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GENDER EQUALITY BY ELEMIDE ADEMOLA OLUWASEUN

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Gender Inequality in Africa is the unfair and unjust treatment of individual according to their Gender. I believe Gender Inequalities is mostly based on our culture, tradition and religion. Gender Inequality Torches the feeling of people making them possess inferiority complex in a way.
I believe women should be treated equally like men because we all are people who deserve respect, who deserve the honour, people who want to be appreciated, loved and cared for because we are a creature of emotion and not logic.
I had the chance of meeting a girl that was 17 years old, she got married 5 years ago and she has been able to give birth to 3 children when I met her, she was with her first daughter. She has no privilege of going to school, she just stays at home every day in her husband house. When I spoke to her about Gender Equality, she told me her culture and religion support it, that since she is under a man, she has no choice because anything the husband decide, that is what is good for her. I believe women should not be judged based on sexuality but should be judged base on her intellectual abilities and capabilities to perform in the society.
Gender inequality does not make sense on any level most especially by marginalizing the right of women, we deny ourselves the opportunity to lift millions of men, women and children out of poverty and not to mention the chances of a just and fair world.
From birth, girls, boys, women and men are expected, by society, to play certain roles and behave in certain ways based on tradition, religion and other belief. These behaviours, which are learnt, shape the gender norms in the society.
Unfortunately in our world today, especially Africa, Gender norms create disadvantages for women because often girls are not sent to school in the early age and when they become women and matured, they then have limited ability to perform to full fledge because of inability to realize their potentials at an early stage.
For example, according to British Council report 2012, Nigeria has two percent of the world population but ten percent of global maternal deaths which amount to one of the highest rate of maternal mortality with young girls giving birth under the age of 15 in the northern region of the country without the help of a health professional. The problem is that the number is still increasing since 2012 and there is the need for urgent attention in tackling these disturbing trend. For Nigeria to develop, there is the need to pay attention equally to both Men and Women. And I am not saying men are better than women or women are better than men. All I am saying is that we need to pay attention to our Human Resource to ensure we create a level playing field for women in political participation, in economic empowerment areas and as well as the health and education sectors for Nigeria to grow.
Women need to play more role in Agricultural Development because they are the key to food
and nutrition in every family and basically they manage the household and have power on
deciding food which determines the state of wellbeing of the community to a nutritious diet. The
Best way for Women in Nigeria to feed the family is to be an entrepreneur, but the problem is
that Nigeria has the lowest rate of female entrepreneurship in Sub-Sahara Africa when compared
to their fellow African sister countries, according to the British Council Report, as a result of the
nature of African customs and traditions that encourage the marginalization of women.
Men generally control the household decisions, like how to use the family’s asset(s) and
disadvantages are often reinforced by practices that limit women’s access to services like
adequate training.
Another problem is Cultural belief which also restricts women to opportunities. For example, in
some parts of Zambia, women cannot paddle their boat because it is considered “Bad Omen”
which results to women remaining poor, and makes agricultural production inadequate to reach
the potential of the Family thereby leading to perpetuating poverty and hunger in developing
countries.it is to be noted that it is not about women taking the place of men but rather about
women rising to their full potential.
The Social norms that limit Women’s opportunities need to be understood and then change,
because for things to change, we have to change, so that Poverty can be reduced and to live in
good health. The best way to do that is to take a gender Transformative approach to influence
social norms and bridge the gap in accessibility to resources and services between men and
women in a lasting manner.
Change is needed on every level, to make men and women as leaders so as to increase women
voices. The best way is that girls, boys, women and men are to be involved in research and
development program that promotes gender equality so as to improve productivity and income.
Another thing is the needs for policies to be implemented with the Government and agencies.
These policies are not just to be documented but also enforced to increase women access to
services and resources to make the community conducive in supporting women to have a better
chance of reducing extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity for girls, boys, women and men
around the world.
Another Solution to it is to create more awareness and advocacy about Gender inequality so that
people get to see the downside of it and people get to see what women go through, what they
suffer through gender Inequality so that we can help women that are still being oppressed and
discriminated in Africa.

Author:ELEMIDE ADEMOLA OLUWASEUN


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