This is a continuation from GENDER EQUALITY |The Way Forward -1 |…read from the first part of this article to have a better grasp of the context.
…An excerpt from Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. ‘Chapter 2 Page 11;
“Okonkwo ruled his household with a heavy hand. His wives, especially the youngest lived in perpetual fear of his fiery temper and so did his little children.”
Naturally, chances of success were tilted in favor of men. So domestic abuse was rampant as women were seen as properties and their rights bought over the legally termed bride price. Worse – their bodies were seen as gifts for men who naturally felt entitled to it. It was not uncommon for folks to tell their female kids to maintain their virginity so that a man would appreciate them. Also, the kind of sexual satisfaction they got was determined by society. Plausible to say that the satisfaction of the man was the end point after all, “he is the man”. To every extent, women’s sex life was determined by society.
With the introduction of education to unbalance the status quo, men were still the first to be sent to school while women were expected to be home makers. As such, society had already defined the domesticated duties to women. Having been subjugated to the power of manhood, both gender saw women as second rated gender and men as overlords.
Going further, as civilization announced it appearance, women began to be inducted and quickly into the men dominated sphere and they have done well. This being a result of the fact that the era isn’t run on physical strength but on mental capacity and being man isn’t a show of strength. Women were sent to school and they competed for jobs with men. However, despite these, women are still largely uneducated the world over and fights are on going to send the girl child to school because the battle between religion and culture and the battle of both against civilization is still holding us back.
Women are made to earn less than their male counterparts in corporate spaces, some roles are assigned to them that overtime has been generally presumed to be meant for women. Example receptionists and Secretary. In sport, men earn more than their colleagues in the same competition. In politics, women are not given equal opportunities like the men because men are “the head”. Little things like these are the basis on which norms are formed.
That brings me to the debate on headship. Like everything else, the foundation is the problem. In primary schools, irrespective of who is the most intelligent or leadership inclined, a boy is always the class captain while a girl the assistant and this continued all the way to secondary school. Psychologically, women have been assumed to be assistants to men. Hence, it is very unnatural to make them assistant all their lives and all of a sudden, they are vying for political seats. Where did that come from? Society pushes them back to “the other room.”
This is a new century where women are already breaking the glass ceiling. We must teach the girl child that she too can lead and make decisions for herself and more importantly give them the opportunity to do so.
As for being the head. The basic problem here isn’t about headship but the perception of headship. Being the head should give you total sense of responsibility and not sense of entitlement. If you want the mantle of headship, you should act it financially, emotionally, spiritually and not just with sex organ and food. This sense of entitlement has led to the infamous quote “Because I am a man” as an excuse for not doing many things. Marriage is like a movie, there is the best actor in a lead role and there is the best actor in a supporting role and this is not with respect to gender. Watching the Oscar awards, it is frequently observed that the lead role actor in a movie would win an award and the supporting role actor would not. Other times, the supporting role actor wins and the leading role actor would not. This goes to show that whether as a leader or a supporter, what matters most is that you do your job to the best of your ability. This should apply in human relationships and marriage.
The end point of all this is to see the gender equality. Gender equality is the state of equal ease of access to resources and opportunities regardless of gender including economic participation and decision-making and the state of valuing different behaviours, aspirations and needs, regardless of gender.
Gender Equality doesn’t choose to place men above women or women above men. The growth of Feminism has led to Misandry – (hatred for, contempt for and prejudice against men) which is not the goal of Feminism.
UNICEF says gender equality “means that women and men, and girls and boys, enjoy the same rights, resources, opportunities and protections. It does not require that girls and boys, or women and men, be the same, or that they be treated exactly alike.
On a global scale, achieving gender equality also requires eliminating harmful practices against women and girls, including sex trafficking, femicide, wartime sexual violence, and other oppression tactics. UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) stated that, “despite many international agreements affirming their human rights, women are still much more likely than men to be poor and illiterate. They have less access to property ownership, credit, training and employment. They are far less likely than men to be politically active and far more likely to be victims of domestic violence…
…to be contd.
Featured Writer: Wisdom Dickson
Dickson is a lawyer and voracious reader who blows off steam by reading and watching movies when he is not screaming and rooting for Liverpool’s every match day. Don’t mind him if he sound light-hearted sometimes. Having lived in every part of the Nigeria, you begin to realize that life is not that serious. In his thinking room, he decides to sit behind his keyboard and a cup of coffee to dissect prevailing social issues. In his words “My mind is pressed. Allow me ease my pen.”
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