*Gender Bill and the Folly of Nigerian Women.*
By Shiloh Akinyemi
Politics is meant to be a science of life’s reality. A binding chord between the elites and the masses. One of its many systems is called Democracy. The meal pot from which society should feed the rich and the poor and of course the social garden of our gathering, where all should be nothing but equals.
Recently, the women struggle got a social acceptance from men and women alike, through a post that went viral. The post was said to have originated from the elites class of a lesser gender; from the first lady of Ekiti State came; “women where are your wrappers?” An emotional yet motivational read, laden with energy strong enough to make a woman president in 2023. But Nigerian women and first ladies are far from being ready to unwrap themselves to cover the shame of womanhood to which their counterparts are daily subjected to. If the bullying of the village women are unreported to be heard in the cities.
Across the verandah of the Villa at the Federal Capital Territory under the nose of First Lady Aisha Buhari, a 2014 Miss United Nations is hounded by a man of the elites Political class and the women have no wrapper to lend.
Little wonder for the third time, since 2016, our chauvinistic political system refused to entertain the gender equality bill. It suffered another set back in the Senate, just days after the first Lady Aisha Buhari sat in the red chamber.
Still trying to wrap my head as to why this bill would be thrown out, we are supposedly blessed with a “Goodnews” that the national assembly has decided to increase the representation of women in the national assembly.
This is a big win for women, some might say. Let’s celebrate our baby steps others would agree. But the real question here is why exactly was this step taken?
Does it make any sense to reject a bill that offers women equal rights as men, in a country. But agree to increase the representation of this same gender who shouldn’t be equal with men in the national assembly and the nation?
Of course it makes no sense, except if these women in the national assembly are wives and children they can “control” Because increase in the number of women at the national assembly, grants a control privileged, more women but never enough to upturn men dominance. Democracy is a game of numbers, but then, our highest gender of voters are still lost to the reality of their strength because the other will not stop bullying them. To vote doesn’t make them a part of the decision making system.
Their job description might be to sit in the chamber of National Assembly and look pretty. And a randy Dinosaur of a male Senator can even threaten a
“Remmy” female senator, wife of a party leader without facing the gathering of women wrappers across the country.
Now, here comes the real issue. The First Lady of the federal republic of Nigeria, was present at the sitting that approved to increase the representation of women in the national assembly, but was absent for the one which would not only give women a voice, but would also make the voice of great women amongst us matter.
Back to the rhetorics of the First Lady of Ekiti state; where is your wrapper, talking about how women in Eastern Nigeria brought their wrappers together to help a fellow woman in labour right at the middle of a market.
Giving her cover and support to bring her baby to birth. If only our first lady and women folks have united for our once miss United Nations and fight her cause, may be the men in the National Assembly would have seen a gender that is ready for its revolutionary mandate for leadership and the bill be treated differently. But with the usual docility greeting the Snow White humiliation and harassment, grinding down the desire of our gender was quite an easy task.
Our First Ladies would rather be at their best element, tying quality wrappers, armed with a cake and tickets, took a flight to Dubai to celebrate the Birthday of Aisha Buhari. That birthday in some other clime would have been an opportunity to make the needed statement about the plight of women in Nigeria.
The estranged wife of FFK like many others have been left to deal with their issues alone. What hope is there for the girl child if she gets all the Education only to remain a lesser being to the opposite gender in the Nigeria political and social space?
Where exactly is the joy of womanhood?
Shiloh Orerime Akinyemi, fondly called Shilly Pepper, is a creative content writer and a lover of fiction and art.