Values and Ethics Support Foundation (MoVES), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has called on couples to do everything within their power to avoid divorce.
The President of the foundation, Mrs Pat Oseh, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
MoVES is a non profit organisation that focuses on child education, women’s rights, women and girl-child empowerment, eradication of violence as well as gender equality.
She urged men to work on their marriages, saying the notion that only women needed to work on their marriages was one of the major reasons for increased level of divorce in the society.
She said men also had major roles to play in keeping their homes intact.
According to her, one of the major reasons for divorce is lack of respect.
“Men should treat their wives with respect and allow them explore their God given talents rather than stifle their growth.”
Oseh, who is also the founder of the foundation, noted that some cases the foundation had mediated on over the years bothered on men using their position as heads of the family to maltreat and disrespect their wives.
According to her, times have changed and women want to be given the opportunity to explore their talents.
Oseh stressed that women were meant to compliment their husbands and not to be seen as competitors, saying such notion had caused so much strife in families, leading to increased divorce rate.
She said the foundation would be organising an event called “Dear Man” to sensitise men to how to live with their wives peacefully.
“We are planning a programme called “Dear Man” and the reason is to sensitise men.
“We need to let men know that these women are no longer the women of 50 years ago.
“They should be given the opportunity to grow, to be part of what the society is doing, their voice should be heard.
“It is worrisome that we have so much divorce rate in the society today and one of the reasons is because there is so much attention on the girl child while the male child is not given half the amount of such attention.
“There is a need for balance. In doing this, we will help marriages to last much longer, if possible, forever,” she said.
She lamented that the lack of attention by parents on the moral upbringing of their male children had done more harm than good.
Oseh said, “this girl child that you have given so much training and invested so much in, will eventually get married to a male child that was not given all these trainings.
“In the end they are not compatible, they are not able to understand each other.
“In some cases, the challenges and even divorce manifest very early into marriages.
“I have seen marriages of six months breakup, which is unfortunate.
“So, Dear Man series is going to be addressing these issues.
“Men or boys need to be given this training so that this “perfect girl” that you have given all the training, nurture and discipline will not end up marrying a man who does not have 10 per cent of the discipline she has.
“Plans are being concluded to start this series and the boys that will eventually become men, will get to know how to relate with their wives to keep their homes,” she said.
The president further pointed out that the organisation was also planning a similar programme for the girl-child.
According to her, the programme, titled “The Path Project” would focus on teaching the girl-child leadership skills from school age as well as how to balance work with family.
“The age we are in today, women are beginning to come out of that societal norm where women are kept in a corner and can do just a little.
“We have the Vice President of the U.S. today as a woman, our own Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation and lots more.
“Women should be allowed to speak out, allowed to earn the same salaries as men in organisations and so on.
“Women should also be promoted to the very top of an organisational setting like the man would be promoted.
“This is not about women competing with men but about complimenting them, it is about equity, it is about justice.
“Our advocacy here is: if a woman proves her worth in any setting, either intellectually or in terms of skills, she should be recognised as such and not deprived of her rights because she is a woman.”
Oseh further stated that, “we want to start training the girl-child from primary school to be a leader, so we catch them young.
“We do not want them to wait until they become graduates before attending leadership trainings.
“Every female child, by the time you are finishing your junior secondary school your aspirations should be high.
“We are not going to teach them just how to cook and clean the homes but how to acquire leadership skills.
She pointed out out that, the United Nations and Ministry of Women Affairs in Nigeria were also working hard to change the narrative and ensure that women’s voices were heard all over the world.
She advised women not to neglect their families nor disrespect their husbands no matter how highly placed, stressing that “it takes two to tano.”(NAN)