The piece is centred on certain views to gender change but more importantly, motherhood. In beginning, your permission is sought for just a little detour before the main gist…
So, what does one say about them – women that is. They are indeed the essence of everything that the world is. It has been said that there is nothing new under the sun; everything has been done in one way or the other. In essence, there is no inventing the wheel no more; it is just modifications. This is true of women. To talk about the values of women would be to just babble and repeat clichés that have been used from time immemorial. Do we talk about their physical qualities? Lovely hazel eyes; face that shines like the moon; lovely physique; figure eight… Is it their persons? There are descriptions to almost all the ladies we can come across, descriptions that we might want to personalise but have been used over and again. These descriptions come in personages of others who have lived long and granted names to the whole group; there is the great sweet mother of eternity that each one of us professes; Jezebel; Delilah; Mary; … what description?
They are delicate and complicated, true talk. They are different; soft and gentle but in most cases getting all the sympathy. Reminds one of the case of the house where every night the wife would be shouting ‘You would kill me today, you would kill me today!! Ahh! Ahh!! Ahh!!’ In the end, the neighbours tired of the rant and hoping to rescue the lady on this night before her wicked husband killed her, broke the front door of the house which was locked. Behold, the woman was on top of the husband plummeting him with series of blows that would have gained her the heavy weight if she had decided to join the boxing profession. The amazed neighbours in the normal style of doing things, turned and left without helping the poor man who could hardly shout from the pain… So, forgetting the humour, we get to look at the fact that in man cases, when a man is involved in a case and it is the woman on top, he is left to suffer his fate…
Well, that is the case of gender equality. Gender equality has come to mean women getting equal rights in all situations as men and in some other cases, having more rights than them. It was employed in several sectors ranging from governance where there has been an increased call for more representation of these on boards of administration and governments. In Nigeria, President Jonathan promised that in his new government, there would be far more representation, has he lived up to his promise? You should know the answer. Then, there is the other aspect of women trying increasingly to become more like their male counterparts or even better…
What is wrong with all these? I don’t know. Perhaps, there is no wrong to it, perhaps there is. It must be noted that it is amazing to find great women of character and will. They sure can transform any place. Honestly, any lady who stands up and means it, somehow gets to be outstanding…meaning most ladies hardly fall into average – just greats or failures. The admiration of many for these sort of women is beyond compare.
More and more, the number of professional women rises to the detriment of even mere mothers. The world seems to be losing so many mothers and getting by this extension, many way-ward children. The main compensation these women would give would be to simply give treats of hang-outs and the like to their children or something of the sort. Now, in saying this, one is not unmindful of the exceptional few who find a balance – they are to be praised! But there is the increasing number of women losing themselves and being to become more like men and less than themselves…
One problem rises though, what happens when our women totally lose themselves? Gender roles would naturally attribute mothering and such to women. What happens when they neglect this role and leave it all to some paid or gotten assistant or in some situations, fathers? Hmm, it could be terrible many times. So, what are we driving at? It is good that women are striving to be greater; it is good that they are being given all the attention they are given… but it would be better if they remembered one of their primary roles which is the home or to be more particular, their children. Experience has shown that children who have more care from their mothers turn out to be greater than those who didn’t. By this care now, the watchword is not to spoil but rather to pay closer attention to one’s children. It is the greatest thing that a lady can do.
Forgetting all the attention given to women, or the strives at gender equality and all, the true essence of a woman – and now, we are looking at mothers – is mainly how and what her children would come to be. This is what distinguishes the mother from the father. True, the father is needed to make things right and to give the firm position but the essence of the mother cannot and should not be mistaken or underestimated.
It brings to mind the words of a great lady, Hembadoon Angela Itakpe, ‘A strong successful woman is not one that has built a career only but one that built her home alongside it. Not an easy balance, but we can try. Many times, you will seem to b running one side of this equation only. I guess the main thing there is realising it & trying 2 pull the neglected part back into orbit.’
It is only right to salute all the strong women of the world for their strength and for everything they stand for. It is possible that this piece might have been a bit back and forth but it’s main essence is a call to mind of the changing values of time and the evolving lady who strives to make the world better and more importantly, those mothers out there… There is the plea at the end here now that mothers find time to be mothers for therein would the world get better…
In closing, this piece and indeed my being for this month is dedicated to those professional mothers; whether selling akara or working as a Manager somewhere; shuffling between different jobs; or even struggling with school, exams or doing any other business and finding time to get back to the children. They are indeed miracles that nothing can explain. They are indeed the greatest. No gender equality or comparison can ever be used to measure their worth or put them in a state that would be as just and right as most feminists or others would want. These are the angels that we can’t do without. Thanks for every effort, every tear, every worry and every sacrifice… May the world and even whatever world after they believe in or not, bless their every effort and give them the reward that they truly deserve.
And to us all else, God bless. Amen.
(First Published: 22nd October, 2011 HERE)
- A Rise in Female Breadwinners Does Not Mean Gender Equality Is Inevitable (theatlantic.com)
- New reforms to tackle gender inequality (bigpondnews.com)
- The struggle for gender equality (lucetteeastbourne.wordpress.com)
- Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner: The Elephant in the Living Room (huffingtonpost.com)
- Sexism, misogyny, gender equality: what does it all mean? (teamoyeniyi.com)
- Five minutes on the bible and gender equality (christthetruth.wordpress.com)
- Women’s economic empowerment offers a win-win scenario | Naila Kabeer (guardian.co.uk)