Opinion: How African parents teach girls to be gender slaves

by Nimi Princewill

African parenting culture doesn’t exactly seem to be bosom friends with the feminine gender.

A girl child in Africa is widely considered a future property of her potential suitor, so the need to prepare her (at least marketable enough) for marriage, becomes inherent!

Let’s tarry a bit on gender responsibility, as required by the average African society.

A man is often regarded as the sole administrator of the home, who’s revered and religiously served by his wife. Little wonder, he’s saddled with the huge responsibility of providing satisfactorily for his household (whether in a financially favourable time, or a toxic economy).

On the other hand, the traditionally female line of work for women in many parts of Africa cuts across:
• Acquiring a reasonable level of formal education
• Committing wholly to the hunt for a husband (either physically/spiritually)
• Speedily bearing his children
• Raising the kids, and promptly attending to the scary heap of domestic chores all in quick succession, in a way that’s unarguably considered ‘hard-working and efficient!’

Any other duty performed by an African woman (such as pursuing a career or nursing a day job) is perceived as complimentary or surplus to requirements (depending on the rational level of her husband).

Meeting up with these huge marital demands to prove to society that a female is capable and ‘marriageable’, requires quite a rigorous parental upbringing. Any doubts to the length an African parent can go towards achieving this?

Gender slavery is first learned at home before it undergoes transition into marriage. A female is constantly reminded of her future wifely roles of serving her husband, so no trait of ‘laziness’ is tolerated by her parents, as she’s regularly yanked off the bed (earlier than normal), while the males are permitted to get some more sleeping time.

A female is intensely taught to multitask heavily with chores, while males are mostly excused. The females are motivated with statements like: “You have to learn to do all of these as a woman, so you can be useful in your husband’s house!” Really???
I guess this has prompted a high demand for the very few males who can come correct on a meal they prepared themselves!

African parents, absolutely require a new wave of enlightenment against gender discrimination. There’s a lot more to a female than solely being of sexual/domestic service to her husband.

The male and female, should be trained accordingly, and incorporated into domestic chores, such that, both are accustomed to lending a helping hand, and it doesn’t turn out weird when an ‘African Married Man’ decides to take out the thrash and wipe the dishes, while his wife changes the baby’s diaper (which by the way, stinks to the high heavens!)

Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija

Bio: Nimi Princewill is a Nigerian writer, poet and social reformer. He’s very passionate about social reformation and the political development of Africa. He’s most notable for his unconventional opinions on issues that cut across religion, sports, social lifestyle and politics. He [email protected]_nimi

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