Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The Nigerian Woman: Modern, Empowered and Unequal

Every once in a while I read a very insightful or inspiring article in the Nigerian media.

In his column last week - Modern, empowered and unequal - Babatunde Ahonsi puzzled over the fact that although Nigerian women have come a long way in terms of education, exposure and career, they do not all seem to be aware of the power that this brings them and thus encouraging the idea of female inferiority. He writes:

Conscious of her failure to provide leadership to the womenfolk as a whole, she often blames her tolerance of men’s unjust and irresponsible behaviours towards her on tradition, religion, and the need to protect her children’s welfare.

But how else is social change initiated if not through positive deviance? It is when a determined few among the oppressed stake all their privileges within the status quo by working actively to undermine it, that the group as a whole eventually enjoys a better life.

Ahonsi urges educated and economically empowered women to make a stronger push for the rights of all women, especially on behalf of her less empowered female counterpart.

I thoroughly agree with this and this does not mean carrying placards and marching to Alausa. We can find alternative methods to keep these issues at the forefront of people's minds like discussing them in our personal networks, identifying ways to challenge cases of discrimination against women, blogging about it, calling in to relevant radio programs, writing to newspapers and joining advocacy groups.

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