Friday, September 27, 2013

Poor Divorcees, Widows and The Scarcity of Husbands in Zamfara - From The Muslim Perspective

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By Shittu Fowora

The news yesterday has it that more than 8,000 Zamfara women protested over scarcity of husbands. Led by the Chairperson of the Zamfara Widows Association, Hajiya Suwaiba Isa, and the patron, Alhaji Sa’idu Goshe, the women said they were not living a normal life and needed husbands to become whole. “Many of us cannot afford two meals in a day because there are no men to support us,” they said. The patron said the association had over 8,000 women, comprising 5,380 divorcees, 2,200 widows, 1,200 orphans and 80 others, whom he said, were looking for men to marry.

While assuming that spinsters in Zamfara have enough 'able-men' seeking their hands, the following continued to nudge me:

1. Being woman does not automatically make 'you' worth marrying, men are running away from burdens and responsibility.

2. The 8,000 runaway/break-away husbands of these women are all dead? Is there a war in Zamfara or marriage is now a sport for 'taste and runaway'? After running away,do the men remain forever celibate?

3. In all these, are the men oblivious of the onus of care/attention for children from these turbulent relationships?

4. If committed/honest/able men start an aggressive marriage spree,marrying as much as 20 women across the state weekly[20 x 48 weeks=960 Annually],and no new divorcees are thrown out of their marital homes,it will take 8 years for this crowd to lessen to a few number.

5. If men are not gainfully employed, and women are gainfully employed in the same locale, marriage burden is eased and the marital coexistence is achievable. But when the woman is not having any 'sellable skill/no education/no volition/she is bringing noting to the marital table', and the broke-ass men aren't doing any jobs? Then men will rather seek the cheap route [patronising the available variables]

6. Women who are married must show genuine care and concern for the unmarried, lest their husbands/sons/male relatives may be in harms way (an unmarried/broken/divorced/widowed woman's emotions can be very dicey).

7. Families should fear Allah on the issue of the girl-child/her education and her emancipation. If you,as a man assume your earning is sufficient for your wife and children and family upkeep, beware of such days that calamity/lay-offs/forceful retrenchments and whatnot may happen.

8. Allow our women to acquire quality education/vocation/entrepreneurial skills ahead of marital life. To rush into marriage is to put hapless women at the mercy of unprepared men.

9. 'Marriage' is not government's business, but provision of job is a central purpose of governance. If Nigerian leaders are dishonest, then the most dishonest ones are evidently from where poverty is more rife.

10. I am afraid to imagine that this number of  'unproductive/poverty-ridden' women in Zamfara may be lesser than the average across the most populous Northern states of Kaduna/Kano/Sokoto. And the Boko-Haram/war-wrecked North East may well be bringing the number to well over hundred thousand. This must stop, things must change.

First posted on Facebook


  1. Its good that a Muslim wrote this so some of them won't start saying again that Christian want to force them to stop their traditional practice. I hope somebody is listening. Education is key.

  2. Acquisition of skills by wome besides education is also important. I do not also suscribe to marriage because of 'benefits'. These women should get their bums in action and go find something to do instead of protesting. I wouldn't marry any of them If I were a man, what with how 'barren' their lives are.


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