August Meeting: Panacea to challenged society
IT IS pertinent to note that what has become widely acknowledged over decades among the entire Igbo race as ‘Women’s August Meeting’, has become doubtlessly impactful on the society. Going down memory lane, the August congregation by women in their respective communities across Igbo land has its roots in the republican nature of the race; and by extension, the self–help tendency of the people. In this case, towns go the extra mile through creative thinking to evolve ideas that change their situations. Through the yearly forum of women, towns seek to transform from modern amenities or, at least, to uplift the living standard of the people. Of course, such activities are in sync with governments’ community development road map, plans and program for rural and sub-urban socio-economic growth and spatial development.
THEREFORE, the Women’s August Meeting initiative came to assume a prominent position to the extent that some state governments in Igbo land grant casual leaves to married women in the workforce to enable them attend the August Meetings having recognised the significant impact in the society.
NATIONAL Light wishes to send its goodwill message to the women currently attending the August Meetings. We encourage them to set a realistic agenda for the advancement of their various towns and to address the parlous state of the Nigerian economy in various South- East communities. They should also initiate diverse creative but economical ways of management of the homes as well as the art of children’s up-bringing. Health and welfare as much as understanding and cooperating with their spouses to maintain stable homes devoid of acrimony and dog-eat-dog scenario should be major issues too. WOMEN in discussing lineup agenda, should equally dwell on the new cultures in homes such as the quixotic dress patterns of their female as well as male children. It is patently odd and hair-raising for girls to be deliberately asking tailors to design wears that expose sensitive parts of their bodies especially the breasts, shoulders and laps, among others. It is more disheartening when young mothers engage in the same act.
On the male side, one wonders what spurs the young boys to sag their trousers or ask hair cutters to make spikes or nails of their hairs using strong adhesive materials.
National Light boldly says no to all situations that give our young parents and by extension, our homes and our society, opportunities to mislead our children. Neither do we encourage our mothers in particular, to help in demonising our youths.
MORE importantly, the women should augment what Dr. Mrs Ebelechukwu Obiano, wife of the Governor Willie Obiano is doing on the establishment of skill acquisition centres in many communities through her CAFÉ foundation. The creative and philanthropic programs have kept many women and youths very busy and created wealth for them, while reducing both seasonal and full-blown unemployment. Women should also use the opportunity of this August meeting to help themselves by forming cooperative societies to attract funds from donor agencies. Learning how to cook, manage their resources and human psychology to be associates of their husbands and assist their homes are not out of place if they feature in the agenda of the meetings.
THERE is need for women to deliberate on how best to make their homes less violent. Happy homes are key to peaceful and progressive societies and women are major factors in achieving such peace. Should the women end the meeting and head back home to charge up and make their husbands more stressed up, they will end up making the entire society worse. Happy husbands and wives yield societies in which people live peacefully as the children are brought up in good homes and lands where violence is minimal.
HENCE a successful August meeting in say Anambra State, will ensure a peaceful non-violent November 6 election and give fillip to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to follow suit. The churches who play host to these meetings should also help to emphasise on this.
THEY should also advise women going into politics or those who are richer or more exposed than their spouses to ‘count their teeth with their tongues’ as an Igbo expression puts it, so that they would not have issues with their homes. Of course, a woman could aspire to any position without soiling her matrimonial reputation.
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