"It is widely accepted that the family life is the nucleus of the society; and women are the very bedrock of the family. Hence women’s participation in the organized labour force invariably robs the family of the much needed care and attention it deserves from the mother. Some renowned social scientists have ascribed this development to the increasing social decadence that is pervading societies around the world. Nigeria is no exception, as crime and violence seems to be threatening the very social fabric of the society."A very alarming statement, in my opinion.
The editorial ends with a call to the public and private sectors of all countries, especially Nigeria, to
"formulate and implement policies aimed at taking the domestic responsibilities of women into consideration so as to allow enough time to alternate and take responsibilities on both fronts."When I started reading the write-up, I was pleased. Anything that celebrates women is a generally a good thing, in my book. However when it turns out to be a slightly backhanded compliment, there are obviously some problems to address. First off, I believe that many people are of the opinion that the world is becoming an increasingly more violent place – although times gone by were exceedingly dangerous with little of the rules of law, which we have today. However, to try to paint the picture that, in essence, this is as a result of women working is rather over the top.
I am a firm believer in women and men working together for social and economic development, and I would have loved for the editorial to discuss how greater cooperation between the sexes would lead to more efficient results. Wanting policies that give women greater flexibility to manage a career and a home is in itself not a bad thing, but it appears to excuse men from any home or family-related responsibilities. Maybe the editorial assumed that men would help out naturally, though judging from what I see going on in our society, I would say not.
Articles like this only help promote the idea that women should be supernormal i.e. Superwomen. Yes, many women are blessed with fantastic multi-tasking skills, but it’s usually because we have to be able to juggle a multitude of tasks at once. Last year, I blogged about how worried I was that I would not be able to live up to this expectation (where's my cape when I need it?). I still am, but I am determined not to worry too much about it. My future partner will have to truly partner with me in looking after our family, and I will support him with his career as I hope he will mine.
Now, I wish that the Business Day editorial had chosen to promote what should a symbiotic relationship, rather than placing, yet again, more pressure on already over-burdened women. This would have presented an alternative model to the traditional view of women as superwomen and served as a good model for harmonious and complementary gender relationships.