By Chinwe Uzoechi

Thank God, another August is here with us. A month all women from the southeastern states of the country gather for their annual rituals called “August Meeting”. August is ideally, a period of rest when people are free from all kinds of labor. Women gather at this period to discuss and deliberate on issues that affect them commonly and bring up suggestions on how to tackle their problems and help the advancement of the entire community at large.

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August meeting offers women opportunity to come together and ensure that peace and love reign supreme among people of diverse background. They use the period to commune with God in prayer so that peace and love reign supreme among them. They use the period to prove their worth as good mothers and co-partners in the forward movement of the country.
The church receives these women from different backgrounds and faith  in an inter-denominational thanksgiving to God in their various villages and communities. The church and clergy admonish them to steer clear of controversies and conducts that are capable of causing rancor in their midst. They have achieved much to curtail and control the excesses of women at this period.
Their admonitions have made women now to give womanhood the pride of place it deserves in the national integration and development of the nation and not for immoral excesses. Gone was the era of dressing to ‘kill’, as everyone now puts on the same uniform. No one is interested in the grade of wrapper you tie, the lace you wear, the quality of jewelry around your neck, whether it is gold or diamond, the type of car you come home with or how much you can donate when a call for that is made.Gone were the days when ostentatious and flamboyant living to let the world know that you have arrived or show off how successful you are.Gone also were the days when women who did not meet up with theprevailing standard were treated as second hand citizens whose opinions were disregarded.
Gone were the days when women went to all lengths like adultery or stealing to meet up as they now cut their cloths according to their sizes. Gone too were the days when members struggled for positions through one means or the other as elections are usually organized every four years except where there is need to remove an executive that is found wanting. As women from all parts of the country and beyond return for this year’s August meeting, they should use the forum to deliberate on their roles in the stability of the family because family life today has come under severe pressures. They should realize that the stability of the family depends to a large extent on how a woman perceives her role as a wife as child upbringing is not an easy task. It is easy to bear children but very difficult to raise them well. This is where the challenge lies for all women. It is their role to take proper care of the home training by inculcating all the virtues that will put the child on the right track. Some women over pamper their children and by the time they realize it, they have become cultists, armed robbers, way wards, kidnappers, drug addicts etc. Let us learn to invest enough time in our children because if we do not have headaches through rebuking them, we shall have plenty of heartaches when they grow. Let this be a period to advise women on the role to play in combating wife battering that is prevalent in our society. What most women endure in their matrimonial homes is better imagined than expressed. Some women nag their husband out of the home. Nagging is one of the easiest ways to drive any man insane. It damages a marriage and alienates a man. There is no justification for any man to beat up his wife, whether he is angry, drunk or the wife is nagging. As a wife, are you submissive and dedicated to him Please do not do things that will turn you to a punching bag as some women have died in the process and others maimed for life. You cannot be perfect and right always. Pencils have erasers as mistakes are made, so learn to say “Am Sorry” but unfortunately some couples find it difficult to apologies or even ask for forgiveness.
Finally the women should be encouraged to remain strong and flourish as the economic meltdown continues to bite harder in most homes. After all the key to life is to become skillful enough to be able to do rewarding things. Fellow women, please view the economic meltdown as an adversity that should help adjust to the unpredictable and unavoidable experience. See it as a challenge to initiate ways of adapting your incomes to your needs that are basically necessary for the family and avoid frivolous spending.Some women recognize the challenges posed by the global economic quagmire early enough and have taken necessary step to address them. Be more proactive in your finances so as to fight back in these challenging times.Every community has one project or the other like building a school, library, health centre, a meeting hall, boreholes, settle disputes etc. These women have superb ideas and it is a big lesson for the rest of the world.
Women need the support of government and all citizens to bring their superb ideas into reality. May we never despair; but rather sustain our dreams with belief in God. May God grant women  journey mercies, happy deliberations and may peace  reign in every home, Amen!!

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