Don Proffers Solution to Gender Violence
A Senior Lecturer at the Department of Islamic Law, Dr. Mansur Isa Yelwa, has proffered three means of remedying gender-based violence in accordance with the Islamic legislation which includes religious education and awareness, social counselling and sanctions as well as the provision of legal sanctions.
Dr. Yelwa who was delivering a lecture titled: “Gender-Based Violence: The Islamic Perspective,” on Monday, 25th July, 2016 at Musa Abdullahi Auditorium organized by the Centre for Gender Studies (CGS) said the main cause of gender violence includes women‟s misconducts, men‟s cruelty and arrogance, intellectual reasons (scriptural misconducts), cultural practices, socio-economic factors and lawlessness.
The don quoted what Kofi Annan once said: “Violence against women and girls is a problem of pandemic proportions. At least one out of every three women around the world has been beaten, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused in her lifetime with the abuser usually someone known to her.” He also cited a report published by the FBI in the United States of America, that every day four women die as a result of domestic violence, the euphemism for murders and assaults by husbands and boyfriends, that is approximately 1,400 women a year. He added that the incidence of violence against women is also prevalent in many Muslim countries, mostly based on cultural reasons as against religious.
Dr. Yelwa also mentioned how women inflict violence on their male counterparts, quoting Premium Times newspaper of 11th July, 2016 where a 50-year-old teacher, Musiliu Yusuf, told Igando Customary Court in Lagos that his wife was impregnated by one of her lovers in their matrimonial home, adding that the wife was in the habit of beating him on the slightest provocation, forcing him to move out of his matrimonial home. Islamic teaching, he said, is fundamentally based on harmony, leniency, simplicity and understanding amongst all people, regardless of their differences in gender, age, race, ethnic or social backgrounds, saying the critiques of Islam as being allegedly promoting violence against women were either based on islamophobia or on common misconceptions about Islamic provisions for gender-equity based rights. He said, according to Islamic law, rights are equitably distributed among genders.
He said the rights of both genders in Islam had been categorised into five: the one shared by both men and women, the one allocated specifically for men, one allocated specifically for women, the one allocated for both with preference for men and one allocated for both with preference for women.
Dr. Yelwa said Islam provides that women should be protected and treated fairly, leniently and kindly by men as cited in Qur‟an 4:34 and chapter 4:19 while in Bukhari: 3153 the Prophet said “Treat women well, for woman is created from a rib and the most curved portion of the rib is its upper portion. If you try to straighten it, it will break, but if you leave it as it is, it will remain curved; so treat women with kindness,” amongst many other provisions of Qur‟an and Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H). The Vice Chancellor, Professor Muhammad Yahuza Bello said gender violence is a serious issue because both genders maltreat their partner through beating and other unacceptable means. Professor Yahuza Bello who was represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academics, Professor Sagir Adamu Abbas, said if one sets drug abuse aside at family level, gender violence stands to be the most dangerous phenomenon, urging the participants to critically examine the problem and come up with useful solution that would benefit the society. The Director, Centre for Gender Studies, Professor A‟isha Abdul-Isma‟il said the event was part of the lecture series being organised by the Centre in an effort to provide clarification pertaining gender violence and also to address misconception, saying “we want to have a Centre with a difference.”