AN OPINION BY NIGERIAN AUTHOR AMARA CHIDINMA EZEDINIRU
I know that women have always been supportive. From house chores to baby-making and to the farm or market, their contribution to our world is without an iota of doubt significant. Many accolades have gone before women eschewing the unquantifiable support and the stability their presence brings to the family and society at large.
Technically, I find women more productive than their counterparts. In the event of the death of a spouse, women hold up with little or no support. Most often, they lose title to family property to their in-laws. They are stripped of everything they acquired with their spouse.
In Nigeria, where there is no form of government support for citizens and the legal system is not only corrupt but also functions at snail speed, a woman sweats profusely, toiling day and night, being taken advantage of providing for her children. For a divorced woman, she has no form of child support. The courts may mandate it but the enforcement is not a winning one. Many women have gone berserk and even committed suicide out of frustration from lack and inadequacy. With all the efforts, women are reminded by the society that their struggles will be validated by another human. They are asked to find a father-figure for their children because they cannot be a man and a woman simultaneously. Their search for a father figure leaves them more vulnerable. They are at the mercy of those I consider their opponents though they ought to be complementary.
If only from time, women were allowed to function more at the fore instead of playing supporting roles on life’s beautiful stage. If they did, they would not only have given better results but also be more accommodating. Unfortunately, our society has conditioned them to also think they are not up to the task. Our women are playing the script letter for letter.
I think women should be in the lead all the time. Over time, they’ve proven capable. Apart from physical strength, is there any area they are unfit when matched with other humans?
What then is the reason for the paltry percentage accorded them in the boardroom? Many boardrooms today still consider it a privilege for a woman to be a part of it. To the boardrooms, women are enjoying a favour rubbing shoulders with men. They are to do certain kinds of work instead; supporting functions not lead roles. They advance all sorts of excuses to support the derogation and magnify her insufficiencies. It’s not their fault that they have to bear children, is it? This should not be used against them, should it? Can another human, the one who usurps headship look after the child so that her woman can get back to her desk?
It irks that today despite all the progress made in science, technology, and in all facets of life, some climes still hug this thought pattern tightly. While my patience for them may be increased considering their evolving nature, it is a complete zero for the acclaimed world powers.
I hope there will be a time when women sustain a hundred percent participation of any boardroom. Society has programmed them as second to others. Sadly, they are affected by the programming. They have little faith in their capability. To society, a working woman is wild, untamable. To me, a working woman is witty, winsome and wealthy
Amara Chidinma Ezediniru is a business administrator, human resource manager and a certified teacher. She is widely traveled, a compassionate Rotarian, an author of three books, and a mother. She is the managing consultant of Rald and Vid Consulting Ltd.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect The African‘s editorial policy.