"USAfricaonline.com is a publication reflecting everything of who we are, a people who believe in hard work, merit and excellence." Nkem Ekeopara, Engineer, until recently, with Kuwait Public Authority for Agriculture Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAF)

Sex and hypocrisy of Gendered Justice

Special to USAfricaonline.com
USAfrica The Newspaper, Houston

We all know the story of Safiyat Huseini (Tungar-Tudu), the thirty year old woman in Sokoto, Northern Nigeria, sentenced to death by stoning for committing "adultery."

What no one seems to know, however, is who the male "adulterer" is. It takes two to tango, right? Obviously not in Safiyat's case. Her gender/sex makes her sin obvious ( she carries the pregnancy) while the still flat stomached man walks around free, probably waiting to cast the first stone. Safiyat has become the poster child for all women oppressed in a system by virtue of their gender.

On the other hand, there are many victims of gendered justice who dare not break their silences. In many of our universities, girls are raped with flagrant impunity on a daily basis but nobody hears of it. The rapist is often considered a stud , the victim a slut. The girls are pariahed , while the males go on to have fulfilling relationships.

In my first year of college, a "friend" I thought I knew fairly well attempted to rape me. Fortunately for me, I escaped without being raped , but, he managed to slap me a few times in his bid to get me to acquiesce. That escape, I still consider a miracle. I never reported that incident because I did not expect to get any sympathy. However, I lived with male-paranoia for a very long time. I would not get into a car driven by a male, on my own. I would not visit any of my male friends and when I did, it was in company of other friends and I always sat by the door. I saw every other male as a potential rapist and read meanings into well-meant compliments. I have often wondered how much worse it would have been had I been raped. Raped, but, unable to seek justice. Raped, but, unable to get justice.

Hopefully, the international attention Safiyat's case has garnered will ensure that in this case, the victim does not become the criminal. Hopefully, it will act as a catalyst to de-gender justice , not only in her part of the world, but everywhere else necessary. Hopefully, it will sensitize society to the fact that everybody, regardless of sex, deserves justice. If Safiyat must be punished , her partner in crime must be too.

Ina related case, on Wednesday morning of January 23, 2002, an Islamic court in the northern Nigerian state of Sokoto acquitted 18-year-old, Hafsatu Abubakar after being accused of having sex outside marriage, in the second such case since the introduction of full Islamic law. Hafsatu at the 18 is already divorced. She was accused by neighbors after she gave birth to a child several weeks ago. Sadly, she was held in prison with her little baby. The case was dismissed by the judge due to discrepancies in the evidence against Hafsatu.

Meanhwile, Safiyatu is awaiting for her appeal against the death sentence. In my view, if she is to be stoned to death, as the Sharia laws Mullahs/Imams are reported to dictate, so should the man who had sex with her. While we are at it, all the other criminals who (have) run Nigeria to the ground should have their hands cut, as the Sharia law says.

Let he who is without sin cast the first stone on poor Safiyat.
Unigwe, an alumnus of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka; KU Leuven and UC Louvain in Belgium, has recently joined USAfricaonline.com and USAfrica The Newspaper as Canada-based contributing editor and columnist. She is the author of 'Teardrops', a collection of poems, and her short story, 'Touched by an Angel', was broadcast on the BBC World Service. This exclusive column for USAfricaonline.com, is copyrighted and archiving on any other web site or newspaper is unauthorized except with a written approval by USAfricaonline.com Founder january 24, 2002.

Lifestyle Sex, Women and (Hu)Woman Rights

Osama bin-Laden's goons threaten Nigeria and Africa's stability

What has Africa to do with September 11 terror? By Chido Nwangwu
Africans reported dead in terrorist attack at WTC
September 11 terror and the ghost of things to come....
Will religious conflicts be the time-bomb for Nigeria's latest transition to civilian rule?
Bola Ige's murder another danger signal for Nigeria's nascent democracy.









ARINZE: Will he be the FIRST BLACK AFRICAN POPE? By Chido Nwangwu

Beyond U.S. electoral shenanigans, rewards and dynamics of a democratic republic hold lessons for African politics.
Bush's position on Africa is "ill-advised." The position stated by Republican presidential aspirant and Governor of Texas, George Bush where he said that "Africa will not be an area of priority" in his presidency has been questioned by USAfricaonline.com Publisher Chido Nwangwu. He added that Bush's "pre-election position was neither validated by the economic exchanges nor geo-strategic interests of our two continents."

These views were stated during an interview CNN's anchor Bernard Shaw and senior analyst Jeff Greenfield had with Mr. Nwangwu on Saturday November 18, 2000 during a special edition of 'Inside Politics 2000.'
Nwangwu, adviser to the Mayor of Houston (the 4th largest city in the U.S., and immigrant home to thousands of Africans) argued further that "the issues of the heritage interests of 35 million African-Americans in Africa, the volume and value of oil business between between the U.S and Nigeria and the horrendous AIDS crisis in Africa do not lend any basis for Governor Bush's ill-advised position which removes Africa from fair consideration" were he to be elected president. By Al Johnson

Since 1958, Achebe's "Things Fall Apart" set a standard of artistic excellence, and more. By Douglas Killam.
Johnnie Cochran will soon learn that defending Abacha's loot is not as simple as his O.J Simpson's case.

September 11 terror and the ghost of things to come....
Shred of all polite, fine talk, the terroristic events of September 11, 2001, in New York, Washington DC., and Boston raise many questions. Among them: Are those wanton terror and wholesale visitation of murder and mayhem the ghost of things to come into the U.S as we glide into the so-called new world order? Whose order, really, is it?... Are those the signatures of a world gone awry, the continuing cannibalization of our world, our so-called civilization?
Chido Nwangwu, Founder & Publisher. See DETAILS

USAfrica The Newspaper voted the "Best Community Newspaper" in the 4th largest city in the U.S., Houston. It is in the Best of Houston 2001 special as chosen by the editors and readers of the Houston Press, reflecting their poll and annual rankings.

Why Martin Luther King's legacy and vision are relevant into 21st century.

Atinuke Ige and Nigeria's Widows.

Steve Jobs and Apple represent the future of digital living
By Prof. Chimalum Nwankwo

Nelson Mandela, Tribute to the world's political superstar and Lion of Africa  
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's burden mounts with murder charges, trials

Why Bush should focus on dangers facing Nigeria's return to democracy and Obasanjo's slippery slide
Acts of Cowardice.
By Jonathan Elendu, contributing editor of USAfricaonline.com.
USAfricaonline.com is listed among the world's leading web sites by the international newspaper, USAToday.

Recent and continuing crises regarding Sharia in northern Nigeria and security of lives in Nigeria highlight the other issue whether the Obasanjo's government has failed to enforce basic human rights of all Nigerians? See the USAfrica Special reports.
Sharia-related killings and carnage in Kaduna reenact deadly prologue to Nigeria-Biafra war of 1967.

Is Obasanjo really up to Nigeria's challenge and crises? By USAfricaonline editorial board member, Ken Okorie. His commentary appears courtesy of our related web site, NigeriaCentral.com
Investigating Marc Rich and his deals with Nigeria's Oil

DIPLOMACY Walter Carrington: African-American diplomat who put principles above self for Nigeria


(USAfrica's founder Chido Nwangwu, left, with then U.S. Ambassador Carrington at the U.S. embassy, Nigeria)

Out of Africa. The cock that crows in the morning belongs to one household but his voice is the property of the neighborhood. -- Chinua Achebe, Anthills of the Savannah. An editor carries on his crusade against public corruption and press censorship in his native Nigeria and other African countries. By John Suval.