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All women should be teachers...!!???

I was on a commercial bus on my way from Lagos to Asaba with my husband when a heated discussion on women, marriage and the choice of a marriage partner broke up between a young woman and a fellow passenger. The discussion gradually escalated into a full scale argument on gender and the place of women in the home with other passengers joining in. My husband kept glancing at me with a smile, expecting me to join in the fray knowing of course how passionate I am about gender issues and gender equality; but for that day, I resolved to be a listener. My resolve was sorely tried however when I heard the statement "in fact, all women should be Teachers!! A woman's place is to take care of her home, her husband and children and she cannot do that if she has a job that is as demanding as her husband's work." He went on to say that it is education of women that is causing all the problems such agitations for gender equality and broken marriages today. Needless to say that at this point, the argument turned into a bloody verbal war with the weak at heart dropping by the wayside.

Don't get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with a woman being solely a teacher and housewife. Teaching is one of the most noble professions and the best teachers I had who impacted positively on my life were women. A woman can also choose to be a full time housewife if she wants and that is one of the most demanding jobs on God's earth!! ... oh and by the way, most of us manage to combine all that with our careers and still make both work.

To be frank, I was amazed that in this day and age, people still hold such archaic views and are not ashamed to say so in public. I felt sorry for the man's wife and daughters who will no doubt be unable to choose careers of their own or to reach their full potential and I continually thank God for having parents who taught me that I could be anything I want to be and a husband who supports me in every way possible to build my career. I look at all the women who have achieve tremendous feats in the world today and I wonder at the strength it took for them to reach such enviable heights in spite of all the obstacles.

For us to break out of the bounds placed on us by culture and socially ascribed roles, we need the support of our men. Men who are not afraid to have successful wives, men who understand that their daughters should have the same rights and opportunities as their sons, men who take pride in their wives and daughters achievements, men who understand that we will love, appreciate and respect them more for doing this.

We have the RIGHT to choose and we should have the opportunities to make that choice.

Comments

Greengirl's picture

I hope..........

I sincerely hope that many a man out there could real this piece. The issue with many men now a days is that they think women are out to dispossess them of their "powers" or may be even displace them. It takes a real man to understand that the clamour for gender equality is not an issue of women competing with men. I think they ought to reason it the other way round. Men need to begin to appreciate and celebrate women for even wanting to take on additional responsibilities upon themselves, outside traditional roles. It would make a world of difference if only a man can realize that by empowering his wife and or daughter, he is only securing his future, that of his generation and even his nation. I know we will win some day, we only need to do more by helping men understand that women are not in competition or contention with them.
Thank you for sharing.

Olanike

Akwugo's picture

Thanks for Your comments

Hello Olanike,

I appreciate your comments and I totally agree that we have to do more to sensitise the men especially in our cultural context. I also believe that we will win the battle because we are on the right track but its a grindingly slow process because it challenges ingrained norms and traditions that perpetuate inequality and discrimination. We definitely need more soldiers for the battle!!

Akwugo

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