Who is a Woman? Simply put a Woman is a female who has reached adulthood. In ancient Africa young women were treated unequally when compared to their male counterparts. They faced oppression and rejection because they were perceived as being the weaker gender.
However, in recent times there has been some sort of paradigm shift: Women are starting to gain the respect they deserve in society. Young females grow up being nurtured, protected and loved. The modern African female now has access to education and enjoys most of the benefits the exposure brings.
From the stages of infancy to adolescence females are under the protection of their family and sometimes society. Naturally a time comes when all that stops, at this point she takes her true place in society. She is adjudged to have come of age and now she is truly a woman faced with the harsh realities of womanhood
Traditionally and in typical African societies women are expected to take the backseat in decision-making. Quintessentially the African woman’s role was simply to carry out domestic chores, look pretty, make babies and repeat the circle. She was muted by society. The norm: ‘Be seen but not heard’
Howbeit, thanks to various women and civil rights activists like Maya Angelou, and host of others, women are now given greater responsibilities in society. Many women now hold and have held political positions like Hilary Clinton (The 67th American Secretary of statement 2009 -2013 and now a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the president the USA), are captains of industries, professionals and celebrated entertainers. Although in the African context successful women are a cause for many raised eyebrows. Africans still believe that most successful women use their sexual prowess or engage in other compromising activities in order to climb the ladder of success. Although, this maybe true for a handful of women. The vast majority of African women are hardworking and honourable in their pursuit of success and power. Women like Ellen Johnson Sirleaf come to mind. She is the incumbent president of Liberia and the first democratically elected female president in Africa. Success stories like hers goes to show that it is very possible for African women to be successful without making undue compromises.
Even in contemporary working environment women are sometimes objectified as symbols for sex. A woman goes for an interview by a male superior, and is told that she is not qualified for the role, but could “prove herself by other means”. He then makes sexual advances towards her to drive his point home. How about a bank’s account manager or marketer, who is forced to use her sexuality in other to attract wealthy male investors or account holders. Women are also made to indulge in various forms of immoral acts as conditions to even attain positions in public offices.
It is important that in not only the working relationships but also in romantic relationships that a woman is heard and not cajoled into making sexual compromises. Most men are unlikely to maintain a sustainable relationship when a woman removes sex from the equation. He may cheat on her and get his sexual satisfaction from another woman who is more willing to make such contributions, eventually causing the initial relationship to come to a premature end. Women now believe that the best way to keep a man’s attention is by making an attempt to satisfy him sexually. The sad truth is that no man can derive total sexual satisfaction from one woman. However it is possible for a man to genuinely love a woman for who she is regardless of the sex, and therefore enjoy maximum sexual satisfaction from her, not just because of the physical pleasure, but because of the emotional and psychological satisfaction he also enjoys from the same woman.
Modern society has also thought women to lose their identity by narrowing their human personality/ characteristics to basic societal standards. A hard working and ambitious woman may be seen as un loving, or incapable of running a family/home like a housewife would. On the contrary, it is very possible for a woman to be ambitious and to follow her dreams to attain maximum fulfilment and also be a loving wife and mother. The bible brings our attention to such a woman in Proverbs 31: 10-31, a virtuous woman who is the pride of her husband, children and her community. She is not enslaved to just a role life has thrown at her, however she fully commits to her maximum potential with humility and love. The virtuous woman as described in the above scripture is very amiable as her attributes are celebrated in the word of God.
It is also great to find purpose in your family, (it does not make you less in-touch with your self or less ambitious). I would respect a woman that can say boldly, “if all I achieve in life is build a great home, a great husband and great children who are capable of impacting their world, I would feel fulfilled”. Such a woman (in modern day society with all the miss independent Beyonces), may be looked down at. Such a woman is not enslaved to a particular role as I previously pointed out if those are her true desires and not just what her husband or community imposes on her.
As women we ought to be aware of potential modern day slavery threat that we face in all spheres of life, and also consciously make an effort not to fall victims to societal expectations.
Let us be Brave to Love
Let us be Warm to Care
Let us be Strong to Achieve
Let us be Virtuous in Conquering
Let us be Bold and Proud to be who we are as WOMEN and INDIVIDUALS
No two people are the same so discover your passion and go for it with prayer, patience and commitment.
Thank you very much as you walk this journey with me.
With Love, ASJ.
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