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National Security: Challenges Of The Endangered Female Population

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• President Goodluck Jonathan

NATIONAL security is the requirement to maintain the survival of the state through the use of economic power, diplomacy, power projection and political power. The concept developed mostly in the United States after the World War II.
National security has traditionally been about the survival of the state against military threat posed by other states.

National security is also a misleading term, implying that the referent object is the nation when the central meaning more usually applies to the state. Although in the case of more or less nation states (Norway, Japan, France) this confusion does not matter much, but in the case of multinational states (Russian, UK, Afghanistan) or where the nation is distributed across more than one state, it does because the nation and the state may be different and opposed referent objects. National security is particularly potent because the state claiming to be the highest form of political organization, and because state possess both much of the legitimacy and much of the capacity to act in the name of security.

In Nigeria for instance, government has arranged at last for “Security” to take the iron share of our nation’s budget for next year. According to the president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan who delivered the budget speech 29th October, government would spend? 921 billion to ensure the security of lives and property “By Tonnre Iredia”.

National security also relates to globalization which is the view that the level of interaction and activity within the human sphere and the impact of this activity on the rest of ecosphere is becoming bigger, faster and more intense and this is now the dominant feature of the international system.

Globalization also affect the economic activity which war as the during force behind both the state and world politics. The existence of a global economy plus a very uneven distribution of wealth and welfare creates system-wide dynamics of migration which states find it difficult to control at an acceptable cost. The Internet like the social media (facebook, twitter) enables people to contact each other, to access information and to organize worldwide. This empowers both global civil society (charities, pressure groups) and global uncivil society (criminals, terrorists) pollution has not just local consequences, but global ones that are beyond the capacity of single states to address.

Obviously, globalization must threaten the essence of the state, and/or it must make national security less important. This is because if globalization is seen as largely driven by increasing human numbers and density, plus rising levels of wealth, ever improving technologies for transportation and communication, then there is not much the state can do other than dropping out into isolation and self-impoverishment.

In Nigeria, for instance, there is no doubt that the insecurity situation in the country calls for extra-ordinary measures to combat it. As a result, even if our entire budget were to be dedicated to dealing with the subject, many people may not raise an eyebrow, so therefore, for us, our discomfort is in our government’s definition of the term ‘security’ which seems to harp on the narrow dimension of defence and military might.

Nationals security is wider than it seems, in the sense that there are other basic dimension like ‘Job’, ‘water’ and ‘food’ security, otherwise a national security policy would be of no use to the unemployed and hungry citizens that constitute the majority of the population in a poor country like ours.

National security cannot be equated to military might/defence or law enforcement alone. It goes beyond all of that to accommodate far more reaching issues shortly explained national security is the ability of a state to overcome any of its challenges no matter what the challenge is.

In 2010, America president Barack Obama canvassed an all-encompassing world-view in his own definition of America’s national security interests which included a strong innovative and growing us economy in an open international economic system that promotes, opportunity and prosperity”.

Although, Obama approach does not appear persuasive to Nigeria whose body language implies that national security is the aggregation of the activities of security agencies.

According to our national Bureau of statistic there are about 35 million unemployed youth in the country who are forced to resort to anything that can serve as means of livelihood for them, the guys going into robbering, while the girls forced into prostitution, now, this bring me into talking about the challenges for the female population.

Gender-based violence occurs in all societies of the world, within the home or in the wider community and it affects women and girls disproportionately. Women’s right around the world is an important indicator to understand global well-being.

Despite many successes in empowering women numerous issues still exist in all areas of life, ranging from the cultural, political to the economic. For example, women often work more than men, yet are paid less, gender discrimination affect girls and women throughout their lifetime and most time some women loose their self esteem, women and girls are the ones that suffer poverty the most.

Many may think that women’s rights are only an issue in countries where religion is law, such as many muslim countries. Gender equality furthers the cause of child survival and development for all society, so the importance of women’s right and gender equality should not be underestimated.
The world we live in is characterized with violence against women. This is basically present in many forms like wife battering, sexual assault and abuse, female genital mutilation and rape, in war and peacetime. Gender-based violence is the fate of millions of women all over the world and these are affecting their productivity both in the homes, where their husband wouldn’t see them as help-mate but as the weaker one, who can’t do things on her own if he does not sanction it, communities where they think training a female child is waste of time and money, but should be given into marriage, thinking after a female child is trained, she would still live her father’s name and still in community when a woman is married and has not yet give birth to a male child is regarded as not being a woman and will even suggest a second wife for the husband, increasing polygamy and lastly into their place of work, where a female is seen as a sex toy, who is expected to go out with the manger before given a job, go to bed with her boss to get promotion and for the case of marketers in the bank who will sleep with big business takoons to get invest with their bank.

The challenges faced by the female population cannot be over-emphasized, because gender-based violence is a universal reality existing in all societies regardless of income, class and culture. It would be difficult to find one woman whom at one time or the other in her lifetime had not been afraid merely because she was a woman.

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that at least one in every five of the world’s female population has been physically or sexually abuse at one time-Gender-based violence arises from the patriarchal system, which since time immemorial, has exerted control over women’s lives. Gender-based violence affects both the physical and psychological integrity of women in relation to her inter-personal life and cognitively.

Gender-based violence is categorized into three levels, these are the home or family level, the community levels and the state level.

For the home family level, domestic violence is the most prevalent, a good example occurs when a man beats his female partner. Physical, sexual and psychological violence against women within a couple and in the family battery sexual abuse, female genital mutilation and other traditional practices harmful to girls and women, marital rape, dowry-related violence, incest, non-spousal violence. Despite all these available data on gender-based violence, there is no accurate information on gender-based violence in some countries. A culture of silence surrounds cases of violence against women in most countries like Nigeria, making it difficult to get a true picture of its extent, this is because most of the gender-based violence occur in the proucite sphere-within families, inside homes and out of sight.

Violence against women within the general community, physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring within the general community include battery, rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment and intimidation in school or work, forced treatment and abuse medication, the exploitation and commercialization of women’s bodies which is related to increased poverty that is mainly a result of unbridled economic liberalism.

Violence against women perpetrated by states that priorities custom or tradition ruler the respect of fundamental freedom in some countries, the rise of religious fundamentalism is extremely disturbing as regards women’s right to their economic autonomy and their freedom of choice. Women are considered second class bring of lesser value, deprived of their fundamental rights, whereby if a woman goes to the police station to release someone they wouldn’t not want to release the culprit to her which is not legalized in our constitution.

Efforts should be made to address the numerous challenges faced by the female population, the dangers posed to women and the girl-child and such efforts should be properly captured in all legal documents set out to address issues of national security

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