By Ayo Akinfe
(1) Later this month, we shall be celebrating International Womens Day. In Nigeria we have been talking about the role of women for decades but alas, we have failed to tap into this hidden potential
(2) For starters, about 52% of our population is female, so you simply cannot have such a large chunk of your populace economically inactive. This problem is highly pronounced in rural Nigeria where women are seen as only being there for child rearing and domestic chores
(3) One hand cannot clap, so if we want to get out of this rut, we just need to look at what happened in Europe during World War Two. Men went to the front, so women took over production in factories. Life has never been the same since
(4) Have you noticed that Nigerian men are under more social pressure to be corrupt than women? They are expected to marry numerous wives, are given several chieftaincy titles and are expected to show they are “big men.” Is it any surprise that our male politicians loot our treasury?
(5) We recently saw how our majority leader in the House of Representatives proudly showcased his four wives on the floor and bragged about how they have produced 27 children for him. I believe our Chief Justice has about 34 children too
(6) How do you elect or appoint such people into office and not expect them to touch public funds? Their salaries will never be enough to cater for that many children
(7) For me, the lions have shown the way forward. In the lion kingdom, lionesses account for 80% of kills because they are better suited to it than the lions
(8) For starters, lions are about twice the weight and size of lionesses, so are not as nimble and agile as their female counterparts. Lions also have huge distinct manes, which give them away to prey. Male lions only really join in the kill when the prey has been cornered and some muscle is required to bring it down
(9) Nigeria needs to build on the programme of the Gowon regime when it built one federal government girls college in each state. I want to see one female vocational college in each of our 774 local government areas as part of a radical industrialisation plan
(10) Such a programme will also help reorientate our women because at the moment, too many of them think women liberation is about the freedom to buy Gucci handbags. There is more to Nigerian women than just glamour!