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Nigerian woman in 2013

By Morenike Taire

Women all over the globe will converge in groups today to discuss issues that affect women, with topics as diverse and far reaching as culture, politics, the economy, personal development, health, power, family, marriage, domestic violence, migration and many many more.

It was done first more than a hundred years ago in 1910. In the years before this time there had been a gender renaissance of some sort, with several women campaigning for change. In 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights.

1910 a second International Conference of Working Women was held in Copenhagen, with the idea being broached at this event of a yearly International Women’s Day , one which was greeted with unanimous approval. It took decades for women in different countries to jump on the bandwagon but jump they did. The rest, as they say, is history.

IWD is now an official holiday in Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, China (for women only), Cuba, Georgia, Guinea-Bissau, Eritrea, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Madagascar (for women only), Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Nepal (for women only), Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia.

The tradition sees men honouring their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, etc with flowers and small gifts. In some countries IWD has the equivalent status of Mother’s Day where children give small presents to their mothers and grandmothers.

Hon. Abike Dabiri
Hon. Abike Dabiri

But while the new millennium has witnessed a significant change and attitudinal shift in both women’s and society’s thoughts about women’s equality and emancipation, the majority believes it is not yet Uhuru, as the popular saying goes. so the tone and nature of IWD has, for the past few years, moved from being a reminder about the negatives to a celebration of the positives.

In Nigeria, women participation in politics enjoys a historical precedence. We hear of all the exploits in past centuries of women taking up the gauntlet and excelling in statecraft with more boldness even than men. , women in precolonial Nigeria were an integral part of the political set up of their communities. Most often, they carried out separate functions from the men. These functions were fully complementary.

In precolonial Bomu, for instance, women played active parts in the administration of the state. They held very important offices in the royal family, including the offices of the Megira (the Queen mother) and the Gumsu (the first wife of the Mai or King) (Ola, 1978).

Women also played a very significant role in the political history of ancient Zaria. The modern city of Zaria was founded in the first half of the 16th cen tur/, by a woman called Queen Bakwa Turuku. She had a daughter called Amina who later succeeded her as Queen. Queen Amina was a great and pow erful warrior.

She built a high wall around Zaria in order to protect the city from invasion and extended the boundaries of her territory beyond Bauchi. The people of Kano and Katsina paid tributes to her. She turned Zaria into a very prominent commercial centre.

The story was not different in ancient Yorubaland. The Oba ruled with the assistance of a number of women refereed to as the ladies of the palace. The ladies of the palace consisted of eight titled ladies of the highest rank.

The significant role played by prominent women such as Moremi of lfe, Emotan of Benin and Omu Okwel of Ossomari in the precolonial history of Nigeria cannot be ignored. Moremi and Emotan were great amazons who displayed tremendous bravery and strength in the politics of lfe and Benin  respectively, while Omu Okwei dominated the com mercial scene of Ossomari in present day Delta State

These were well before the times of colonial female titans in the mould of Funmilayo Ransome Kuti.but while women are struggling with hardcore politics they are holding forte in commerce both in the formal and informal  sectors with those like Emzor’s Stella Okoli  replacing those like Bisoye Tejuosho.

It is a well known fact that women who cannot even do their own accounts are the saving grace in the harsh economic times, from the survivor roasting corn in the street corner to the multimillionare seller of lace material on Lagos Island. Keeping food on the table and keeping the fire burning while their men wonder what to do next.

Another area where we have thrived is in government in elective positions, and entertainment, though there are still complaints from many quarters. Benue First Lady Yemisi Suswam only last week lamented that affirmative action in appointing women into government service has been more lip service than reality.

While advocating for gender equality as a means of encouraging full participation in national economic development, she insisted that the 35 per cent women affirmation being flaunted by President Goodluck Jonathan’s  administration is a scam and is far from being implemented and is a ‘mirage’

Nigeria’s first deputy governor  Senator Kofo Bucknor Akerele when asked recently when Nigeria can expect a female deputy governor said it is all up to the men to support women.

I think by the next dispensation we should be able to get a woman-governor in the country. “We have not had a woman-governor because most of the time men will not support women. They would say if there is a woman there, how can they go to the woman to ask for favour?

How can a woman be boss over them? But I still maintain that women are better managers. They manage their households and the family finances. If they are given the chance to manage the finances of the country, I think they will instil more fiscal discipline and Nigeria will be better for it”.

Gender Violence and healthcare are two areas where there is continuous cause for concern, with the country taking front stand in the maternal mortality issue. And despite aggressive campaign over the decade, domestic violence has been on the rise, a cause for concern for international organizations such as UN Women.

In case of gang raping, it is good news that the lower house in nAbuja want any person convicted to jointly and severally face a minimum of 20 years imprisonment without an option of fine. They last week also recommended imprisonment not exceeding five years or a fine of N100,000 or both for anyone convicted of willfully causing or inflicting physical injury on another person by means of rape, using any substance or object.

These were made known as the House unanimously adopted reports on a bill for an Act on violence against persons (prohibition) earlier sponsored by Abike Dabiri-Erewa (ACN Lagos) Dabiri-Erewa, while presenting the 51-clause Bill on the floor of the House said time had come for it to become enforceable law.

While we celebrate, let us keep in mind that Russia is getting ready to send a woman to the moon.

Home Decor:  How To Choose Theme

Themes for your Home

A theme unifies the decorations and makes an interior look harmonious and complete. There are many themes to choose from and each one brings a different mood to the room. Choosing a right theme for a certain room can make for unusual home decor. Here are tips:-

A theme unifies the decorations and make an interior look harmonious and complete. There are many themes to choose from and each one brings a different mood to the room. Choosing a right theme for a certain room can make for a unusual home decor.

The themed decor is often used in kids rooms but the theme doesn’t always have to be taken from a cartoon or a comic book. A theme can be something more abstract and allow your decorating fantasy soar. Think ocean theme, peaceful floral meadow theme or graphic black and white. But there are many themes to choose from.

Choosing A Theme…

Think about how it will suit the room and what mood will it create. Does the mood suit the room’s purpose? It all depends on tastes. The light, inviting themes like a floral meadow can be used in a living room while the soothing sea-inspired decor can be used in a bedroom. Study several favourite themes before deciding which one will fit.

Themed Decor Tips

If you’ve chosen a themed decor for a room make sure it is properly accessorized. If it’s ocean-inspired decorative seashells and rocks can complete the aqua colour scheme. The right patterns in fabrics can also complete the theme and make the decor look more detailed.

Most people choose their decorating style for very personal reasons – for a lot of people it is simply a matter of taste…

Be inspired by other people’s interior design style

Have you seen a style in a magazine, on TV or in someone’s home that you just liked? Then why not try it out in your own home…

Be inspired by places

Does a certain style remind you of a wonderful holiday or trip?

A summer holiday to Tuscany? Backpacking in Asia?

A trip to France? A relaxing week on a tropical beach?

These are really good interior design themes to choose then, as your room will always remind you of your wonderful memories…

…and make you feel happy and relaxed when you are in it.

Perhaps you have always longed to go to Japan, India or Europe, and love everything about that country…

This is another good reason to choose that theme, and surround yourself with colors and styles that remind you of your interests and passions…

Choosing the right interior design themes

Choosing interior design themes and styles for your home does make a very strong statement about yourself and your personality – and there are some very striking styles out there!

Choose interior design themes that you truly love, and will be able to live with for a while.

Themes not Theme Parks

Decide if you want to go with a single theme for your entire house, or keep it just for one room. There is nothing wrong with mixing themes and styles in your home but it is not a good idea to have a different theme in every single room (it’s meant to be a home not a theme park)

Leave some rooms quite simple and neutral – for a nice visual rest from all the interest.

Subtle or Strong

You can go as far as you want with your chosen interior design themes, just a few inspired accessories dotted around…

…or the full-on complete look – the choice is yours!

XPRESSIONS

When the terror group believed to be known as Boko Haram first began operating in Nigeria, little did we, the terrorized, know that it was to be a permanent fixture with members doing the unthinkable: suicide bombing.

Yet when the first arrests of members of the group was done and the announcement of their private execution in a jail in North-eastern Nigeria rather than a much anticipated trial was done, it was quite clear something was going on that went much further than the ordinary.

The phenomenon has reached its peak and is on the decline, it might be said; and boasts of coming down South for operations have mostly remained just that- boasts. The confusion, therefore, arising from the seeming exclusivity of Boko Haram activities to the North has been met with relative indifference by other parts of Nigeria.

To begin to compare Boko Haram with the militants in the pre- Yaradua South south is to completely miss the point, both of the raison d’etre of the two and their manner of operation. While one had a clear direction and had faces of a sort, the other has supposedly remained faceless. The objectives of the mindless destruction of lives and property distinct in Boko Haram operations have remained largely unclear. Calls, therefore, for amnesty for the group can, at best, be futile.

The Sultan of Sokoto is not the first individual to call for amnesty for the Boko Haram, but the very nature of terrorism makes this either impossible or futile. Terrorism uses the instrument of fear, and when the powers that be compromise on that position, they are relinquishing power to the terrorist and feeding the culture of fear. It is a monster we cannot afford to create.

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