Muslim women want female education prioritised in Nigeria

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THE Federation of Muslim Women’s Associations in Nigeria (FOMWAN) has urged the government and other stakeholders to prioritise female education in Nigeria.

The Amirah of FOMWAN in Lagos State, Alhaja Shereefah Ajagbe, who gave the counsel at the chapter’s 35th Family Day held at the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS), described women empowerment as key to a better society.

According to Ajagbe, women are mothers of the nation, moulders of lives and character trainers.

She said women must get certain facts right to be able to perform excellent roles in the society, noting that positive impacts of women on their children are of great benefit to the family and the nation at large.

She said the ‘Family Day’ event is a social aspect of the association that brings together members, young and old, within and outside the state, to mark the completion of Ramadan.

“It is also an occasion to widen our scope on spirituality and ponder on current global issues. Hence, the theme for this year, ‘Socio-religious Responsibility in a Dynamic Society: the Role of a Muslim Woman’, is apt and timely,” she stated.

The National Amirah of FOMWAN, Hajiya Rafiah Sanni, said it is crucial for every Muslim woman to be educated as it would be a form of guidance on how to run the affairs of the family.

“Ignorance is a perilous disease and it goes a long way to destroy the home, which is the bedrock of every society. The Holy Prophet (SAW) told us that the condition of every nation would depend on the woman in that society. This has to do with her knowledge about her God, herself and the community,” Hajiya Sanni said.

She stated that a Muslim woman must possess Islamic and Western education to be a vanguard of change in the society.

“If a woman is educated, everything about her life will go in the right direction and she will be able to play her role effectively as a wife, mother, sister and member of the community,” she said.

Before the advent of Islam, she explained, the life of women in the Arabia was nothing to write home about.

According to her, at that time, a woman did not have a say in anything that concerned her, did not have a life of her own but went by the dictates of men. Women in those days lived a miserable life, she said.

The FOMWAN leader said: “At the advent of Islam, everything about women’s life changed owing to the regulations sent by Almighty Allah through the Holy Prophet (SAW).

“If a woman gave birth to a female child, the father would feel sad and depressed and would bury the girl-child alive. At the advent of Islam, Allah nullified the belief and stopped the killing of female children, while the Holy Prophet (SAW) encouraged the Sahabas (his companions) to educate their female children.”

She underscored the need for every Muslim to acquire the knowledge of the Qur’an and study the life of the Holy Prophet (SAW) in order to achieve a dynamic society.

“A Muslim woman must be a reader because readers are leaders. She must read the Qur’an and know its interpretation and application.

“Endeavour to read about the lifestyle of the Holy Prophet and his wives. There are numerous lessons to be learnt from the life of the Holy Prophet (SAW). When you talk about medicine, finance and general knowledge for human development and growth, it is embedded in the Qur’an and the lifestyle of the Prophet (SAW),” she said.

The chairperson of FOMWAN’s Board of Trustees and former Lagos State deputy governor, Alhaja Lateefat Okunnu, said the fundamental role of women in society is to take care of the home.

“Seek education for the proper handling of your home. Your role, as designed by Almighty God, is to take care of your family,” she stated.

Alhaja Okunnu advised Muslim women to seek knowledge to manage the home.

“Your primary duty is to care for and educate the children. When they are grown, you can then face other things,” she said.

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