One of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) enunciated by the United Nations was “Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women”.  This was Goal 3. “While Africa is making great strides towards Goal 3, early marriage, household power dynamics and low economic opportunities for women, are slowing progress”, so declared the United Nations some days to the magic year 2015. The situation in 2018 has not changed. In fact, it is worse considering what is happening in the North East.

To join the workforce and raise wages for all, requires the possession of education and skills. It is therefore imperative for women as a collective to rise and improve their lots. They must stand out in what they do and be worthy role models to future generations. They must encourage their young girls to go to school and acquire skills. Education is the best key to human freedom. Irrespective of their area of interest, young girls must first go to school to acquire basic education. They should be encouraged to develop confidence in themselves and taught to know that they can reach the zenith of their profession through determination and the right attitude. The only limitation they have is their will power.  If you present yourself well as a woman in dressing, disposition and professional skills, the sky will be your limit.

I thank Almighty God for making me a woman. I am aware that by divine design, God created women as multi-talented vessels of honour who are to manage the home while also supporting their husbands to succeed in their chosen career. According to the Holy Bible, a woman was created as a Help Meet for the man whom God had made and assigned the duty of tending the Garden of Eden. In her special role, the woman was expected to be a companion, confidant and source of comfort to the man as he went about the duty of christening all things created by God and managing the famous Garden. In other words, in God’s plan for mankind women were not required to earn a living economically. They were to support while the man was to provide everything.

But today, the dynamics have changed. And so the women must wake up to the reality that there is nothing wrong in being economically independent and ambitious. There is nothing wrong in making a career in addition to managing your home. You can combine both successfully and stand out in the crowd. Indeed, God created a woman as a multi-talented specie so that she can play her various roles satisfactorily and effectively.

So there is nothing wrong for a successful woman to financially contribute to the building of her home/family. This is one of the best ways to secure the trust, support and enjoy the love of their husbands. Where this rule is observed, the family and home will be not only at peace, the woman would be able to strive for greater professional fulfilment outside the home. In my view, if you succeed at home, you will certainly succeed in the corporate world.

Without doubt, the changing role of the woman in the corporate environment poses a serious challenge to her as it involves a swapping of her natural role for that of the man. It would be unwise to expect that men will readily accept this role reversal. As a result, the woman sometimes finds that she has to work extra hard not only to justify the trust reposed in her by her husband and be appreciated by the larger society but also to achieve her dream of attaining professional leadership position.

Accordingly, the woman must constantly demonstrate expertise, diligence and integrity to earn her position on merit in Insurance, Accounting, Banking, Medicine, law, broadcasting and other disciplines. Anything short of this, is unacceptable. As a woman, do not court favour. Strive to earn your position through dint of hard work and the world will celebrate you.

The key to this is education and investment in the girl child which is an investment in the future of the nation because of the long-term impact of this on society. For the uneducated adult woman, economic empowerment opportunities should be provided. For working young mothers, there is need to make the working hours flexible such that their career path is not affected. For instance, they can work from their homes and submit reports with the aid of information technology. They do not need to report every morning and close every evening. Such flexible working hours will have positive impact on women and their ability to maintain their homes. The society will be the better for it.