A friend had asked me why young girls didn’t seem like they were interested in working or making a career for themselves, rather they were only interested in being dependent on some guy who was supposed to be a life saviour of some sort, and this gave me a lot to think and inadvertently write about.

Let us look at a typical Nigerian home. Parents would say to the guy “you have to learn to be responsible as one day you would have to provide for the needs of your family“. In other words, emphasis is placed on the fact that the male child needs to get a job, build a career so he can not only compete with other males in the society for the position of alpha male but also that he can cater for a family one day. This is not a bad thing at all. Now, let’s looks at how the girl child is raised. For the girl child, she is constantly reminded about how she needs to find a husband, how she needs to cook, clean because one day, she would be under a man.

Everything I have mentioned above is not bad but when do we cross the lines of gender roles to gender pressure? I am of the opinion that each gender should be allowed to be as fluid as they want. Too much pressure is put on men and too little push is given to our girls and you wonder why the girls do not want to strive hard to be the best they can be?

Let us cast our minds back to our families, as a girl-child when was the last time your parents asked you what your plans for after school life was? My heart even goes out to those ones whose parents just keep asking them to find a husband instead of encouraging them to start a business after two years of joblessness. We need to ask our parents what their priorities are. It is great to look forward to ones child’s wedding but have they bothered to ask how the new couple would feed after the wedding? Or are they breeding a situation where you keep coming to ask for loans from them in the nearest future?

Parents need to sit up and realize that while marriage is a great thing, we the new millennia do not regard it as an achievement because it does not put food on the table. What ensures provision in a family is employment and stability of both parents. So you may want to remind yourself of this when next you tell your girl-child to look for a man who would make all her troubles go away because there is no such man like that.


This article was written by Blessing Iyamadiken

Culled from Issue 17

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