Approximately three weeks (almost an entire month) have passed, since upwards of a hundred young women were snatched from their school in Nigeria. The school in question is located in the violence-ridden region of Chibok, their only crime? Sitting down to finally write a physics examination that they had studied very hard for. There has been a severe lack of action by the Nigerian Government in this case which has absolutely outraged both Nigerians and citizens of other countries across the world alike, and within good reason.
These women are first and foremost human beings, living, breathing, feeling. If the Nigerian government should care for no other reason, they should at the very least recognize that these “educated Females” have the capacity to contribute to the Nigerian economy in an immensely positive manner. Many Nigerians believe that the culprit behind this mass kidnapping is Boko Haram. Boko Haram, sometimes controversially referred to as the “Nigerian Taliban” is against what they call “Western education”. Boko Haram, has confirmed that they are behind the kidnappings in a video made by their leader, Abubakar Shekau. In the video he claimed that the girls were “God’s property” and that “God instructed him to sell them”.
Despite the Nigerian government receiving threats that they had better retreat unless they want to see the young women dead, the global community and Nigerian women are still pushing and putting up a fight. One potential solution comes in the form of a ransom, an anonymous Islamic Scholar who is associated with them has come forward to let it be known that they may set the young women still in captivity free for a price. However, it does not appear as though the Nigerian government is willing to make a deal with the Boko Haram for the release of these young women, because they have yet to be released.
Ryan Cummings, of Red24, a group that responds to crises, claimed that perhaps the publicity that Boko Haram has gained for this incident was intentional. They have gained another “claim to fame” in their eyes, and have also shown the world just how ineffective the government of Nigeria can be.
This brings us to the present-day, where both the global community as a whole, wondering: What is the solution to this pressing problem? There are real women out there who are suffering a very real harsh reality. Sometimes we think we are helping by raising awareness, but that isn’t always the case. We as a Westernized society see things in a different light than, for example, the Boko Haram who hail from Nigeria. They see our sharing of hastags and online protests as a joke, and a win for them in their quest for publicity. They may be brutally abusing girls who are named online, or the group as whole each time they see our attempts to share our fight through different mediums, be they Twitter, Newscasts, Facebook, etc… That only confuses us more, as we oft believe we are helping by simply speaking or sparking the “idea” of an action.
Simply because we are “The West” we believe we have some special power, but in truth we may be too weak in our approach. Sending an army over will not solve anything in the long-term, and may result in the deaths of many innocent civilians, we have done this in the past to “save humans”, however we must seriously delve further into the ways in which, in this case, Nigerian people think. Only then can we truly solve problems for the long-term. In my eyes, the Nigerian government should pay a ransom to the Boko Haram, so that these young women can gain their lives back. That, however is merely a short-term solution, and a more concrete, long-term solution must be brainstormed, and is possible with the cooperation of the Nigerian government with their fellow friends from other governments across the globe. Thus far, the Nigerian government has had a more violent approach to ending the attacks of the Boko Haram, which is often military brutality without trial. How can problems such as these be prevented for good, without finding out the motives behind them? Members of the Boko Haram who are taken into custody by the Nigerian government must be questioned before they are punished, or even killed as this will only benefit the citizens of Nigeria. The benefit will be that the government can finally devise a clear method as to how to eradicate attacks carried out by the Boko Haram (and groups akin to them) because they will understand the way the Boko Haram thinks, their motives, their plans, their final goals. We must band together as a global community to save all of our global family from experiencing these types of Human Rights violations. It is easier said than done, but the missing Nigerian girls are just one case out of thousands that occur on a a global scale, these are violations against our global family, and they must come to an end.
So what are your solutions? Leave a comment, or discuss it with a fellow young revolutionary. Think, and then act, what will you do to eradicate global human rights violations this year?