In most developed countries, it is an offence for a man to stand by the roadside to urinate. In America and the United Kingdom, he would be arrested for indecent exposure among other charges. It is not viewed as an offence in Nigeria. Some men step out of facilities where such amenities have been provided and still urinate by the roadside and no one makes a big deal of it. It becomes an issue when a woman does the same; there is no law against it but the kind of looks she would be given would make her know that she had done the abominable.
There are many other practices that men get involved in which are not welcome or acceptable but they get away with it because they are men while women will be harshly criticized and condemned for even suggesting to attempt to do the same thing. In the misguided belief that men and women are equal and the same, many women put themselves in a position where men employ other women to vilify them and in some very bad cases ostracize them from the community where they belong. In the end, many of such women are forced out of circulation, into exile in foreign lands as they are labeled with names that are too horrible for printing. If it would end at that, it may be endurable but it does not as families and friends are involved in the black-listing.
It is always a thing of joy to see Nigerian women advancing for professional and political recognition. We like to celebrate them as heroines who dared to excel where others fainted at the thought of contending in fields that are ordinarily reserved for men. In the euphoria of achievement, it is absolutely essential that women recognize the need for integrity and adhere strictly to being of an impeccable character. Not even the smallest stain will be overlooked as many people already believe that women are not fit for any position other than wife, mother, sister and maybe confidante. In too many instances, people have shown that they do not take women seriously.
Thankfully, social media allows this line of musing and on attaining the celebrity status most Nigerian women forget the attitude of many people (including women) towards women. It must never be forgotten at any time that people do not take women seriously and by virtue of the fact that women cannot get away with the same things that men get away with, women must always raise the standards and be several steps ahead. Yes, women must at all times have it at the back of their minds that they have a point to prove and not that they have a score to settle.
In every area of life, be it relationships, finance and personal health, women must address issues with purpose and tact bearing in mind that some people have already condemned them to the position of people who never do well. Traditional Africans begin to trust and reckon with women only after they have crossed child bearing age, the implication is that they are believed not be easily swayed by the wiles and emotional deceitful tendencies of males. Only then are they allowed to participate in government and certain secret societies.
From the earliest days of childhood, the female must learn the benefits in integrity as the only means by which she will be reckoned with early in life or she will have to wait til the ripe old age if she is so blessed.
The Nigerian everyday life showcases women who have lived and worked hard using the very high principles of integrity to attain success so it is not as if it is not possible. We have had great women who have been admired and honoured for their integrity as they lived a life free of controversy; we still have one or two of them in this generation of Nigerian women.
All Nigeria women taking the short cut approach to excellence will do well to begin to change their approach in view of the impending and inevitable fall. It is always agonizing to witness the fall of Nigerian women from high office as we have in the last few years.
GOD bless Nigeria.
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