The Olori of Ife should lean more on the side of modernity rather than tradition that holds women back.
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"I am not a huge fan of gender equality. We can’t be equal, We cant be men. We have our roles to play here, a very pivotal one" said Olori Wuraola-Zynab Ogunwusi.
She further stated that "the modern pattern of feminism has succeeded in limiting women of the heights they could reach; gender equality is unrealistic. We can never be equal with men, we are here for a great purpose, we have our roles to play we are powerful and we are a force of nature."
Now while I believe in the freedom of expression and opinion, I disagree with the Olori. It seems that Her Royal Highness is confusing gender role and gender equality. Men and women have different roles to play especially in the family. What a man can do, a woman can't do and vice-versa. This doesn't mean that women are not equal to women. Her statement of women not being equal to women is backward and doesn't help the cause of women in Nigeria a bit.
There are millions of Nigerian women who are being held back in their jobs and careers because they are women. They are not treated like their male counterparts and they don't get the same pay as them just because they are female. This is wrong and in this period women in Nigeria need a powerful voice to back them to help them achieve their dreams. The Olori has just done the opposite of that. Her statement has further helped the patriarchy system that has chained many women with archaic beliefs.
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As expected the Olori's statements has infuriated a lot of women in the country. Actress Uche Jombo has reacted to her statement by posting her thoughts about her speech in her Instagram page. "Let's be clear #ujlovers. Gender roles/ responsibilities and gender equality are different things, the fact that some people think / believe there are the same is why #genderequalitybill didn't go through #Nigeriansenate.
"With or without the bill there are women (which i am one of) that will succeed regardless but the equity fight is NOT about this group. Its about that uneducated woman in her village thinking her life is over because she has 'only' girls...its about that little girl understanding 'working twice as hard because she's a girl' ...is a goal not her only option ... i should know i am an Abiriba girl, was told thousand things i can't DO because i am a girl...(. look where we are NOW empowering men and women)
"Learn more about gender equity guidelines for free online. FYI let's not mistake gender roles for gender equality. I believe she was clearly talking about roles / responsibilities as a woman hence my repost about learning the right meaning of Gender equality."
Her response is articulate and straight to the point. There are millions of Nigerian women and girls that need an enabling society to help them achieve their dreams and goals. More powerful women in the country should come out and fight for them.
The Ooni of Ife has showed positive signs that he wants to be a modern king and help his people tackle the challenged and realities of today. The Olori should also do so and not push Nigerian women further into the dark times.