The annual ritual of the August Meeting of the Women of the South East, South-South and parts of the South West is here with us again. This concourse of women of diverse backgrounds in their native communities has very quaint origin but dates back to the Maryam Babangida era of Better Life for the Rural Women. It has taken root and grown over the years across the churches, pious societies, and faith based organizations as well as women socio-secular organizations. In the Catholic Church, it is closely linked to the feast of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and it is therefore viewed as a time for introspection and moral transformation. Indeed, the August meeting has become an acceptable part of the cultural calendar of most communities when women abroad join their village-based folks to deliberate on salient socio-cultural and developmental issues. Indeed, it is a time of great expectations, anxiety and controversies.
This may have prompted the Enugu State First Lady, Her Excellency Monica Ugwuanyi, at the Pre-August Conference of the Catholic Women Organization, CWO, of St. Mary’s Parish Uwani Enugu, to upbraid the women on the need to serve as catalysts for moral transformation and rectitude. Christian Women these days are so sold on the lure of fashion that it has become difficult to differentiate between house wives and spinsters, prudent women and club and street girls. Women have so imbibed the decadent Western dress code that denigrates and debases feminity and by extension scandalizes the wider society. Pundits insist that you are what you wear because from the abundance of the heart, expressions are made, including of course the mode and style of dressing. Happily some churches do outlaw the spotting of certain kinds of dressing for its female members. The Catholic Church is yet to effect this and the reason is not farfetched: the leadership of the women are involved in this ungodly practice where mother and girl child scramble over stretched jeans trousers in abnegation of the Biblical injunction on women to stay off dresses meant for men.
It is also said that this crave for nudity in dressing is intertwined with the craze for pre-marital and extra marital sex. So, coquetously dressed mother of four and a Christian wife could pass off for a street whore and could be approached by a lewd member of the society. Women these days share sex with their daughters’ boyfriends and age mates. Some women even counsel their adult daughters to always carry along a condom to avoid pregnancy. When pregnancy occurs, they aid and abet abortion for their daughters and even do so for themselves. We have a situation when people whom God has divinely bequeathed partnership in creation turn around to seek to annul creation through abortion, indeed mothers have become murderers!
The economic situation has taken a turn around and some women have become breadwinners and sought to become heads of family, not just as mothers of the house but have become defacto pater familia where the men still breathe. One woman was recently injured by a neighbor who felt she was misplaced in a queue of widows seeking assistance in a church and she had retorted that she was well aware of where she was and declared “that kind of life my husband is living is synonymous with death”. Some women are known to deny their indigent of husband food and yet when he dies, she begins to shed crocodile tears.
Some women with affluent husbands are known to make very unnecessary financial demands thereby wrecking the family fortunes. Others with less endowed spouses emulate their colleagues and make unreasonable demands of their poor and hapless spouses. Some even go out of their ways to sell their bodies so as to satisfy their mundane cravings.
Still some others, who find themselves in politics and political offices, seek to emulate the conduct of their male counterparts in dressing and in the keeping of sex mates. These crop of women lord it over their helpless husbands and even threaten them to submission.
In the family, the craze for social needs makes the women to neglect to take good care of her children, home and husbands, leaving them to the inexperienced and risky hands of house maids. This leads to the breakdown of marriages as the maids become the wives and the uncared children grow up as bad members of the society with some packing as armed robbers, prostitutes, swindlers and murderers.
In the light of the above, Her Excellency Monica Ugwuanyi’s exhortation could not have come at a better time, time and to a better audience. It is expected that the National Council of Catholic Women Organization, NCCWO, its archdiocesan, diocesan and parochial levels must seek to address these ills perpetrated by their members and not only resort to crying wolf of the menace of the men. They have to address these at the highest echelons and filter them down to lowest levels with some fine tuning there. They have to partner with government and other civil society groups in ridding the society of the deadly cancer called Women Wreaking Havoc, WWH. The Catholic may Christian woman must use this August meeting to imbibe new trends and skills to transform her family’s fortunes and by extension transform the outer society. This way, they would catalyze moral transformation.
Happy August Meeting, Our Dear Mothers.