I was in a public bus some few days ago, a woman in here mid 50’s was sitting by the door, which was widely open. I’m sure you are familiar with this typical Nigeria scenario. A young man in his 20’s was sitting beside the woman. The driver looked back and ask the young man to go sit by the door, so that the woman can move inward, and of course, be safer. The young man politely obliged. This is just one of the many scenarios that pictured one of the underlying cultural basis we have in Africa. Despite the wide age difference between the woman and the young man, the young man was still considered to be emotionally and functionally stronger, by the driver and so should sit adjacent to the widely open door. Gender-based differences have stirred up interesting discussions over the last few years, and it’s definitely going to shape the future of work.
It is very important to note that cultural undertone is a very imperative component that must be factored in every decision making process from government to business, education, and so on. Let’s delve into gender equality a little bit. Over the century, the female folks have been considered in some culture to be of less functional importance and that the man is in a better position to shoulder key responsibilities of the society. This has degenerated and denigrated largely into female’s perceived and actual non-functionality, and over time, some occupation has shown this in reality. Take for instance, in the engineering professions, you will hardly find females in hard engineering duties like civil, mechanical and electrical engineering. You will rather find them in soft engineering disciplines like software, process, electronics and biochemical engineering. This reverberative phenomena can easily be traced to the meagre capabilities that have been accrued to them, not by themselves, but by the society over the decades. This societal adjudication of their capacity has led to a wide belief of their large incompetence, which in many cases, the females themselves, have to settle down with this. Will this continue to be the case? Does there seem to be a way out?
Light is the only thing that dispel darkness. Education remains the only source of light, to open up the crippled mind to new realities. As more females continue to have access to good and quality educated unlike the past, they will gradually come into the realization of the immense and inexhaustible capabilities encapsulated inside of their being. This is the only traction-board for the cerebral mind to re-orientate and re-organize itself away from what the society has crafted it to be into an archetypal of courageous positivity. Females will soon come to the standings that just like their male counterparts, they can also embrace the challenge to take up functional responsibilities, and even handle it better. This is not going to happen overnight. It will requires conscious and deliberate exertions to liquefy challenges, and hard-breaking psychometric and cognitive tasks. With many developmental efforts across the globe, targeted at encouraging females’ participation, the tide will definitely change in coming years.
According to a 2015 International Monetary Fund study, removing barriers to women’s entrepreneurship and professional development could boost economic development significantly. This and other research suggest that women entrepreneurs invest up to 90 percent of every dollar earned back into their families to educate their children, improve family health and provide better nutrition. The additional income produced by a business strengthens a family’s financial security.
Are there women that are passionate about changing the world, about making a difference in their society? Yes, they abound in their numbers. If you are not part, take up the challenge today, and be remembered for it.
This piece was written by Durotoluwa Olumide from Osun state. He offers advisory services on innovation, business strategies and developmental issues. You can contact him directly via: firstname.lastname@example.org