TS COLUMNIST: A Woman’s Worth by Tunji Somade [READ]

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Dear woman,

Let nobody deceive you, don’t be brainwashed into thinking that being wealthy is what makes you valuable. Whether or not you’re rich, you’re valuable, you always are and always will be. By you nations are birthed. Families preserved. You are a natural caregiver. Life would have been meaningless without you. You’re far worth more than diamond, full of wisdom, the strongest of creator’s creation. Your inner voice, your gut instinct and intuition is out of this world. You have been undervalued for so long and less appreciated. Some have foolishly blamed you for the world’s problem, If Eve hadn’t eaten the apple they say, the world would’ve been a better place. Talk about ignorance!

It is tough enough to be a Nigerian, what is tougher is being a Nigerian woman. Arguably. The girl child is equal to an endangered specie in the wild. No thanks to age long traditions and ancient beliefs in many parts of the country. Beliefs rooted in patriarchy and the desire to perpetually subjugate and keep the girl child under check, at her own detriment in most cases. The society does not treat violence against women as a serious issue. Every time a woman who has been sexually assaulted comes forward with a claim, the society releases the most potent ammunition from its arsenal to ensure that the narrative is distorted and eventually blaming the victim. If you have been made to believe that rape happens because a woman visits a man, indecent dressing, late night shows and the other unreasonable excuses, you are part of the problem. Any attempt to subtly blame rape victims, whether by their mode of dressing, the venue of the mishap or her inability to speak out, you inadvertently enable the rapist and create grounds for justification. I think it is the time for men especially fathers and husbands to join in this conversation on rape and sexual harassment endemic and see to it that offenders are getting punished. There is also a need to start asking questions regarding about laws guiding rape and how justice can be accelerated. But I digress.

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A gross misconception about a woman’s worth is weighing her value in terms of how much money she can bring to the fore in marriage. A woman’s value is not and cannot be tied to money or anything money can buy. Her value transcends those. The misguided impression that the reason a woman is called significant other is because of the ability to share financial liabilities is unfounded also. I dare say (and this isn’t in anyway discouraging women from pursuing their careers) that housewives do the most yet so under-appreciated.

In most cases, the decision to become a housewife is not always due to laziness or incompetence as many will make you believe, sometimes it’s circumstantial; like a wife who gave birth to a child with special need and forced to stay at home so that the child may get all the care she needs or the one who is always losing her pregnancy due to work-related stress/pressure etcetera etcetera. There are many genuine reasons women can decide to become a housewife. It doesn’t in any way make her less valuable than the career woman/entrepreneur who can fend for the family in the absence of the man. Some of the duties of a housewife includes: waking up before everyone to prepare the meal, doing the dishes, laundry and housekeeping, take the kids to and from school, help them with their assignment, prepare lunch or dinner so there’s something to eat when daddy returns. When daddy returns, whether happy or sad, the woman has work to do. He either wants sex to relieve stress, sometimes transfer aggression due to work stress. Does any of the above look easy?

Dear Men,

Before you start looking for a business partner under the disguise of a wife, let me tell you. A rich wife isn’t an automatic asset. They can be liabilities too. In the context of marriage, that is. Stop missing out on women because you are looking for one who isn’t going to be a ‘liability’. Your definition of liability is a woman who doesn’t earn much or doesn’t have a job. You somehow fail to realize that any woman can be a liability, her earnings notwithstanding. The greatest gift a woman can give a man is peace of mind, sharing the financial responsibility with you is an added advantage. She may not be able to give you money, yet she can help you with ideas or the serenity that will consequently inspire ideas that you need to achieve your dreams. She leaves the comfort of her father’s house, change her name, turn her back on almost everything that is familiar so she can spend the rest of her life with you, the least you can do is nurture her and watch her blossom.

A woman’s worth is invaluable. Pay attention to the girl child today and protect her like the world depends on it. Actually, it does.

SEE ALSO: Nigeria: How to Win, by Bode Agusto [MUST READ]


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