Remarkable women have done remarkable things in every part of the world and society, in every time and history. But most of their accomplishments were not documented and are ill recognized. Just as we have brilliant, creative and brave men so we have in women. Women as always are known to be smart, strong, and hardworking but sadly, they are less valued and often their contributions are not recorded at all or attributed to Men.
Gender inequality has predominantly been the issue both in developed and developing countries around the world. But it’s more pronounced in developing countries like Nigeria, where women face a large scale of discriminations in all ramifications. Gender is basically determined by the culture and the roles are driven based on beliefs and tradition of a particular community.
Women stereotypes encompass a range of behavior, attitude, that are generally considered acceptable, appropriate or desirable for women. Extreme gender stereotypes are harmful because they don’t allow people to fully express themselves and their emotions. Which is why the percentage of productive women in the northern part of this country is quiet low compared to the Southern parts.
The belief in a typical Nigerian setting is that a woman is expected to be a full house wife where she cooks, clean the house and take care of the children while the husband carter for her needs. Anything outside this is considered odd and unacceptable. And later when he’s gone, she becomes confused and frustrated. She’d be left to handle everything he has done before, bearing in mind she might be left with a number of kids all under her care as she’s now all by her self to provide now. With no education or business orientation, many women have gone out of their minds.
Though depending on which part of Nigeria we are talking about. In the north women are mainly considered to be subordinate and inferior to men she’s best regarded as a full time housekeeper. As for other parts of the country Considering the nature of socio-economic changes these impressions about women are beginning to fade away. Regardless, there are still common beliefs and attitudes that transcend.
In the North West, a research established by the National Demographic and Health Survey puts the literacy rate for women at 21%, compared to the national rate for women at 51%. These figures are even more acute at the State level, where northern states like Katsina and Sokoto stand at 5% and 9% respectively. On maternal health, the North East zone has the highest maternal mortality and morbidity rates in the country, an almost ten fold difference compared the South West zone. As a result, the
Practices such as purdah, or seclusion (kulle in Hausa), that determines the extent of women’s visibility and mobility in public spaces are also a key part of the prevailing narrative.
Hold on and listen! To the story of a great woman called khadija bint Khuwaylid the first wife of Prophet Muhammad. Who was a source of emotional and spiritual support. She was a successful business woman who accumulated great fortunes. Even though she inherited her wealth but continued trading and hired the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) to run her business and later on initiated a marriage proposal to him.
Khadija provided instrumental support in his early prophethood. Her wealth allowed him the leisure to meditate, and she reassured him of the authenticity of his first revelations. She is thus often considered the first person to have believed in Prophet’s message. And here is how the Prophet described Khadija in his own words “She had faith in me when people rejected me. She believed in me when the people disbelieved me. She supported me with her wealth when the people prevented me. And Allāh blessed me with children through her and not through any other wife.”
The Prophet had a mutual respect and love to all his wives and Aisha one of his wives has given her testimony in a number of hadiths. He had the most greatest father-daughter relationship with his daughter Fatima.
Many people have long had misconceptions about Islam where they feel it has less value and love for women and the fact is that Islam brought great recognition and freedom to women. What is purely happening here in the north concerning women stereotypes and degrading is mainly some ethical beliefs and ignorance as it is not connected to what islam has taught us.
Even the Holy Quran has emphasized on the value of women and mentioned how they should be treated with value. Men are directed to be supporters of women.
This shows women have always been held with high regards and great advisers therefore , they should be included in education, decision making, public life, politics, and high ranking positions.
To all women out there, do not settle for anything less than being the best in What you do!