Salute, Admonition To Our Women And Mothers. BY RICHARD ODU

by admin

Last week was indeed a week for women. Sunday was the Mothering Sunday, a day set aside to celebrate mothers in the church, particularly the Anglican Communion. By the church tradition, it is an annual event. Last Friday, the world celebrated International Women’s Day. Its theme was “Investing in women: Accelerate progress.”

The twin celebrations are appropriate in the light of the humiliation some women have been through for just the reason that they are women – rape, domestic violence deprivation among other obnoxious treatments. More so proper is that this year a consciousness is being awakened as to the fruitfulness of women in the field of endeavour. It truly pays to invest in a woman and the world must realise that accelerated progress depends largely on the empowerment of the women.

Experience over time has taught the world that to lock women away in the backyard is counterproductive in this era. The women are richly endowed by nature, with greater ability to resist diseases as well as the capability to multi-task. In the days of our mothers, women were hardly sent to school and when they attended, they were taught subjects like Home Economics that confined them to the home and inhibited their potential in the areas of business and the sciences. That’s history now as the schools are today predominantly populated by the female gender who are making waves in all walks of life. This is a considerable leap.

The quantum leap, however, came in 1995 at the Beijing Conference where the United Nations adopted landmark decisions about ensuring greater equality and opportunities for women, as well as advancing development and peace for all women. The Beijing Declaration opened hitherto closed doors of politics for the women to come into the inner chambers and prove their mettle, regardless of the constraints of motherhood and gender physiology.
Reports from people monitoring the implementation of the declaration have posted a steady progress in that direction in some countries while others need to step up pace. The women should help the world, however, to trust them in matters of public funds as many of them are on record to have betrayed the confidence reposed on them. In Nigeria, the federal government has got dismal records of large-scale fraud in the ministries managed by women.
We would not need to go back in time to narrate the case of a woman speaker of the House of Representatives that was disgraced out of office shortly after her enthronement just because of mismanagement of funds. The world, actually, would prefer members of the softer gender that are above board in such matters to be able to gain more grounds in responsible positions and help contribute positively to a better world. They ought not to compete with the incorrigible men in brazen scam.
Apparently, the women have developed an inordinate sense for material things in the consciousness that the menfolk had become soft enough to give a listening ear to their cries for equality. There have been cases where intending husbands had invested their life earnings on women who in the end jilted them, leaving them desolate, heartbroken and financially devastated.
The women lately pounced on the order of inheritance and decided that they must reap from both sides of their world – their paternal and their marital – leaving the menfolk to inherit only from the paternal. The court judge that gave the ruling which trended sometime may have lost sight of that imbalance and its tendency to ridicule manhood.
Along the same line, in the social circle though, the women also seem not to have realised their enormous potentials in reordering a world replete with violence and engendering peace and tranquility. The obvious thing is that the cases of violence are usually perpetrated by men, not women. And these men are either sons of women or their brothers, husbands or fathers. That leads to the conclusion that women could, in a way, contribute to the elimination of violence in our society by talking to the men using the voice they apply in the other room where they make their series of requests, from trinkets and ornaments to expensive trips abroad.
The women have a power to reach and dissuade their men – the human tools of violence in the society, the known and unknown gunmen, the kidnappers, the armed robbers, the political thugs, professional killers, the fraudulent political office holders – from embarking on their nefarious business. Just as Eve offered an apple which Adam took without resistance, they can also place some restraints on their sons, their brothers and their husbands so that violence would be reduced in the world.
This period offers an opportunity for the women to ascertain whether they have a hand in the growing violence in the society, covertly or overtly. What do the wives, mothers or sisters of governors, local government chairmen, legislators, party men and other men of influence discuss with them in the bedroom, on the dining table, or in the sitting room? Do they push them too hard for material acquisition? Do they bother about the manner the money is made? Or, do they sit back and relish the loot of their sons, husbands and brothers, unconcerned? How comfortable would a woman be to stay in a home where his husband, son, father or brother is an armed robber or a kidnapper?
If the ferocity with which the woman asks for ornaments or the best wrappers in the world from their men is directed at admonishments on them against political violence, banditry, insurgency and the like, life would be better in this country.
As for the subject of gender equality, it is difficult to not question the whole concept, viewing it from the angle of who pays to acquire the other, and who relocates to join the other in a union of marriage, the man or the woman, especially in the African setting?
Amidst the calls to invest in the woman, the world appears to be drifting to a point where there could be a role reversal for the two genders as the number of gainfully employed women is threatening to surpass the men.

Dr. Odu can be reached through

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