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Women As Wellsprings Of Grit -By Kene Obiezu

This will be absolutely necessary so that on  the day when Nigeria will give an account of its success as a country, everyone would have contributed something.

It takes a woman to build a nation.

It is now beyond argument that equity and equality are  inherent in the development of any developed country.

Safety has been key for every country that has successfully scaled  the Olympian heights of development.

Safe spaces  extending into safe communities have been  absolutely critical to safe countries.

This is especially important in a world where security has been pressed to the front burner by repeated attacks on states and their institutions.

Insecurity has become an existential challenge and the most unsafe countries did not acquire that status overnight.

Their journey down the path of insecurity was years in the making and given impetus by the failure of such countries to be equal.

Because such countries failed in the first place to create equal opportunities they can  have only very few complaints about their insecurity.

Nigeria is such a society where inequality and inequity have gradually yielded insecurity. Wherever one turns, insecurity is unmistakably palpable.

Because there are too many people perched on the margins of the Nigerian society, it is very much an unequal society where the stakes differ wildly.

For the women and girls of Nigeria, insecurity is a daily and living nightmare. Inequality on the basis of gender is rife, and with it, discrimination.

From a very young age, girls are primed that to seek equality with boys is an unacceptable and even dangerous exercise to embark on.

Girls grow up and are conditioned that way. But the story does not always end there. The boys also get conditioned that way and grow up to enforce it.

Nigeria has a national gender policy whose objective is to make the inclusion of women in national life a matter of urgency and policy.

But it has become one more policy in a country of plenty policies with little policing. That there is even a policy speaks to an alarming problem.

In the first place, why should women, so vital a cog in the wheel of the Nigerian society have to suffer exclusion from public life?

In April 2022, at the Federal High Court in Abuja, an epochal judgement held that 35 per cent of all political appointments into public office be reserved for women.

It was a momentous decision which was also a moment of justice for women. It confirmed many things including the harrowing journey women make.

But did Nigeria need a legislation or a Judicial decision to do something so obvious? Has Nigeria even gone ahead to do what ought to be done?

They say that it takes a village to raise a child, yet, they also say that if you train a girl-child well, you have as well trained a village.

If that is the case, why do women continue to be left out of so much of national life with the attendant consequence that Nigeria loses what they can bring?

Why do women have to give anything extra to reach the heights men effortlessly and even undeservedly reach? It is a lot of questions with very few answers.

Yet, they are questions that must be asked even if the answers will never come. Because one day, the answers may just  come.

Nigeria is about to head into critical elections. At the end of the election, a winner will emerge out of so many sore losers.

When that happens, it will be the perfect time to give women who are often such gracious losers the chance to build Nigeria in the way only they can.

This will be absolutely necessary so that on  the day when Nigeria will give an account of its success as a country, everyone would have contributed something.

Kene Obiezu,

Twitter:@kenobiezu

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