Sunday, June 29, 2014

Abduction of Chibok School Girls: Men to March in Women's High Heel Shoes Against Boko Haram

Men/boys in women high heel shoes
In an attempt to bring to the forefront of public consciousness the plight of the 270 Nigerian Chibok Schoolgirls abducted by the extremist Boko Haram sect some two months ago, and as part of activities to mark this year’s Father’s Day in Cameroon, men from all tribes and backgrounds would converge on Bamenda city on Saturday July 5, 2014, to walk on women’s high heel shoes for a distance of 1.2km, an equivalent of a mile, in protest against the physical, psychological, and mental torture being meted on the captured female students, and an urgent call to action by the international community.
The ‘Men in Women’s High Heel Shoes’ protest march called for by A Common Future, a leading Bamenda-based organization working with men and boys to end violence against women, will act like a booster to the efforts already being undertaken on its side by the Cameroon government and elite forces to discourage the sect from using Cameroon soil as a hideout.
The peaceful and awareness-raising protest that starts from City Chemist Roundabout at 9 a.m to Bamenda’s Commercial Avenue Groundstand, shall see over 100 well-meaning men and boys throw their weight and compassion behind the affected families, especially parents of the kidnapped girls.
As fathers themselves, the men in women’s high heel shoes would be sending the message that child bearing is a challenging and delicate task and nobody should be allowed to use children as soft targets.
By marching in women’s high heel shoes, these men would be reminding the powers that be, especially member states of the United Nations that they make be taking all their time because the Chibok girls are not their direct off springs. If they were, they would have known how the shoe pinches. The pain that the men and boys wearing the shoes would go through as they protest, remind them and by extension the international community of the adage that ‘s/he who wears the shoes knows where they pinches’.
The men involved in the protest want to send a clear message that children bring fulfillment in fatherhood, reason why those who do not have them go the length and breathe of the world seeking them, even to spiritual churches. While in their homes, the Chibok girls looked up to their fathers to show them what men value in women and what it means to be a woman of dignity in future. Unfortunately with the Boko Haram abduction, the girls are today looking up for direction and survival from complete strangers.  
As part of this year’s Father’s Day activities, the protest march will reassure other girls in society that fathers are still their protectors and supporters. Children grow up with the understanding that no one is stronger, bigger, and capable to scare away monsters better than their daddy. To a child, the father is the intimate shield of evil, the guardian of safety, and keeper of comfort. The Chibok school girls held this to be true until the other men, unlike their biological fathers came calling.
This symbolic protest would be a venue par excellence where well-meaning father’s would be brought to show their dissatisfaction with the way society has disfavored girls in preference to boys to the extent that Boko Haram believes girls do not have a right to an education as they are property, good only for marriage.
Those taking part in the ‘Men in Women’s High Heel Shoes walkaton’ would be articulating issues of gender equality that ‘Men of quality do not fear equality’. They are proposing alternative models of masculinity that are not necessarily in opposition to models of femininity and that allow men and women to share sexual and reproductive health responsibilities, love, and above all, decision making as both men and women have a common future.

Your Support
If for any reason you cannot be part of this history making protest march that enhances the global ‘Bring Back our Children’ campaign, send us material and financial support to provide snacks and transport to the protesters who would be exhausted after the challenging experience.
The Men on Women’s High Heel Shoes Walkaton comes on the heels of the 4th edition of A Common Future Human Rights Film and Arts Festival that holds in the North West from July 15-22, 2014, in community halls and schools under the theme: ‘Enhancing the Dignity of Women, Girls and Children; Promoting Internet Access as a Human Right’. This international and highly mediatized event which shall be streamed live on the newly launched web TV, Dignity Television, shall showcase most sort after box office films and documentaries from across the globe and shall address issues like violence against women, rape, trafficking in person, widowhood rights, HIV/AIDS, as well as men taking affirmative action to end all forms of discrimination against women in society.

For more information on the walkaton and festival, contact us at acommonfuture1@yahoo.com or 237 94 94 28 78. Our other activities could be sourced at www.freetocharities.org.uk/acf orwww.acommonfuture3.blogspot.com and www.dignitytelevision.blogspot.com.



When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

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