The statement that the discrimination against women started in the “Garden of Eden”, tends to justify societal claims; There are various advocacy groups for women around Nigeria; some are agitating for gender equality, while some others are fighting to incorporate the womenfolks more in the dealings of the menfolk.
In 2010, a United Nations body, dealing with women’s rights lodged a complain, that it is seriously concerned at the growing list of formal reservations lodged by member states – even as they signed an international treaty to eliminate gender discrimination. Of the 161 countries ratifying the “Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)” at the UN, about 44 countries said they will not implement certain provisions of the treaty on political, constitutional, cultural or religious grounds.
However, If we may ask ourselves, what is women right and why should we worry about gender equality?
According to the definition obtained from wikipedia;
Women’s rights are the entitlements and rights, claimed for women and girls of many societies worldwide. In some places, these rights are institutionalized or supported by law, local custom, and behavior, whereas in others they may be ignored or suppressed.
Third world countries like Nigeria, prefer the male child to the female child; this is almost a norm in our society, as women who have only female children are discrimated against by family members or in-laws. The demand for a male child is so huge that, a man only considers himself a father when he discovers his new born child is male; the female-child however, is often regarded as, “an after thought or a second class citizen”.
It is a known fact in Nigeria, in some tribes, the male-child is sent to school while the female-child is bred as a commodity meant for sale into marriage. The male metaphorically is the home. He is both the foundation and pillar that holds the entire building.
Every girl-child in Nigeria, has a long way to go, as the Nigerian society is yet to accept women fully into the system and when they do, the fear of allowing them at the elm of affairs for so long, looms. These harsh environment only produced women with low-esteem.
Thanks to organisations, that have stood for the right of women in Nigeria; as parents and government now see that women, are a necessity for the millennium goal, which preaches acceptance of women and inculcating them more into the affairs of the country.
With the few women who have been given the nod so far, Nigeria has recorded tremendous improvements even if not in full:
When it comes to female education rates, progress has been made around the world, and in many countries girls and young women have outnumbered and outperformed boys and men at all levels of schooling for decades. Nevertheless, these advances have yet to translate into greater equity in employment, politics and social relations.
– Women’s Reproductive Rights
A woman, once married, gives up her right to her husband. The man tends to dictate the number of children he wants. She tends to do his biddens at her own expense or right.
– Abduction During Conflicts/Violence
The insurgency currently experienced in the country, hasn’t been of help at all, as women and young girls are often times abducted as sex tools, sold off, or denied education.
– Decision Making
Young girls and women in general are often times left out of decision making in their immediate family’s. The men are most times preferred to handle critical decisions in the family.More so, family background, environment, society of birth influences a child’s life.
Women will keep proving themselves if given the opportunity. Most employer prefer men to women, even if the woman is more qualified. The general believe that men come before women, or that a man can do it better, has smeared our society.
However, as the agitation continues, we can only but hope that women are fully given the freedom to get involved in building Nigeria; with the few female allowed to go to school so far, and have seen the light and become challenged, while studying side by side with the male, exposed them to realising their potentials.
They work harder to excel, they are determined to equal or surpass the male; hence the claim that ” what a man can do, a woman can do better”.