By Ebun Sessou
Man as ordained by God is expected to provide, lead and protect his family. While, woman is to support her husband. This has been the purpose of God towards mankind.
But as time goes by, the role of woman as supporter is gradually fizzling out. The woman is practically seen everywhere doing all odd jobs just to put food on the table.
That was not how our fore-fathers nurtured us.They made sure that family members were well fed and up and doing.
Unfortunately, the story is no longer the same. Today, women are expected to contribute financially and in some situations become the breadwinner, if not the sole provider in the home.
Many women are increasingly becoming the breadwinners in their families as a number of factors prevent their husbands from playing their traditional roles as heads of the family.
Hairdresser Mrs Lawal told WO of how she was taking care of her children because her husband couldn’t.
Aside operating as a saloon owner, she was doing home service for some her clients just to augment her daily income. She went this extra mile to provide for her family because she was the breadwinner of her family. Her husband’s job according to her is nothing to write home about.
Mrs Lawal’s situation is just one out of many. Due to the increase in the trend, Woman Own visited some areas to sample the opinion of women on the issue.
A lady commercial driver who plies routes including Ikotun, Ijegun, Cele-Express and Mushin told Woman Own that she has been working as air hostess for 10 years before she becomes a commercial driver.
“I have children who are grown ups and I have to train them well. When I left the airport, I discovered that there is no better business that would provide avenue to train my children so, I bought a bus. Since, I started this business it has been moment of enjoyment. I go to work at will and come back at will.
Sometimes, I make more than nine rounds and work four days in a week. No company could pay my service. Those who are working in offices do not earn what I realize per day. I enjoy what I am doing. I have been into several businesses, I am in my mid 50s and I do not have problem with the area boys. Once, the transportation due is paid, I do my business without stress. I have been doing this job for many years and I just want to enjoy myself and be able to train my children.
A roadside roasted yam seller along Ijegun road , Beatrice interjected, “These days, women are not just women bread winners, they take on some odd jobs. Some become commercial drivers, plumbers among others.
“Unfortunately, some women who are breadwinner also become pushing bag for some men. Some of these men disregard the efforts of a woman and some have become lazy and idle”, she continued.
A thrift collector, Ms. Bunmi revealed some personal experience with Woman Own in the course of her daily activities in Ilasamaja area in Lagos. According to her, “There are some who engage in overtime activities to augment their daily income.
Being the bread winner has helped her take on some decisions that had helped her family members. It has also made her tough and brave.
“Although the role of every wife is to complement her husband, but, the turn of events has changed”, she said.
Woman Own also gathered that some women who find themselves in this situation are not happy about it. As much as they use the position to help their families, they never stop praying that the situation would change.
A market woman, Mrs Chukwuma told Woman Own that some good wives, who find themselves in this situation, although not too happy about it, have decided to make good use of the situation to remain capable wives while praying that their situation changes.
Sharing an experience of a woman who got married two years ago, paid all bills and has been footing all other bills in the home as well as feeding her just married husband, she added that most men do not appreciate such gesture, which is why relatives of these men picked offense easily with some of these ladies that find themselves in this situation.
A driver along Jakande Estate Isolo, Mr. Ayobami told Woman Own that the economic situation of the country has forced some into becoming breadwinners. According to him, “this challenge should be addressed by government. I am going through the same in my house. I am a contractor, my job does not come regularly so my wife practically fills the position. I am worried because, it is against the purpose of creation by God to humanity”, he said.
Speaking with a lawmaker in the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Abiodun Tobun representing Epe 1 , he said, “Some men take care of their girlfriends even before marriage, why would they religate their duties to women?, he asked. “Islamically, a man is to provide for the family while the woman is only a helper. I wouldn’t want to be in that situation where my wife will be the breadwinner I think it’s not ideal, it’s not normal.”
Asked if the circumstances is different, he said, “If it happens, the man needs to appreciate his wife and ensure order is restored as quickly as possible. The woman too must be humble and support the husband to get back to his feet financially.”
He explains that: “Having an irresponsible husband, laziness on the part of the man, ailment, and business misfortunes are some factors that could push the woman into becoming the bread winner.”
An entrepreneur Bisi in Jakande feels that: “It doesn’t say well of the men except if it is only for a short while but noted as soon as the man gets back on feet, he should do his job as the financier of the house”,she said.
His Most Eminence, Prophet Dr. Solomon Alao,Baba Alakoso Imole II,General Superintendent and Supreme Head, Sacred C&S Church Nigeria and Overseas and (Olori) C & S Unification Church Worldwide, in a phone interview said, “Although, the purpose of God for humanity was that man should take care of his home but noted that these days, very few women are blessed with such blessing. “Let me be frank with you, most homes are experiencing this challenge and it is on the increase. Women can easily handle the position of being the bread winner of a family because they do not have ego. They easily make money, but most women have gotten too comfortable being provided for. Women who are financially blessed should not hesitate to help their husbands. They are called helper, so it is not a big deal.
No man should allow his ego rub off on his face before he respects his wife who has been supporting him, he warned.
The Clergyman further explained, “African culture and tradition should not deter woman from helping her family to be financially bouyant. It is the grace of God and I will implore men whose wives have the financial backbone to put away ego and sentiment and cleave to their wives. They should always pray together and live together as one”, he said.