Life as a Nigerian woman
By Annabelle Dream
What is it like to be a woman in Nigeria? It is no longer news to us the position of women all around the world. Aside from few exceptions, women are seen as the inferior gender and not fit to be in a position where important decisions are made. This has been changing for a while now with women going as far as becoming the president of countries.
Even though Nigeria has accepted this, is there a significant change?
Let us talk about the Nigerian family. A typical Nigerian man would prefer sons to daughters and when his wife fails to produce sons for him, what does he do? He takes another wife who he expects to bear him a son. In cases where the man understands that nobody is to blame for this, pressure from his parents on wanting a male child could lead him to take up a second wife. Being blessed with sons and daughters sometimes is still not enough. The daughters don’t get quality education in most cases, reasons being that she will be married off to a man at a point in her life and seizes to be an important member of the family. During family meetings in some families, women are asked to stay in their rooms and nobody cares about what the women want. This is what it is like on the family level.
Going further to the political sector, women are also being pushed to the minority section. It is believed that the position of the woman is in the kitchen and making sure the house is well cleaned up and in order. When a woman comes to run for a leadership position, she is being seen as a prostitute. Why is that so? It is believed that for any woman to succeed in an election, she must have had sex with some men. The men made it in such a way that it will be difficult for a woman to succeed in an election by using sex as a basis for them to succeed. Nocturnal meetings are been held limiting the woman from carrying out her home activities and still be present at the meeting. Except in cases where the woman’s husband is very supportive of her dreams, it is almost impossible for a woman to go far in elections. This shouldn’t be so.
The Nigerian society is a society that asks a girl who has been raped questions like what sort of clothes you were putting on, what you were doing at his place, at what time you were there, etc. It is believed that women deserve the rape that they got, except in rare cases for example; a rape that occurred during a robbery, a rape that occurred on the road, etc. Also, most men cannot offer help to a woman without asking for sex in return. And when the woman cannot offer the sex, there goes the offer. This also happens in the academic environment. Sex for grades does exist in Nigerian Universities and when you fail to comply, you tend to fail the course; most times, this stops the female student from graduating.
Women are highly marginalized in Nigeria. In as much as this article concentrates on the Nigerian woman, it doesn’t suggest that this only happens only in Nigeria; it is like this in several countries of the world. It is good to know that things are changing for the better. It is not expected that these changes would happen overnight, slow and steady wins the race they say. However, there are a few things we could do to speed up this process. In the area of leadership, women shouldn’t contest against their fellow women; rather they should contest against the men. Women make up a large part of the population and when they decide to vote for a particular contestant, the contestant is likely to win. The men and boys should be sensitized on topics like this. This will avail them with the right knowledge and change the prior beliefs that were instilled in them while they were growing up.
Women can make the world better places and the earlier we all accept this, the better for us. Countries being ruled by women are doing exceptionally great. We should try making changes to that direction and see how good the world will be.
The Nigerian society is a society that asks a girl who has been raped questions like what sort of clothes you were putting on, what you were doing at his place, at what time you were there, etc. It is believed that women deserve the rape that they got, except in rare cases for example; a rape that occurred during a robbery, a rape that occurred on the road, etc. Also, most men cannot offer help to a woman without asking for sex in return. And when the woman cannot offer the sex, there goes the offer.