My2Cents

The State of Our Women Makes Us Look Weak.

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For a continent faced with the daunting task of righting the wrongs of both past and present in order to usher in much needed growth into our shores, Africa seems intent on retaining its global notoriety as the so called ‘underdeveloped’.

We lag behind in infrastructural development, and while so many of us live in poverty, very few amongst us can even spell the word. Yet, for a nation that has had to endure physical and psychological oppression in the hands of fellow men of flesh and bones who claim superiority over us, we turn round to practice what we suffered from foreigners on our very own mothers, daughters and sisters.

 

The Nigerian senate recently kicked out a bill which sought after the empowerment of women, ensuring their marital rights were the same as that of their male counterparts. The body language of the ‘honourable senators’ of the house on presentation of the said bill all but signified the death on arrival of the proposal. Respected men of the senate hid behind religion and tradition as reasons to throw out any chance of a right for widows to automatically become custodians of her children upon death of her husband or for young girls to have equal access to education as males.

The news barely even made headlines, perhaps because it was the third time this particular bill had been blocked by senators of the Nigerian democratic system, or maybe because nobody really mustered a lick of concern. Those who followed the plenary on television may have been excusably sick to their stomachs on the sight of the ‘victorious’ senators leaving the session with smiles on their faces, eager to narrate the happenings of the event to the press.

There is no such thing as a two-wheeled car. Even if there was, it would crash to the ground before making any tangible forward motion. Such is a country operating with half of its human resources and expecting a smooth dynamo of development. It should be bad enough that females rarely get elected into offices in Africa, yet the percentage of female CEOs in renowned companies within the continent lingers around the five percent mark.

If these are not regarded as legitimate indications of Africa’s backwardness, what explanation then do we have for denying a mother the right to cater for her children when their father is no more? There is hardly an argument of better hands than that of a mother for the nurturing of her child (not even the father!). Or why is it that the majority of classrooms we step into are dominated by male students and no one wonders what the cohorts of these very few female students are up to during those learning hours?

In turning a blind eye to crusade against women’s rights, males are subconsciously raised to acclimatize with the notion that women are inferior species and no matter how much formal education a male child gets, with such a mind-set his civil growth remains lopsided.

Women naturally have a high threshold for stress and pain, with endurance levels that cannot be described as anything but divine. This virtue should be harnessed, not abused. After a century of trials and errors, perhaps Africa could do with that feminine touch. We should explore their ideas, not exploit their bodies, and make them a part of us because that is what they are after all (yes this is an Adam and Eve pun)

The African man must be willing to forfeit his unfair ‘traditional’ advantage over women in order to ensure a level playing ground in political and social and business communities. We must openly condemn sexual molestation and discrimination for as long as we want women to remain self-confident. Let us value women so that they can value themselves more.

Let Africa help her women to stand for themselves by first standing for them. For the developing continent to become fully developed, the African woman must get the chance to dream as big as any man ever did.

Happy women’s month.

—————–C.O

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14 thoughts on “The State of Our Women Makes Us Look Weak.

  1. I completely agree with all you have pointed out especially the paragraph that reads “In turning a blind eye to crusade against women’s rights, males are subconsciously raised to acclimatize with the notion that women are inferior species and no matter how much formal education a male child gets, with such a mind-set his civil growth remains lopsided”

    I only disagree with you when you assume thia is just an African problem, men all over the world should take charge and not just the man from the sudan, women also have a role to train thier sons to see women as equals if not superiors. Only then can this debate about equality of genders can begin to assume momentum.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good write. Good read! The women thing is not an ‘African’ thing to be honest. I doubt there is a society in the world where women have equal representation on political and career paths as men. This is actually due to religious and physiological reasons because we are mostly raised with religious doctrines which make the woman folk a ‘helper’ to the man folk. However, the issue is not something you can resolve with the senate alone. How many women supported the woman who ran for President in 2015? The issue is more about our orientation as a people and the effort (unannounced) put into helping women get into political and career positions, mostly by women because freedom is hardly given by the oppressor (assuming it’s the men’s fault) As it is said, charity begins at home. The women must learn to promote themselves without asking the men to do so for them. Nobody gives up luxury without great conviction (talking about forfeiture now)

    Let us as women (I am a guy tho’) learn to build our ideas and assist other women to grow. Bit by bit. Rome wasn’t built in a day is a very popular excuse that applies, sometimes. Have a nice weekend.

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    • Thank you for your comment Mona. No doubt women have a great role to play in the fight for their empowerment but we must not underestimate the pivotal impact a rally from the male population would make. Supporting equal rights is not concession of male rights so advocating for this equality sets an example to other men (women as well) who have been indifferent to the plight of women.

      The blockade of the bill was a mere example of an opposition (in a male dominated senate) to gender equality as probably wouldn’t be the case in congress halls outside Africa.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with you that the the issue is more about our society’s orientation. But, we (men & women) are the society, and it is high time we begin to re-orientate ourselves by supporting and rallying for the emancipation of women and raising our young ones right. It’s not by leaving it for the women to promote themselves. What are the men doing, besides blocking the women’s efforts?

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      • I think it’s unfair to think the men are out to fight the women or stop them from growing. I doubt most women who have made it to the top did so because there were no men to ‘fight’ against them. It depends on your will and desires in life. Same way, I think it is unfair to believe that men have to make it their duty to fight for the equality (a concept I don’t even understand yet) of women when by law, correct me if I’m wrong, nothing stops a woman from aspiring for ANYTHING the men are allowed to aspire for. That leads to my point. A man will not forfeit his aspirations just to help realize this ‘equality’ so unless there is a battle or law STOPPING women from aspiring for anything (which there isn’t in Nigeria) I still believe it is a matter of orientation and what women are willing to do. I don’t want to type so much but you also have to see that men and women have different life patterns (physiological) that define a lot of things that happen with either. I’m sure ladies have men supporting them when they are trying (starting) to realize their dreams but at the top of the lot, it is an individual battle and there’s not love there, regardless of gender. Whenever there is any form of discrimination, segregation or glass ceiling, there are agencies that can fight for anyone (man or woman) to get what is their right. My 9-5 is with one of those.

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  3. good piece I must say, but it keeps wondering about an incident that happened in my area where a woman murdered her husband when she found out she was his next of kin and he was about to retire for civil service…

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    • Hi Onimisi.
      I’ll like to point out that GREED, the cause of the incident you are wondering about is a HUMAN problem, not a WOMAN problem. I mean, haven’t you heard of men who murdered their wives, because of what they stand to gain, financially?
      This thought pattern of making a human weakness, a woman weakness, is part of the problem.

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  4. In as much as I want to turn a deef ear to gender equality campaigns, that much I want to say I don’t know why woman or any gender would think they are sidelined.

    Anyway am not a fan of write-ups, my write ups don’t realy carry my real words. I don’t believe in gender discrimination, if u as a woman want to occupy a position, men have been occupying over the years, please simply apply for it and fight for it the way they do, don’t expect any special treatment just because you are a woman…..

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    • I don’t get it, really. Are you saying women are not sidelined and are just looking to be pampered and given special treatment?
      It’s sad that there are people like you, who have refused to see the truth glaring them in the face.
      But as C.O. (the author of this article BTW) said, if the truth was shown to you in 3D, and you see clearly, that it is men who want to be treated specially simply because they are men, would you fight for women or hide behind religion and tradition?

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  5. Thanks for your comment Habib. While you may be forgiven for judging the statistics which show clear marginalisation of women in business, politics or whichever decision-making positions you wish to assess as a simple coincidence, the issues addressed in the recently rejected bill shows that at least in Nigeria, gender rights are lopsided.

    The question now is: Assuming you were convinced that gender inequality was a real thing (which many men like you already have), and you were in a position to encourage a balance between both sexes, would you speak up for women or would you continue to be a voice of patriarchy?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s quite a shame where we are headed in this country. Apart from the men doing something, what really are women doing?
    I refreshed my mind on the Aba Women’s Riot and I was wondering why we no longer have such women in this our generation. Seems like in the 1920s women were more emancipated than we are now. Sad.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah. I agree with you totally and must admit that we are not doing enough today to get what we want.
      Take this bill that barely made headlines for instance, imagine women from all over the country staging a rally against the Senate…
      Anywho, hopefully, we’ll stop talking about it and start doing something about it.
      Thank you for stopping by Sally.

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