[Opinion] Inspiring the Empowered Nigerian Woman

If you offer a woman a professional management opportunity or promotion-this is not mere speculation- the first thing they do is produce a long list of pros and cons; “What do I do with child care? I must go and tell my husband.” If you offer it to a guy, he’ll just say:”Well thank you very much. I’ll do the best I can.” The reason is obvious. Men are more inspired than Women.
Apart from the unfortunate fact that the younger generations of Nigerian women do not fully understand or determine their roles in the society, there is an underlying cultural bias against women. Recently, there is a rapid progress in the closure of gender gap in the educative level. Women dominate today’s colleges and professional schools – for every two men who will receive a B.A this year, three women will do the same.
The difference is this: The woman acquires her degree, gets a decent job and in a typical Nigerian setting bags a husband and kids. Her dreams end there. Most even drop out of the job in response to the wish of their spouses. The man on the other hand, continues up the economic and financial ladder irrespective of his obligations until he assumes a leadership position. The more reason why Nigerian women are mostly empowered but hardly inspired.
Given the fact that the modern Nigerian woman do not have audacity and liberation of her western counterparts to put off child bearing for as long as she wants, she finds herself in the threshold of shunting between a precarious household and a demanding job position. The majority of Nigerian women who compromise their dreams for mediocrity and a low paying job in the bid to devise time for their domestic responsibilities are amongst some of the reasons, the economy maintains a statutory melt down.
Previously it was believed women in Nigeria were not empowered hence the clamor and implementation of various empowerment programs for the Nigerian woman. The new age woman has a different dilemma: The problem of inspiration. How can the contemporary Nigerian woman get inspired to achieve greater heights amidst the challenges of a rigorous domestic setting and cultural obligations demanded of her?
First, she must inspire herself. She should see herself mainly as an individual and secondarily as a wife or mother. She should aspire and carry out her goals irrespective of her native responsibilities. This is where the society comes into play. Rather than over stuff the already over worked male force with arduous responsibilities, government and private companies should scout out women with good prospects and remarkable talents. Policies that are disadvantageous and encourage gender gap in the work place should be abolished. This includes the issue of marriage and pregnancy restrictions imposed on the contemporary career woman. More women should be appointed CEO of companies.
One remarkable change however in Inspiring today’s woman would be the accommodation and utility of a fully equipped child care and after-school center, within company and government premises to encourage talented women with babies and minors to resume official duties and minimize distractions as early as possible. It is a good business decision to incorporate diversity and innovation to the workplace. A necessary gap which can be filled by more women, if we are to move forward.
Susan Uchenna


  1. Are the private child care centers run by schools not enough for women? Why must women always raise issues that are not beneficial to the public?


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