In the Nigerian society, the place of women does not count much; neither do they have a strong stake in matters of politics, economic or social impetus to leverage growth potentials – so, men assume! Not surprising that men have this natural tendency to occupy and dominate at the expense of others; very particularly, the women folk who often becomes short-changed virtually in everything, except where it was assumed that “women education, ends in the kitchen”. Gone are the days though.
Let’s set the record straight; men naturally, are born arrogant, highhanded and overbearing in attitude. Women on the other hand are: emotional, touchy, contentious, often expresses outburst of invective fury, just to prove a point! That is typical of femininity. Head or tail, there is the need for mutuality and compromise at every step of the way, such that is capable of enhancing the huge reservoir of potentials in women for nation-building. That in itself is different from feminists’ idea or movement. Rather than seen as less of a human, feminism aim is that women should have the same rights and opportunities as men. In other word, I think the general concept and proposition of feminine gender is, ‘treat us like we are human beings as men are’. And this feminine role and demand has not changed even in the 21st century.
Long ago, like we know, male chauvinism is one culture feminists hold sway to be most common in all parts of the world; especially in Africa and Nigeria in particular. Given this jingoistic attitude of male gender devotion to their own cause (selfishly), has set the voice of clamour and the drumbeat of ‘war’ rolling in the horizon, Nigeria and South African feminist, spearheading this bloodless fight. Yes, they are every day, making the strong push and breaking boundaries! In the first place, why is African female gender, a victim of chauvinistic prejudice? The answer is not farfetched. Men’s egocentric mind-set (perhaps borne out of) greed and self-centredness, on their part, being the simple reason. And we know it. That looks like I am sounding bias, isn’t it? Wait a minute. The suppression of a woman’s free speech and emotions will always lead to rebellion whether in the home or elsewhere. Take it or leave it. That has been a common mistake.
A Woman’s rebellion often start when she feels cheated, alienated, abandoned or relegated to the back seat. Yes or No? Honestly, how long the society would remain indifference to the needs of women, I cannot tell. But one thing is sure, asking for equal rights, for me that means: good education for both male and female gender. As such, there must continue to be strong advocacy for girl-child education proportionate to boy-child education. Today, men are able to do what they do because they are well educated or trained vocationally. Girl- child, (without discrimination); giving the same opportunity, will make a landmark change in the world around her. Women cannot make a change when they are not giving opportunity to become champions and protagonists – playing leading role in the society in one way or another.
Women are great teachers, and to be able to teach others, takes quality learning to become a leader. It’s been said that, “learners are readers and readers are leaders.” Of course, women can make meaningful contributions to society, if allowed the space to unleash their huge reserve of potentials through education and skills. Moreover, nothing makes a difference in a woman’s life than tutelage. And for every woman who wants to be relevant, the starting point is quality training. Secondly, equal rights could also mean, balance of power in developing skills for both sexes. And lastly, stop that vulnerable abuse/attacks or conspiracy, vulgarised by societal norms, cultures and traditions aimed at belittling or hurting women.
More significantly, women should be allowed access to be fully involved in decision-making – shaping their destiny – rather than, treating them as a people who are deficient or not good enough. We need each other. Every woman should be confident and free to do things without necessarily being bossed around. No doubt, they have got that indefinable something in the inside of them, which of course, makes some of us (men) feel like superstars. And the answer to all of these, is a total ‘decolonization’ (if you like) of every woman. That, of course, will put a silver lining around the widespread discontent among women at the perceived injustices. And I am hopeful that soon, they are able to escape from the clutches and united we can crush this twin ‘evil’ called, marginalization and discrimination against women everywhere.
Modestly, the female folk had always lied low in submissive act of genuine humility in spite of her endless achievements and success story, she probably chose to remain self-effacing and reserved; until the dawn of the 21st century, she suddenly woke up to a stark reality.
Why? Because, they have felt cheated by male counterpart’s refusal to recognize them or create a space as a springboard for them to spur on or excel to the next level.
I am wondering and a bit curious, the rationale (without cogent reasons) why men decided (rigidly so) not to level the playing field to enable a situation in which both sexes have the same opportunity, instead, we see horse-trading between both genders under the premise of supremacy. This is the crux of the matter really for which today’s woman has also decided to stand up to be a ‘man’ (in quote) for the reason of equity, gender equal opportunity push and so on. Eccentric as it may sound among a few people with opportunist goal (especially, the suppressors, oppressors, persecutors, tyrants…) who believes like a chauvinist that assume his race, group, religion or country is better than all others, and with this repugnant attitude, he’s aggressive about his opinion not minding who is affected, who dies or lives.
However, that does not change the fact that what would be must surely be. In our society for example, where the issue of inequality topic has become a die-hard affair, and amidst the huge controversies that surrounds it too, does not in any way, undermine the fact that equity, no matter how you look at it, has become very fundamental as much as it is a sine qua non (if all other things must work perfectly fine between male female gender) then let’s do the needful.
Gee! Ethos of male supremacy role vis-à-vis the sullen cry for a proportionate “equation of power” has been something over the years, female folk had been victimized; and it is harrowing of an experience. In any case, the onus is on all and sundry, to follow this struggle against marginalization and safe-guard each other’s rights of existence.
As humans, our feelings and thoughts about gender differences must as a matter of priority, played out and jettisoned. By that, peace would be giving a chance to reign. Only then, can the world become a better place for all. The equation of power in this context does not mean that the men and women are going to have equal proportion of work-sharing in the home front, neither does it entail the man changing baby diapers, babysitting… etcetera. No. The status-quo must still remain that the woman is obligated to domestic chores. Her place is in the ‘kitchen’. And because she is aware of that fact, they are not asking for high heavens.
Therefore, men ought to give them a voice and the chance to be heard just like their male counterparts. Where this is denied, women are no less than a slave to the man – that will not allow her to make her own decisions and choices. Here, the slave-drivers and frontbenchers (the men) will continue to make women work extremely hard in that circumstance. How long will this slavish thing last? I am sure the women are not asking for freedom for frivolities as some men think, no, I don’t think so. One last thing in the mind of a woman is this urge to continue to make this strong push because there’s no alternative to freedom and equal right. Whatever it is worth, women are ready and bravely poised to fight for it. And there should be strong enough to keep the flame up!
This article is written by Chucks Dominic Morsi, you can reach him via: 07068659640 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org