KNOCK , KNOCK.
BABA: IS THAT MY DAUGHTHER?
MARYAM : YES BABA(SMILING)
BABA: I AM HAPPY TO SEE YOU SMILE TODAY.
MARYAM: I HAVE CROSSED ALL BRIDGES BABA.AND THANKS TO YOU FOR SUPPORTING ME ALL THE WAY.
BABA: YOU WERE RESILIENT IN YOUR FIGHT AS WELL.
What is stopping women from attaining power and from being empowered in our society today? Many will see this as an open and close question .Societies have viewed women as the weaker sex and whose role is limited probably due to cultural, religious and maybe so the women limit themselves to the role of housewives thus not challenging and accepting their values enough Perhaps then its patriarchal norms and beliefs that limits women. The numerous hurdles women face in our society is endless. Although the world is growing at a fast rate, still the issue of women take the back burner. Women’s empowerment is pivotal in the development of her family, society and most of all herself. This signifies given impartial and unequal opportunity in every field irrespective of discrimination. Women’s empowerment is all about given power to women in all areas of her life.
Our society have grown to understand and acknowledge the roles of men as the head of every family unit and one who keeps occupies spaces simply because of the patriarchal beliefs and existence in over a thousand years. The men are responsible for the decision made and for earning livelihood. The women are mainly known for 2 major roles, as a mother and her reproductive ability within and outside of her home. Women empowerment is about raising the bar for women and raising her status through educational means .Poverty and gender stereotypes are the most challenging obstacles women face. Bounded with the belief that education is only for boys Education is a tool for the emancipation of empowerment of women .its stand as a bedrock of development to a woman or girls For example, the northern part of Nigeria have a lower percentage of women and girls in school. This is hugely covered by culture and religion where 65% of the children in school are boys. The northern part of Nigeria, mainly north-east, have had its share of low level of education in women and girls ,however an abrupt emergence of the “the association of the people of the sunna for proselytization and armed struggle “known as Boko haram further dismantled and crippled its educational struggle. Armed conflict in whatever capacity will have an adverse effect to children’s access to education. The abduction of 219 secondary school girls remains one of the most disheartening events in the north-east of Nigeria. And attendance in school has remained significantly low as parents keep their girls safe at home. The negative adverse of school dropout will affect the empowerment future of the girl child. UNICEF is examples of NGO who are helping young girls to stay in school.
The impact of religion in all spheres of our lives is evidently seen. A people’s perception of how they are shaped by their religion inwardly dictates the results or outcome in daily lives. Religion is seen a positive footing which set track in creating a viable environment, however a clear distinction in thought have clouded many. Religion in Africa and Asia has failed to distinguish the differences in religion and culture which have automatically set women to a failed zone. I am not sure I want to say religion and culture are the same .i believe each stand alone and have played a pivotal role in my life. Mixing religion, culture and tradition have only resulted in a massive misconception and adjustment when played in the empowerment life of woman. I believe the patriarchal norm goes hand in hand in culture as islam and Christianity does not marginalise women. The umpteenth time of breaking women will lead to poverty and an isolated world of suffering and grievances. Nigeria is one country that is heavily saddled with the practice of patriarchy, culture and tradition. At least I have been told as by one of brothers that the educational qualification of a woman is not as paramount as her being in her husband home .Saddled with all of these challenges in Nigeria, we have seen women riding on the horses back. They have set the pace for women in their fields such as Amina Mohammed (UN Deputy secretary General), Prof.Rukayat Rufai Alkali (former Minister of Education), Fatima Abass Hassan (Newscaster), Prof.Haiza Galadanchi (gynaecologist) .They have set the ground moving.
I will close by saying that Beijing Platform for Action draws attention that” Ensure women’s equal access to economic resources including credit ,vocational training ,markets as a means to further the advancement and empowerment of women girls including the enhancement of their capacities to enjoy benefits of equal access to these resources. Eradicating poverty can only be achieved with equal access to education and a minimal fixation on culture and religion must be achieved to enhance empowerment to women and girls .No woman wants to be subjected and swapped up in poverty, therefore, Government must take up spaces to erect developmental sectors for women to attain managerial positions.
Maryam Husain MaiBasira studied at the London Academic Business School Stratford, United kingdom and a Gender and Human with The Federation of International Gender and Advocate and Fellow human Rights (FIGHR) New York, and currently running a Master’s Degree in Gender Studies at the University of Abuja.