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Women In Their Appropriate Place: The Only Road

Will African countries ever develop? Will the continent ever experience the kind of developments attained in the Western world? When a child is born, the expectation of the parents is that the child will grow everyday and at a time reach maturity. Africa refuses to leave its infant stage even after many years of its birth. Why? It is simply because the only road to its development has either been abandoned or left not plied.

The former World Bank president, James Wolfensohn once commented that “empowerment of women is the secret weapon of the development in Africa. The problem is you (men) beat them up. Gender violence has got to stop.” The implication of this is that the major cause of African underdevelopment is traceable to disrespect for, enslavement, oppression, and disempowerment of women. Africa therefore needs to address these issues without delay if the continent will ever attain maturity.

Women, when their husbands are not beating them black and blue and subjecting them to a life of psychological trauma, are made victims of ritual killings. Out of every ten cases of ritual killings, women would be eight. The problem of restriction of movement is there for fear of sexual violence and abuse. In every hundred cases of human trafficking, women would constitute ninety percent.

The International Centre for Migration Policy in Vienna conservatively estimated the number of people smuggled into European countries each year at 400,000 and the majority of them are girls. There are many mushroom hotels in Nigeria where several women are exploited sexually in exchange for stipends just because of the high level of poverty in the country.

Implement to the letter the Sexual and Reproductive Rights based on International treaties and Conventions. Some of these Rights are Right to life, Right to be free from torture and ill treatment, Right to information and education, Right to equality and no discrimination of any sort, Right to choose whether or not to marry and whether or not to have children and many others. Sex education should be introduced to the school curriculum of all the African countries and pregnant girls should always be allowed back to school after delivery to continue their education, adoption should be promoted and men and women should be educated from time to time on sexual and other violence.

The equal representation of women in politics and leadership is becoming more and more difficult because of the stereotypical attitudes towards the gender role of men and women, in the whole of Africa where we have 53 countries and 53 Heads of state, only one is a woman, the President of Liberia. In Nigeria where women make up 45% of the population, according to the last population census, we have never had a woman governor not to talk of having a woman president in the country. In the Senate and the House of Representatives, women are so few that it is like they are not there at all.

Researches conducted into the trends of female enrolment and academic employment in Nigerian universities showed 29.9% of female enrolment as at 1998. It was recorded across the nation’s universities academic staff that an average of 13.7% was women at the senior level. It is even as low as 2.9% in some universities. As at the year 2002, only 4.6% of the academic staff of 23 universities was female professors. It was observed that eight (8) of those universities sampled had no female professor at all. As at 2007/08 in Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, 17% of the academic staff are females with only 13 female professors out of 192 professors.

Women are not given chance to contribute their quota to the development of the continent. They always constitute the minority in the midst of men where they will have little or no impact at all. On few occasions when women are given the opportunity to contribute to the development of Nigeria, they performed tremendously well. There is the example of Professor Dora Akunyili who headed the National Agency for Food and Drug Control (NAFDAC) for many years. It was during her tenure that Nigeria was able to tackle the menace of fake drugs. Also Dr Ngozi Okonjo Nweala, former Minister of Finance during President Obasanjo’s regime, Nigeria was able to settle most of her foreign debt burden during her tenure.

Women is the heart of every nation, continent and even the world. In a situation where by the heart is not functioning well, it means the nation, or continent is diseased or dead. Little wonder Africa remains an imbecile child, a child that refuses to grow despite the age and the availability of abundant natural resources. African leaders need to retrace their steps to ply the only road to fulfilling the destiny of the continent. Poverty issue is to be addressed with all seriousness, the stereotypical attitude of gender roles of men and women must stop, women to be empowered, respected, and put in their appropriate place beside the men to work together for the development of the continent.

This article is part of a writing assignment for Voices of Our Future, which is providing rigorous web 2.0 and new media training for 31 emerging women leaders. We are speaking out for social change from some of the most forgotten corners of the world. Meet Us.

Comments

Dando's picture

Hi Dear!

I like the topic you choose and your style of writing.
nice work and keep it up!

with lots of Love
Dando

busayo's picture

Thanks dando

Hi Dando,
Thanks dando for your encouragement. I really appreciate it.

Love
Busayo

Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria
busobisaki@yahoo.com
womeninspirationcenter@gmail.com
http://womeninspirationce.wix.com/widcng

Hi Busayo,

This Op-Ed reads as your manifesto, your cry to Nigeria, to Africa and to the world - to wake up and realize that beating our women, raping our women, selling our women, keeping our women at home, leaving our women out of politics and political positions and the overall oppression of women has to stop... NOW! I stand behind you 100%!

Love,
Jade

busayo's picture

Yes, That is What We Are saying

Hi Jade,
Yes this what we are saying, that women should be given the chance to occupy their rightful position to contribute our quota to the development of our country, Africa and the World at large.NOW is the time. Thanks for your 100% support.

Hugs
Busayo

Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria
busobisaki@yahoo.com
womeninspirationcenter@gmail.com
http://womeninspirationce.wix.com/widcng

Halima Mohamed Abdel rahman's picture

Hi Busayo, I enjoyed reading

Hi Busayo,

I enjoyed reading your great Op Ed and your style, enthusiasm and call for equality. As African, I believe that although the road is till long and that many obstacles lie ahead, we will reach our goals one day...Never lose this enthusiasm and be confident in TOMORROW.

Love,

Halima

busayo's picture

Amen.

Hi Halima,
Amen, yes we will surely get there one day by God's grace despite the so many obstacles ahead. Thanks for your encouragement and i will remain confident.

Hugs
Busayo

Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria
busobisaki@yahoo.com
womeninspirationcenter@gmail.com
http://womeninspirationce.wix.com/widcng

olutosin's picture

Well Done Sister

I have joined the queue sister, it is high time we took our place and the time is now. Love your piece sis.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

https:

busayo's picture

Thanks dear sister

Hi Tosin,
Thanks my dear sister for your encouragement. We will take our place God helping us and development will come to Africa.

Love
Busayo

Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria
busobisaki@yahoo.com
womeninspirationcenter@gmail.com
http://womeninspirationce.wix.com/widcng

malayapinas's picture

African women will rise

Hi! I've been reading your posts eversince, and I admired the power in you! Surely, African women will develop and will be free . The power of the African people are felt all over the world. Keep up the spirit!

much love,
malaya

busayo's picture

Yes, we will rise

Hi malaya,
Thanks malaya for your amiration. I also believe that Africa women will surely develop and be free. Thanks for lifting the spirit in me.

Love
Busayo

Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria
busobisaki@yahoo.com
womeninspirationcenter@gmail.com
http://womeninspirationce.wix.com/widcng

Nusrat Ara's picture

Well done. The discrimination

Well done. The discrimination on the basis of gender has to stop.

Love

Nusrat

busayo's picture

Yes, Thank you

Thanks Nusrat, yes the descrimination got to stop. We will not keep quiet until it stops.

Hugs
Busayo

Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria
busobisaki@yahoo.com
womeninspirationcenter@gmail.com
http://womeninspirationce.wix.com/widcng

Hie
Well done. I also think that African leaders should be committed to upholding the many Charters and Protocols they sign. Perhaps, the road to development will be clearer.

Gertrude.

busayo's picture

Yes, you are right

Hi Gerty,
You are right, African leaders must be committed, reliable and responsible. I quite agree with you, thanks

Love
Busayo

Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria
busobisaki@yahoo.com
womeninspirationcenter@gmail.com
http://womeninspirationce.wix.com/widcng

michellee's picture

thank you

Thank you for writing this powerful article. Even in the US, there are only 17 women senators out of 100. We know the huge effect that empowering women can have, we just have to keep working at it.

Michelle
World Pulse Technology Associate

busayo's picture

Yes, we will not stop

Yes, Michellee we will not stop working and we wil not keep quiet, we will continue to drum it to their ears untill they listen to us and we are put in our appropriate place where God who created us and know that we are important for His world want us to be.

Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria
busobisaki@yahoo.com
womeninspirationcenter@gmail.com
http://womeninspirationce.wix.com/widcng

Amy Lombardo's picture

A Passionate Leader

Busayo:

The piece came out lovely. You are a very passionate leader, and I could even see you giving a speech about this very topic and lighting up the audience with your enthusiasm. I love the image of women as the heart of Africa, and if the heart is not being taken care of, then the whole system will fail. You help bring voice to so many women who are not able to speak for themselves yet because the terrible positions of oppression they are in. With you as a leader in your community, I am confident that it's only a matter of time before you have a team of people behind you supporting you in this mission to stop the violence and have equality now. Well done my friend. Well done!

In peace,

Amy

busayo's picture

Well done too dear mentor

Amy,
I am saying welldone to you too, without your love and encouragement i wouldnt have been able to do this. you kept on cheering me on that i can do it and to the Glory of God it is happennning, thank you very much. Infact the community knows me now as a woman right activist because i raise my voice at every opportunity even in the church, i am not keeping quiet. I just pray the Women Inspiration Center will be a reality.
Thanks and welldone.

Love
Busayo

Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria
busobisaki@yahoo.com
womeninspirationcenter@gmail.com
http://womeninspirationce.wix.com/widcng

jodelight's picture

power

Wow!
Your article has created a stir in the PulseWire community that will spill over into our daily lives. Your words are mighty! Keep writing, keep acting, keep stirring the pot of change. I join you in the action.

together!
Jody

busayo's picture

Really!

Hi Jody,
Thanks for joining me in this action. I am happy and excited that lives are being touched. Thanks again for your encouragement

Hugs
Busayo

Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria
busobisaki@yahoo.com
womeninspirationcenter@gmail.com
http://womeninspirationce.wix.com/widcng

Dando's picture

Congratulation Busayo!

you really did a wonderful Job on your Oped and you deserve it.

May God continue blessing you.

Love You!

with Love.

Dando

busayo's picture

Thank you dear sister

Iam so happy for this, thank you very much.

Love you too
Busayo

Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria
busobisaki@yahoo.com
womeninspirationcenter@gmail.com
http://womeninspirationce.wix.com/widcng

Busayo,

Your well of compassion, sense of justice, and clarity are deep and well spoken.
With abuse widespread and terror rampant, you are an example of speaking truth and forging new ground.
The ground is shaking...you shake it and we stand with you.

Your voice cries out for the African continent- we hear you. Thank you for your wisdom, dedication, and tenacity. We all benefit from your voice and feel moved by your strength.

Love,
Laura

busayo's picture

I am overwelmed

Laura,
In fact, i don't know what to say because i am overwelmed. thank you very much for this encouragement
It keeps me going.

Love you
Busayo

Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria
busobisaki@yahoo.com
womeninspirationcenter@gmail.com
http://womeninspirationce.wix.com/widcng

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