Empowering women in Nigeria
By Bamidele Oluwatobi
When it comes to the word women empowerment- "giving power to women" - it is important to understand that it is more than just a basic definition. In a society where patriarchy is the order of the day, women are often first runner ups in the affairs of survival. From the social-cultural aspect straight to mainstream governance and leadership, it has been the norm from time immemorial.
Historically when God created man, a woman was supposed to be a complimentary helper to assist the man in life affairs. But today, women have been side-lined in several diverse ways that have brought about chaos and unrest in several parts of the world. The word feminism comes to play in this aspect. Today, different female bodies have come about the "liberation of the female gender from men's hands."
That is a story for another day. This article shows how by empowering women, life can become a peaceful haven for mankind. I was posted to a particular community in a rural area, the southern part of Nigeria. I discovered that the women mainly tended to agriculture, from planting vegetables to cereals and cash crops, They were the major factor in food production, but due to the long distance from the farms to their house, it was always difficult to commute the road to and fro daily. Over time, the aged ones amongst them, even though they loved going to the farm as it is their way of contributing their quota, are handicapped due to their legs' accumulated pain from long hour treks. This posed a problem, and the few of them had children who could afford bicycles or the popular "ladies' bike."
This new mode of the movement helped immensely, and with a renewed vigour, food production increased because the strength that would have been expended, trekking long distance had been conserved and channelled into farming. Empowering rural women will go a long way to improving women's economic life and the well-being of individuals, families, and rural communities.
Remember, as a woman, they are naturally the caretaker of the home, and when there is a boost in their psyche, the whole family gets the joy from it. This is just a point of view of why women empowerment is a big deal in our society today.
It should be known that empowering women is also empowering society.