There are many traditional practices in Nigeria. Even if Nigeria is a part of the civilized world with modern economy and society, some tribes still prefer to live according to the ancient customs. Still, these traditions can be violent and unethical for the modern world. According to the Anti Child Abuse Society in Nigeria, many harmful cultural practices work directly against children. Should these traditions be stopped as the relics of the past?
African tribes have many dangerous traditions. One of the most problematic questions for this region of the planet is violence against children and women. They usually become victims of harmful traditional practices in Nigeria, Cameroon, South Africa and many other countries of Africa.
1. Efidan tradition
“Efidan” is one of the types of harmful traditional incision. Efidan translates as cutting. This tradition is still used in the rural areas of Nigeria. For the tribes, cutting is a part of adolescent traditions. Parents usually cut their children when they reach puberty. For women, scars needed to decorate their body and be more sexually appeal to men. For men, scars and cuttings serve the same purpose, and through them, they show that they are ready to take responsibility for a family.
The problem is that cuttings are made by people who knows nothing about medicine or by children themselves, which leads to the blood loss and even death. Moreover, instruments for cutting are not sterilized properly which can lead to the variety of diseases, HIV and AIDS. The Anti Child Abuse Society of Africa stands for stopping Efidan or at least monitoring it by local authorities.
2 Nutrition violence
Sometimes children do not desire to eat food, but parents want them to eat – what should they do in this case? Some parents in the Gwaris, Yorubas and Hausas found a violent solution to this problem. If a child does not want to swallow watery food, then the parents or caregivers put the kid`s head between legs, close the nostrils and provide food to the mouth when the kid opens it. If the kids are crying during this procedure, then it`s a good sign for a parent to feed them. Nevertheless, these cultural practices of delivering food may lead to choking, chemical pneumonitis and aspiration pneumonia.
3 Forced marriage
Child marriage is a very common cultural practices in some Nigerian tribes. The main victims of early marriage are young girls. The marriage age for them is considered to be around 12 years old. Still, some girls enter the puberty period in the house of the husband. Sometimes they can be married to a man much older, then they are. The violence occurs when a girl refuses to marry or have sex with a husband. They have to suffer from the pregnancy in the young age and suffer from obstructive labor. Young girls can be bought directly from the parents. Many of the children are given free to marriage for future economic and political benefits.
4 Children`s labor
Occupational violence is a part of harmful traditional practices in Igboland. Children under age of 12 have to work on the farms against their will. They can work regardless climatic conditions. This practice is common in the forest and farm regions of Nigeria. Still, parents send their children to work as they believe it will help them to secure a job position in the future. Therefore, children do not go to school and have to work without proper protection. Public organizations and UN attorneys investigate cases of forced children labor in Nigeria.
5. Blood vengeance
6 Female Genital Mutilation
7 Virginity test
It`s one of the old cultural traditions in Africa. Virgin girls in tribes are defined as clean and pure. Girls who did not save their virginity up to the marriage can be treated horribly. Virginity tests in Africa tribes can have various forms. According to the traditions, a girl can be defined as virgin if she has an intact hymen, innocent eyes, the tightness of muscles behind the knees and “tight breasts”. Some tribes also examine male virginity. According to some traditional tests, a boy defines as a virgin if he has a thick foreskin and can urinate over one-meter-high fence with no hands.
8 Breast ironing
9 Witch burning
Life of African tribes is always connected with survival. Moreover, African people are deeply religious, and the desperate times they are ready for desperate and foolish measures. Communities in Africa might experience various types of disaster, like long dry season, illness of tribe members, the death of cattle. Nevertheless, instead of seeking logical reasons of these issues, they tend to believe that it can be sorcery. Therefore, they burn innocent people to illuminate the sorcery is one the most harmful traditional practices in Africa.