WOMAN: THE BACKBONE OF THE SOCIETY

The woman according to the Bible was created by God with one of man’s ribs. The rib was taken from his side. This to me signifies that a woman is a man’s colleague and both are meant to work hand in hand to help build up the society. There was a reason God created her from the ribs and not from the man’s foot. Her place is alongside man and not under his foot to be trampled upon.

Today’s society holds a contrary view, as a woman is seen most times as dependent on man and inferior to him. This begins right from the family, which is the smallest unit of society. The birth of a boy child is most times celebrated with more pomp and pageantry than that of a girl child because it is believed that it is the male that will carry on the family name.

In continuance of this sad orientation, much value is not placed on the education of the female child. It is however important to note that if you educate a girl child; you secure the future of a whole nation. This is because she grows up into a woman who someday becomes a wife and mother. She is the one who instills societal values and ideals into her children.

Against all odds, today’s woman has grown to become a force to be reckoned with because of the impact she has made in the society. A great number of women both in Nigeria and worldwide have made such an impact on the society that their names are forever engraved in history and their footprints on the sands of time. Some of them are Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Funmilayo Ransome Kuti, Oby Ezekwesili, Agbani Darego, Dora Akunyili, Margaret Thatcher, Oprah Winfrey, Eleanor Roosevelt, amongst others.

Funmilayo Ransome Kuti was the first Nigerian woman to ride a bike and drive a car. She achieved a number of feats in her lifetime as an activist. She campaigned against taxes and price controls imposed by the Alake of Egbaland and also successfully achieved the abolition of separate taxes for women. She was one of the few women elected to the native House of Chiefs serving as an Oloye of the Yoruba people under colonial rule. She was active in pre-independence politics and agitated for women’s votes. She was also the mother of three sons who were activists in their different fields, among whom was Fela, the great musician.

Another great woman who has served the society and her country at large is Dora Akunyili. She is Nigeria’s incumbent Federal Minister of Information and Communication and the former Director General of National Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC). She transformed the food and drug sector in Nigeria, causing fake and substandard food and drugs to be a thing of the past. She has received several awards both home and abroad. These include Time Magazine Award 2006 “One of the eighteen heroes of our time”, Person of the Year 2005 Award- Silverbird Communications Ltd and many more.

Another female icon that is celebrated worldwide for her contribution to humanity is Eleanor Roosevelt, onetime First Lady of America. She was actively involved in the promotion and protection of Human Rights. She was the Chair of the United Nations Committee that drafted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  She was referred to as the First Lady of the World because of her involvement and achievements in Human Rights. She also worked to enhance the status of working women in America. She received a total of forty-eight honorary degrees in her life time and was even post humorously nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Oprah Winfrey is one other woman who has made her mark on society. She was sexually abused as a child and was even impregnated. She however put the past behind her as she has forged ahead and is now considered the most influential woman in the world. Popularly known for her television talk show- The Oprah Winfrey Show, she was the richest African American of the 20th Century. She was once the only black billionaire in the United States. She is loved by all and is known to be the greatest black philanthropist in American history.

Other women who have changed their world include Margaret Thatcher and Agbani Darego. Margaret Thatcher was the first female Prime Minister of Britain and Agbani Darego was the first black African to be crowned Miss World in 2001.

The stories and accomplishments of these women have shown that women worldwide have a great role to play in the society. A woman is the backbone of the society and helps uphold the values, norms and morals of the society thereby making the world a better place.