by FiyinfOlu Falodun
Women have been making ground breaking changes in the world, however, patriarchy is dominant in the world we live in today, no matter the tag of ‘developed’, ‘developing’ or ‘underdeveloped’ attached to the region. The degree of influence only varies. Let’s consider our part of the world, Africa. Two children are born the same day. One is male, the other female. Their mothers are next door neighbours. While the female grows doing all the domestic chores, the boy is out playing with his friends or in, playing with his toys. The unwritten code is that the female is only useful domestically.
Envelopes are being pushed, in this same region. Glass ceilings are shattering everywhere. The womenfolk are challenging stereotypes and making waves, not only in areas and industries thought to be women oriented, but also in male dominated sectors.
Look at politics. As at January 2017, Rwanda is the only country in the world, which currently has the most women in its parliament. In its eighty seat lower house, women occupy forty-nine, while its twenty-six seat upper house has ten of those being occupied by women. Current news from the aviation industry warms the heart. Adeola Sowemimo recently made history as she became the first Nigerian female pilot hired by Qatar Airways. She is one of the many success stories of women in aviation.
In 2018, Abisoye Ajayi-Akinfolarin was named CNN Hero of the year for her amazing work with young girls in the world of coding. Karo Omu successfully pushed the drive to provide free sanitary pads to about ten thousand girls and women in 2018. Kemi Adetiba has become a household name, bringing delight to movie lovers in Nigeria and beyond our shores. Her blockbuster movie of 2016, The Wedding Party made history as the highest grossing movie of all time. I have not even scratched the surface of the many successes women are recording in our clime and beyond it.
We are in times when we need to balance our gender ecosystem. It has become obvious that the world is not only run by one gender anymore. Sound, intelligent female minds are inventing, providing solutions to problems, moving and shaking industries and still holding down families, where they choose to. In our microcosm, can we start with more female participation in politics? It’s dismal that the Nigerian eighth National Assembly has only twenty-nine female members. Of the hundred and nine members in the senate, seven are women. The three hundred and sixty member House of Representatives has only twenty-two females. We need to up the ante. The time is now for us to start giving equal education, political, financial, indeed, all support, to both the male and female folk. The narrative we’ve been propagating was conceived by some minds, it’s time to rewrite a new narrative. It’s time to pass on to the next generation that no gender is superior to the other. It’s time the same level playing field is presented to every gender, for each to attain their maximum potentials and give the beautiful gift of the required balance to our world.
So to all the women out there working hard, to all the women who live their truth and to all the women who keep fighting for our voices to be heard; Thank you very much. Happy International Women’s Day to you.
Photocred: UN Women