by Raymond Oluwafemi Idienumah
Published on: May 25, 2004
Type: Opinions

When the late reggae icon Bob Marley said "No woman, No cry” he sure knew exactly what he was talking about. Tearful emotions are associated with women, and this is explicable. In our society today, women are at the mercy of their male counterparts, from unending domestic chores at home, the agony of child labour and even the torture and battering from men. Our women are enormously and wrongfully considered the weaker sex, and have cause to go to sleep with faint hope of a better tomorrow.

But quite interestingly, womanhood is yet symbolic to life. Without them there is no life, because it is through them that the creator creates life, nurtures it and fine-tunes it. And now the menace of HIV/AIDS on women is an unfortunate addition to the copious societal problems women are being ravaged by. Women must deal with discrimination and humiliation, molestation at home and in the office, denial of freedom and qualitative education, important social responsibilities, and finally, women are reduced to a mere object for sexual gratification.

The final problem is pivotal to the HIV/AIDS issue. The woman seen as a sex symbol and sex object, no matter her status, is accorded little regard. It pleases men to see nude pictures of seductive women in magazines, in the club, in the red-light district, even in his office.

According to the National HIV/AIDS and Reproductive Health Survey in 2003 (Nigeria), results showed certain dangerous dimensions among adolescent women and other young adults in respect of the AIDS problem.

1. Young women were more likely to have more than one non-marital partner (11.5, 12%)
2. Young women were more likely to have more than one sexual partner (3.4, 4.6%)
3. Young women less than 20 years of age were less likely to use condom in sexual intercourse with non-marital partners (2.3%). Again results showed that a great number of women do not like the use of condoms for sexual intercourse, because to some it shows a sign of distrust and humiliation from their male friends. Others feel it is not pleasant. Statistics show that 13.3% of women never used condoms and a mere 8.1%are currently using condoms! This is perhaps borne out of the fact that only 46% think that condoms can stop this disease, while a few still don’t even believe that this disease exists.

Well this terrible disease exists according to irrefutable proofs, and therefore certain measures have been suggested by experts on how to prevent this menace. They are:

• ABC: Abstinence, Be faithful, Condom use.
• Avoiding pre-marital sex and multiple sex partners.
• Ensuring proper screening of blood for transfusion.
• Attendance of antenatal clinic by pregnant women regularly.

To all youth leaders, we must build a good environment for the world. Let's keep ourselves alive for the great joy of tomorrow.

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