Every 8th of March is World’s Women’s Day all over the world. This is in recognition of the vital roles women play in society.
Definition- Who is a woman after all? Every human being living or dead were born of a woman whether by natural birth or via caesarian operation or another medical device. A woman, according to The New Lexicon Webster’s Dictionary of the English Language, describes a woman as ‘’an adult female human being’’.
Without any modicum of doubt or contradiction, a woman is a woman all over the world whether black, white, or albino, because they have the same features or body components.
Importance of Women
In this piece, I want to eulogize women all over the world and also try to encourage them in their good works and ask them to do more. I am referring to the virtuous women who have been focused, loyal, and transforming lives right from their homes down to society in general.
A writer once said, ’’Reverence is one of the signs of strength; irreverence one of the surest indications of weakness. No man will rise high who jeers at sacred things. The fine loyalties of life must be reverenced or they will be foresworn in the day of trial’’. Women are to be revered.
A virtuous woman in her home is patient, caring, understanding, and full of love; not only to her husband but also to the children. She works around the clocks with a determined mind for her home to be successful and to challenge every challenger in her home.
- Vessel to Bring Forth Children
As a mother, she’s divinely vested with the role or responsibility of bearing children and training such children with the cooperation and assistance of her spouse. She stays mostly with the children at the formative stage, molding their habits to suit society’s expectations; this is what makes her happy. She trains these children to be happy, honest, orderly, industrious, and painstaking; and leads them to have a vision of their purpose in life through regular counseling and the word of God, in order not to become a caricature of what God had ordained them to become in life. She also disciplines them as appropriate (most men are weak at disciplining their children and some could be too extreme)
- Teacher of Teachers
Mothers are the first teachers of children they give birth to before such children are enrolled in the formal education system. No wonder the saying ’’charity begins from home. These children may later become teachers in higher institutions of learning teaching other children.
I recollect vividly my own mother of blessed memory; she was the one who groomed one of my cousins living with her the rudiments of elementary school even before the boy was enrolled in school. All the aspects of the alphabet, multiplication tables, and English dictation were taken over by her just to prepare the boy for formal education. This was before the advent of Nursery Schools as we have today. That young boy of yesterday has now grown to become a responsible professional affecting lives in his domain.
A woman is a good manager of finances and does it judiciously; whatever is given to her by the husband as home keep allowance is tailored towards the budget of the home and supports the husband if she has a secular job as a salary earner or businesswoman.
As a virtuous woman, she’s the first one to wake in the morning to cook for the family and prepares children for school. She’s concerned with the children and sympathizes with them, knowing their vulnerabilities.
As an administrator, a woman balances her home fronts chores, taking good care of her husband, and reduces stress as much as possible for her husband, to allow peace in her home. She submits to her husband, not as a weakling but as one of her roles to sustain her family.
Women in the Society
There is no gainsaying that women are great performers in society. From time immemorial, despite the hard and uncooperative environments, they may find themselves, subject to discrimination, women still contribute to have their say or make an impact in our societies. If she’s permitted by her husband, she could be employed in an organization and become the head of such an organization, launch various programmes in any society she may belong. She may take interest in literacy campaigns, education for the aged or disadvantaged girls to mention a few. Mention could be made here of ‘’Better Life for Rural Women ‘’ launched and executed by the late wife of the ex-military President Ibrahim Babangida in Nigeria. That programme went to every rural and urban area in the country empowering the less privileged women in various vocations. Women have caused a great stir to raise the society as a challenge to their traditional roles of ‘meant only for the kitchen’. Women’s positive impact is also felt in Churches and Mosques to educate the youths and men and assist men to fulfill their roles in the house of God.
Notable Women Remembered With Nostalgia
Women have been movers and shakers of the world both economically, politically, and spiritually. Suffice to say that the list is inexhaustible but to just mention a few, internationally and locally:
- Mother Theresa- Her slogan was ‘’love begins at home’’. She was a Roman Catholic Nun and famous for her work among the poor. She won the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1974.
- Indira Gandhi- Famous for her usual speech’’ Women’s education is almost more important than the education of boys and men’’. Indira Gandhi was India’s first female leader. Nationalization of India’s Banks- a programme for self-sufficiency and environmental policies contributed to her popularity. She was an accomplished politician who was later elected President in 1959
- Shirley Chisholm-Also famous for her speech’’ I have been far oftener discriminated against because I am a woman than because I am black’’. She debated vigorously for black minority rights. She was the first African-American woman to seek nomination for the presidency. Although unsuccessful, she remained undeterred and was politically active, especially speaking out for women’s rights, and served on the Advisory Council of National Organization for women and on the National Political Congress of Black women. She died on New Year’s Day 2005.
- Olufunmilayo Ransome- Kuti- She was a strong force to be reckoned with when talking about women’s rights and politics in Nigeria. It was recorded that she was the first woman to drive a motor car in Nigeria, even when women of her status were denied this in other countries of the world.
- Dora Ikem Akunyili- She was a pharmacist and former Minister for Information under Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration. Professor Dora Akunyile gained international recognition and won several awards for her work in pharmacology and public health. The last position she occupied before her demise was the Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) during which she waged a relentless war against fake and sub-standard drugs. Before her death, she championed a project’’ Rebranding Nigeria’’.
- Abike Dabiri-Erewa- Honourable Abike Dabiri has been an ambassador of the journalism profession and has also utilized every opportunity she has to canvass for better conditions of service for the Nigerian journalists. At present, she’s known as ‘MAMA DIASPORA’, because of her functions and appointment as the one in charge of the welfare of Nigerians in the Diaspora. She was one of the strongest advocates of the Freedom of Information Bill before it was passed into law.
- Franca Afegbua-She etched her name in the national consciousness when she was elected to the senate in 19 83 to become the first female to be elected senator not only in Nigeria but also in the entire back race in the old Bendel State.
- Amina Az-Zubair- She was the former Senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). She was a partner in Afri-Project Consortium, which designed a framework for the petroleum Trust Fund in the 90s. She was also part of the team that designed a mechanism on how to spend the gains of Debt Relief which the country acquired in 2005 for poverty-related programmes. She’s also an adviser to Bill Gates Foundation. At present, she’s the Deputy Secretary-General to the United Nations(UNO)
- Oby Ezekwesili- She was the Senior Special Assistant Budget Monitoring and Price Intelligence to the president of Nigeria, from 2003-2005. She was nicknamed ‘’ Madam due Process’’ for creating transparency in government procurement processes and being the architect of the Bureau for Public Procurement Legislation. She was Minister for Solid Minerals, 2005-2006 and Minister of Education, 2006-2007 and co-founder of Transparency International and served as one of its pioneer Directors. She was also one of the co-organizers and agitators for Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) campaigning for the unconditional release of Dapchi students abducted by Boko Haram Insurgents.
- Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala-Dr. Okonjo-Iweala is a Nigerian global champion. She was a coordinating Minister of the Economy/Minister of Finance under Olusegun Obasanjo administration. She introduced measures that would help put the Nigeria economy on the path of sustainable growth. She was the former Managing Director of the World Bank and at present the first woman ever appointed as the Director-General of The World Trade Organization (WTO).
The list is inexhaustive. These are women of distinction who have broken barriers, touched lives, and made a big difference in a world dominated by men.
Having said all these about women, we should also not forget to knock hard on the conscience of those women derailing the right courses of the virtuous women all over the world. This set of women leave their children nonchalantly not minding the company they keep and allow them to be a burden, not only for them but for society. We found such children among armed robbers, drug addicts, kidnappers, insurgents, internet fraudsters, and other bad groups. In the past, women were revered for not participating in any vice such as mentioned above, but the reverse is the case now. What a man can do, a woman can do better is now what they say. Women are found among all the multifarious vices we can think of and some set of parents are oblivious of what their children do. What concerns them is the money such females would bring home! It is high time such mothers brazed up to allow the divine purpose in their homes to be fulfilled. Such mothers must watch the company their children keep, discourage indecent dressings and teach the moral lesson of contentment. The world needs peace and mothers are vital to bringing this to fruition.
Farrah Fawcett says, ‘God made man stronger but not necessarily more intelligent. He gave women intuition and femininity. And, used properly, that combination easily jumbles the brain of any man I’ve ever met.’ Women are the real architect of society. God bless all women. Happy Day to you all.