#ChooseToChallenge: A Call on Nigerian Women to Challenge the Status Quo

 

Bashir Turawa

The International Women’s Day is a day set aside to celebrate all women of the world for their contributions to societal development. It’s not a day of celebration alone, it’s also an eye-opener for women to realise that there is no limit to how far they can go or what they could achieve in life.

The new World Trade Organization (WTO) boss, Ngozi Okonjo Iweala is being celebrated across the world, not only because of her competence, but also the fact that as a woman, she chose to challenge the status quo by achieving far above the benchmark the patriarchal society set for the female gender. The life of this achiever is not only worthy of celebration but should also serve as motivation for others.

The past years have been full of agitations by the female gender. Different groups calling for equal rights, equal opportunities, equal financial freedom, etc regardless of what gender a person is. It’s saddening that while the world should have grown beyond this, we still have to talk about giving the female gender the rights which she truly deserves.

Looking at a country like Nigeria, one will realise that it’s a country where a lot needs to be done in achieving gender equality as we are far behind in gender advancement.

The Nigeria political space is one which is not favourable to the female gender. We may be talking about what is written on paper that both men and women have equal right to occupy any post in the country, but the reality is that the patriarchal setting of the country has not been helpful. You hardly see the female gender occupy political positions in the country. The office of the president, vice president, governor, deputy governor, leaders of the two Houses are generally perceived as ones which should be occupied by men. This should be addressed as it’s a restriction on the competency and capability of the female gender.

Top positions in Nigeria have been occupied by men with little achievement to show for it. There is high rate of unemployment, kidnapping, terrorism, bad governance and other issues the country is faced with. These are happening with the male gender occupying positions that are meant to prevent these occurrences. Shouldn’t we give women the chance to steer the affairs of the country also?

Financial freedom for the female gender should be nonnegotiable. It’s irritating that in the 21st century, women are still put in financial bondage by their husbands. There are many women who in the name of marriage had to give up their financial freedom by handing over their belongings to their husbands. The danger surrounding this is that the woman may lose the ability to progress since she’ll be needing her husband for everything that requires finance: engaging in business, furthering her education, etc.

Women are known to be progressive and people who are good and successful at what they do. They should demand their rightful chance to use their skills to put things in good shape.

Women should rise, challenge the status quo and take their rightful places in the country because unarguably, the female gender is an important contributor to the development of the society.

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