by Omoigui Osasogie
For many years women have struggled to be heard and continue to fight for equality and respect in the society. The fact that she is female doesn’t mean she should have limited rights, it doesn’t mean she should be forced into an early marriage. The fact that she is called a woman doesn’t mean she should be called weak or seen as inferior. She has the right to equal pay and free wages; she has the right to own property and most importantly, the right to education.
In Nigeria, the gender equality bill was designed to stop the inhuman, humiliating treatment of women. The bill was introduced by Senator Abiodun Olujimi but did not pass second reading because it was rejected by the opponents and seen as an attack on religious belief and the Nigerian constitution. Many young girls have been forced into early marriage and denied the right to education. They are made to be submissive and subjected to oppression. In most families, the male is recognised compared to the female child. Apart from this, the girls are raised in a way that they forget the rights they are to enjoy as females. Women are seen as objects; for instance, a woman applies for a job and is judged by her physical appearance instead of what she has to offer intellectually.
In the northern part of Nigeria, it is normal to hear that a young girl is married. When the girl gets to a certain age she leaves the house to start a family of her own without any achievement. It destroys their self-confidence and self-worth in their career and other aspects of her adult life. With respect to holding high political offices, women are turned down in most countries. Therefore, men are being trained for leadership activities while women are trained to domestic activities. The amazing fact is that not just the men are against gender equality, women are also against it.
The support coming from women isn’t 100%, which might be based on their orientation. However, most people have different perceptions, cultural background and religious beliefs.
Women should enjoy equal rights and young girls should be able to stand with confidence with her male contemporaries. Empowering and educating the female child would help to make the world a much more developed place. Rather than living in a world whereby women face sexual harassment, injustice and inequality, a woman should be respected and allowed to voice out. Gender discrimination should be critically faced and challenged. A woman should not be limited; she should be heard and respected.
YNaija’s NEXT spotlights a more composite sampling of young Nigerians under the age of 24. We think this is a deeply important voice that is underserved and under-heard and whose narratives (mostly towards the dying years of military rule in Nigeria) must be heard, consistently. We call them the ‘authentic millennials’.”
Osagie enjoys copywriting and content marketing. She has keen interest in writing fashion and lifestyle topics.