I wanted the dust raised by the gender equality argument in Nigeria to calm down before I throw in my own 2 cents into the coffers. It has been argued that the bill is not about physical and biological equality, rather socio-eco-political. OK! We then agree that men are stronger, because we want them to change the car tires, open that jar of prickles, lift heavy items, and go to wars right? Just as we know they have no business in getting pregnant and having PMS, yes? What we want is equal wages for the same jobs, to be governors/presidents, and to able to take major decisions without their consents, abi?
Then why do we tell them; 'Be a man!' Or 'You are a man, or walk like a man? Because we have high expectation from them! I have not talked about money yet ... many women are breadwinners in their household, and some earn far more than men, but deep down, they want the men to bore the major expenses in the home,or during dates. while they chip in. Valentine day celebration just passed, and women were expecting more from their husbands and boyfriends than what they were giving! I said it in an old blogsville interview when asked if there is equality between male and female? I replied NO.The insults that followed ehen? And I still stand on it!
Equality in a layman's understanding is 50-50 of ANYTHING and EVERYTHING! Our fore bearers fought for RIGHT TO WORK! RIGHT TO VOTE! And are still fighting for THE RIGHT TO HAVE SAME WAGES FOR THE SAME JOB DESCRIPTION! I am emphasizing on the word RIGHT, which is different from EQUAL! 'What is your point?' You might all ask? Simple! They picked their battles!
Again, I ask, What are Nigerian women fighting for? In summary,they are fighting against inhuman or degrading treatment of women! Who does not like to be treated with respect huh? IF WE WOMEN DON'T RESPECT OURSELVES! THEN HOW DO YOU WANT THE MEN FOLK TO RESPECT US?
Is it the nude pictures?
is it calling each other 'ho'?
Is it passing another man's child to another?
Is it betraying a friend's/sister's trust by sleeping with their husbands/boyfriends?
Is it fighting in public over a man?
Is it using 'bottom power' to get all juicy jobs/contracts/pass exams?
LADIES! RESPECT IS EARNED!IT IS EARNED! And the men have earned it in many ways! I can imagine, how the men might have laughed reading some of the issues raised in the bill,because they know, what our gender is capable of at the right price!
I know some might say, I am derailing off the track, that this is not what the bill was actually talking about! Really? You cannot address one and leave the other! NO MA! All are interlinked! OKAY! If not that, amongst we women, there is discrimination! Is it in the office? Or blogs? or Meetings? We shame the uneducated woman! We shame women that don't have economy power! We body-shame other women!
Do you know the battles we should pick,that will get global attention?
FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION!
MEN NOT PAYING REASONABLE CHILD SUPPORT AND ALIMONY,
IN-LAWS TAKING PROPERTIES FROM WIDOWS!
I did not put up early marriage up there, because if a man approaches a family and say, I want to marry your 12 year old daughter , and they say NO, will he force them? They need enlightenment instead. I did not mention numerous wives because, it is fellow woman like you and I, that will gladly be a 2nd/3rd/4th/5th wife regardless of religious/cultural practice, because of greed and fame! I did not mention the slap-on-the-wrist-punishment given to adulterous married men because married women are also up in their neck in the act! I did not mention helping out with chores, because it depends on ones home training.
So, women, let us simply pick our battles one by one and gradually,we will get what we want...RESPECT and RECOGNITION for our important roles in the society.
Thank you and have a blessed week ahead.