Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Yes, it's Natural

My head has refused to function to its full capacity. I am supposed to be working on all the details of my organisation’s forthcoming Technology Camp for Secondary School girls but I think I need a break for a few minutes to get my head back in the right track.

Yeah, I was away from Lagos to Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife yesterday to attend the 1st Ladies Technology Summit organised by Nigerian High-Tech Women (NHTW). It’s all about empowering university female students through ICT4D (Information and Communication Technologies for Development). 

My boss was asked to present a paper titled –“MDGs and ICTs: What’s got to do with Women”. Of course as usually done, she did justice to the paper by linking all the goals with what women can do to empower themselves and contribute to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

Goal 3 out of the 8 goals is “Promoting Gender Equality and Empowering Women”. She talked about this goal like she did evry other goals. Wonderful, powerful paper; I made my contributions too and all the ladies at the summit got something to take home with them.

Here comes the Compere, he sure knows how to speak English and he attempted to use this in swaying the conversation. He pointed out (I wonder why he had to do this anyway since the discussion had not generated any argument or clarification) that “Equality is not Natural” that women should not bother themselves about equality but empowerment. And that they should learn not to fight or compete with the men blah blah. He said further that Womanism is preferred to Feminism as pointed out by his lecturer whom I know, whom I have read her book since I graduated from the same university. Who as I recalled did not say anything negative about feminism.
He referred to a book called “Women at point Zero” (I have not read this book, I will admit). That the woman in the story fought a lost battle or something and destroyed herself via what she was fighting for!!!

I thought it was necessary to put things in a better perspective since we were to form groups and see how those goals can be achieved. I knew that with what he has said, a lot of women might not want to join group 3 for goal 3. I briefly pointed out the fact that “Equality is natural” I refer to an International Preacher whose book I once came across (forgot his name now). Where he mentioned that God created us equally as he mentioned in Genesis that “I created them Male and Female and gave the dominion over the earth” (rephrased). That saying equality is not natural is like admitting that Mandela and the rest of the black race should have folded their arms and said “yes, we are not equal to the white hence the right to enslave us!!!” And that feminism principle is upholding equal opportunities between men and women amongst other issues. Fine, some people could have taken it to the extreme. I said I did not support fighting the men either but those that have fought the men for one reason or the other must have done so based on their past experiences. I mentioned too that empowerment will in the long run bring about equality. I concluded by saying “Equality is Natural”.

The gentleman collected my contact details for further discussion. He is more than welcome!!! I was happy to have spoken up though because a lot of women eventually joined “goal 3 group” and when I listened to their personal experiences on how some of them have being discriminated against career-wise and how a particular lady says her husband has fenced her in and that she is not happy that she is not maximizing her potentials. We are looking into how we can come up with programmes for both men and women to address a lot of issues.
YES, before I forget again. I am inviting all the bloggers on facebook to hurry and join my group on facebook. The group’s name is Gender Equity and Equality Network. I am sure the name says it all. And another group that I like is Women and Technology in Africa.

The bloggers that I am appreciating right now: Abbie, Charizard, Grahamn Kcracker , Lisa and Ore. Thank you folks. (Pls don’t ask me what I am thanking you for, you are appreciated ***WINK***).

26 comments:

isha said...

mumero uno!

isha said...

Preach it sister! I can't believe the compere said that. I would give him the benefit of the doubt, and say that it was simply to spark conversation. Nice read.

onydchic said...

Many men say that.I'm yet to understand why so many men are completely against women getting ahead. Instead I think some of them view it as a threat to their power/dominance/control and instead turn it around like you're being greedy in making demands for equality.

Obviously in many ways, men and women can never be the same, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be able to get ahead in their careers, or do more for the society than spitting out children and making sure dinner's on time...

Fighting for gender equality in a place like Nigeria, where old cultures and beliefs are still tightly grasped... it's going to be a long fight, but I think we're on our way there. I'm seeing more and more women who are desperate to not just sit down and cross their arms...unfortunately it's mostly the educated and exposed ones... women need more enlightenment. If more of us stand up and push for change, then the men will have to start facing some realities (i have nothing against them BTW).

Long comment... sorry. :)

Naija Idol said...

3rd!

OluwaDee said...

Nigerian High-Tech Women, this is d 1st am hearing of it. Will try 2 find out more.

Naija Idol said...

Chai! all these plenty plenty grammar.lol.

i really like d way u made ur contributions oooo. the compere c say u be cracko na im e ask for ur details.

"Equality is Natural". It really is.

Chari said...

na wa o...standtall see as u dabaru our head finish with big big yarns we go join the group o...thanx for appreciating me...I appreciate u too..

Grahamn Kracker said...

Standtall - you definitely stood tall this time!

You have named yourself well.

Abbie said...

**standing ovation
Tee, you know I've always admired you for what you do especially in a country that still has a long way to go accepting everything you stand for. It takes a lot of courage and for that you are my S-hero. I'm honored to know a strong woman such as yourself. I have nothing but the utmost respect for you girl.

Tairebabs said...

Am glad you spoke up about what the compere said. How can equality not be natural. There is a lot of gender discrimination even in the work place. Being a lawyer myself I really love what you stand for and pray God gives you strength to excel.

aloted said...

Just because men and women have different responsibilities or purposes does not mean we are not equal. We are all equal in the sight of God. Some men are just egoistic! The earlier some men get this the better for them.

Good work with the summit...and for standing up for the women :D

Afrobabe said...

Wow, you do get involved in a lot of good works...

men are generally threatened by women in every aspect of life..office, kitchen and even the bedroom.

Kemmie said...

Hi, dear. I'm proud of all the work you are doing...
*How are you?

Uzezi said...

u have a fan

SOLOMONSYDELLE said...

I have to commend you for that technology Camp. It is wonderful. Good job, my sista. I can't help but suggest you network with the administrator of the afrobeat (you can find their site on my blogroll). They have a wonderful leadership program you might be interested in. I will let them know about your initiative as well.

Take care and God bless!

Doja said...

Just to let you know that I really admire all these things you do. It takes a very focused woman.

Standtall said...

Isha: Abi o. I thought of that too but if it were to spark up a conversation, it would be done when pple were talking abt a similar issue not when we were rounding up to form groups for progressive reports and collaborations

Onydchic: hmmm I feel you. I am committed to this cause and so is so many other great women and men that I know of. And like you said it will be a long fight but we will get there.

OluwaDee: Yes the organisation is run by a woman called Engr Wunmi Hassan, she works at O.A.U, Ife

Naija Idol: Grammar ke? I am happy ou viewed equality as a natural phenomenon too.

Chari: Dabaru ya head ke? Okay join the grp for real o. Thanks mi-man

Grahamn Kracker:
Thanks you Bill. You have earned my respect (wink)

Abbie: Hmmm see my top girl giving me all the lovely comment and all that. Thanks love and I admire you tooooooooooo.

Tairebabs:
You are a lawyer? Good!!! This way a lot of women can come to you for legal assistance if you so want to be involved this way. I reckon u r not based in Nigeria. Thanks for the nice comment

Aloted:
Thanks a lot mi-lady. And you are right we are all equal before our creator.

Afrobabe:
You are more than right. I am have come to believe that the men that are threatened are in that position because they believe women are more powerful than them.

Kemmie mi:
I am fine and you? I bleive we are all doing a good work one way or the o

Uzezi:
Waoh!!! Let’s fan each other. (lol)

Solommonsydelle:
Thanks a lot sis. I will check your blog roll out in a moment and check the group out. You are fabulous too and I know you are contributing tooo in no small measure

Doja:
Thank you so much for the compliment my sis. I believe we are all contributing in different ways. You are doing so yourself

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Hey there StandTall!

I just wanted to stop by and tell you that I am proud of the work that you are doing with your blog and I love visiting!

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!
Lisa

Standtall said...

Dear Lisa,

I appreciate your work more. Thank you

Rita Esuru Okoroafor said...

I am completely impressed with what you are doing. How many females will be blessed...

Please keep up the good work.

Thanks for stopping by. I really like your blog (write ups and aesthetics).

Waffarian said...

Well done.

I'll be back to leave a longer comment later.

NoLimit said...

Hiya,thanks for stopping by...
This topic is quite sensitive...especially in Africa.I believe in equality btw the male and Female specie...having said that,I also believe that our roles as male and female is quite different and complementary to each other's role...that is not to say that the male/female is better than the female/male!
It is just God's own special way of bringing order!
If you know who you are as a person and the power you wield as a woman...then you will fit comfortably into your role as woman.

Standtall said...

Rita Esuru Okoroafor:

Thanks my systa. I equally appreciate what u r doing too.

Waffarian: I am waiting

No limit: Admittedly, you have said it all. I wish all the world will embrace this mentaility and do away with all the wrong stuff they have put into their heads via culture and what have u

Adamgv said...

Women need to be empowered more in general. They need to use their looks for good rather than use them for personal selfish persuits. When you get a moment check out:

www.prettygirlssavetheworld.com.

Jinta said...

music, music... i'm protesting, cant read

Standtall said...

Admgv: thanks for visiting my blog. About your comment, the issues with empowerment about nigerian women is not really about good looks, it's about mind set and of course we have a lot of organisations working to see a better society.

Jinta: Music ke? Where is it being played?

My Passion, my focus, the change that I want to see in the world - is my propellent factor.

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