It's time to celebrate International Women’s Day. It’s another moment to support women and move the idea of gender equality, inclusion, equity and diversity up the idealistic ladders around the world.
One thing we’ve always discussed, but never acted upon is the idea of having a woman as the major monumental image on a Naira note. While we currently have the eminent Dr. Ladi Kwali at the back of the N20 note, the Naira is dominated by men.
Incredibly, the controversial General Murtala Muhammed graces both an airport and the upside of the N20 note. The era when women were seen as subordinates is over. We need inclusion and we need it now.
Arguments that not a lot of women have done incredible exploits across the country like their male counterparts, though compelling, will not hold water. If you want to find women who have done exploits, you will find women who have done exploits.
The country isn’t filled with women, restricted to harems, with freedom of movement derogated upon by the dictates of religion and traditional marriages.
Across the world, different countries have historically taken the plunge because of the understanding that women need idols. In fact, the lack of celebration on the Nigerian grand scale has led to the misconception that women have always been subjective when women have always done exploits.
In the old days, some women were so powerful, they led wars and uprisings. A woman like Madam Efunroye Tinubu was a rich woman in a man’s world, wielding power and influence; installing Kings and making money of slave trade before fighting against slave trade by herself.
Madam Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti was the power of her time; a feminist and political influence in the Nigerian power-scape. She famously holds the claim to being the first Nigerian woman to drive a car. Asides that, she was a foremost politician in Nigeria.
Equally, Queen Idia is the great woman of Benin; a cultural symbol and pride of the Benin Empire deserves a place in our currency.
Dora Akunyili is the Nigerian bureaucrat who redefined what being a leader in power means for positive change. In an equally important extent, there’s Ameyo Adadevoh who was basically a martyr for this country.
Across the country, and without looking to deeply, men are excessively celebrated. Yet, you might need research before seeing women to celebrate.
This is because society does not encourage it enough. The idea of inclusion is a subconscious idea that needs to implanted in the psyche to truly thrive. Part of the ways to ensure this, is placing women on the same pedestal of importance we have placed men.
This would help chip away bit by bit, the toxic masculinity and patriarchy in our society. Countries like Mexico, Australia, Sweden, Israel, Argentina, New Zealand and a few others understand the necessity of having women celebrated, but sadly, we have not caught up.
I hope we catch up before it’s too late.
Do we have a chance? Only time will tell, but there’s definitely hope with movements like feminism on our side.