“The role or rights of women in any society depend on the status accorded them by that society.” (UNECA, 1979).
Where do we start from to talk about the ‘very many’ women who have pushed through boundaries and set aside the medieval beliefs that women should only be seen not heard? Do we categorize them accordingly and regret later that we left out too many? Well, Nigeria’s top-class live TV show, Rubbin’ Minds did a great job, listing great women whose prints will remain in time; and who lead the way in their various endeavours. You can say they represent the other women who have (are) painting their names in halls of fame.
Rubbin’ Minds, alongside Nigeria’s family tea brand, Lipton, brought life to the powerful women special series all through March, with the final episode set to air on Sunday, March 29. What would you miss if you don’t watch this series?
You would not get to see Bolanle Austen-Peters saying feminism is “letting her be” whoever she wants to be – no holds barred. And so, when you see that Bolanle is a businesswoman, lawyer, award-winning film and theatre director, and is the founder and managing director of Terra Kulture, you already understand that gender should not determine success, and success itself should not be held back.
What about Hajiyya Aisha Ummi Garba El-Rufai enlightening us on the importance of sex education; especially in a global space where morality is but a word? The wife of the governor of Kaduna, Nasir El-Rufai, says she is satisfied with the efforts made to make sure women are given their deserved rights, the society is male-dominated – and that’s a major problem.
The excitement to have women talk about themselves and their experiences also led Rubbin’ Minds and Lipton to feature the talented actor – Sola Sobowale. For someone who has been around in the world for a while and as a veteran actor, you cannot but listen to her reminding us that originality is lacking in everything Nigerian. ‘We have almost lost our local languages and the parental care that’s necessary for the proper upbringing of a child.’ She says, “women need to sit up…make the home a priority.”
How about listening to the co-founder of Transparency International and a former minister, Oby Ezekwesili tells us why we should look at a baby girl as someone who has all the faculties to lead. “If you look at the gap in our economic progress as a continent, it is almost the same as the gap in gender parity.” So women should not be excluded from socio-economic and political opportunities.
It is in this light that Florence Ita-Giwa, a Nigerian politician, Senator and a human rights advocate explains to us how she was able to rise to high-ranking positions in Nigeria. “For me, this country belongs to all of us. It is about being strong and firm, and standing up to ask for space to do anything…women must conquer fear.”
Betty Irabor, a Nigerian columnist, philanthropist, writer, publisher and founder of Genevieve magazine, who also featured on the series told us how she became an aunty to the nation. “It was pretty much easier for people to refer to me as aunty because I relate well with people of the younger generation because I believe we can learn from each other.” She says she started Genevieve Magazine to represent the women, empower and connect with women. Like the other women, she said so much more.
For Oyeyimika Adeboye, there should not be a case of walking into a place and doing something in a particular way considering gender. She has risen to be the Managing Director of Cadbury Nigeria Plc and believes she was not considered based on gender but because of the work she has put in. “Be yourself,” she says.
The top-class musician, Salawa Abeni (Queen of Waka) was also there to show us her singing prowess. You will love this one. She said the loss of her son caused a huge setback in her career but she found her voice and moved on from it.
Dr Ajoritsedere Awosika, an accomplished administrator with over three decades’ experience in public sector governance and now Chairman of Access Bank Plc, and Joke Bakare, the ‘Medplus boss’ were also on board to share their stories and their views on womanhood and feminism.
You cannot be more excited that the family tea brand, Lipton, who do not fail to support the efforts of women towards becoming special, powered this special series by Rubbin’ Minds.
Women are equal and they must be celebrated too!