Topics on Gender Inequality Should Be Introduced In Nigerian Schools…

So, a lady wrote this on social media; “Social studies teachers should stop teaching our kids that fathers are head of the home! I didn’t send my daughters to school for a teacher who is still stuck in stone age to teach them to accept patriarchy as a norm!”

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Trust our people, they came out in their droves to attack the woman. But you know what? She is absolutely right. Gender equality should be taught in schools, that way the students would pass on the messages to their parents.

This reminds me of what a friend said she her 4-year-old daughter in Nigeria, was taught in school.

Mummy does one of the following:

A. Provide for family

B. Cook

C. Play

The correct answer was, ……. your guess is as good as mine, B-Cook.

Children as young as 4 years, are being taught that mummy does not provide for the family, she’s meant to cook.  At such young ages, these little girls are being groomed to believe that the primary mission of a woman is to cater to a man, a woman is supposed to consider motherhood as the primary purpose of her being. She is expected to have children, cook, clean, wash and take care of the man and be subordinate to him.

Why would these girls not grow up believing that their main purpose in life is to get married, have children and take care of the family? While the man on the other hand, is allowed to pursue his dreams so that he will be able to fulfill his own purpose in life, which is to provide for her and the children.

And why will these boys not grow up to see themselves superior to women? Thinking that the function of a woman is to cater to a man’s needs? Remember the famous words of our president “my wife belongs to MY kitchen and to the other room”. Teaching children these kinds of things promote such mentality and promotes patriarchy as well, which is destructive because the girls will grow up believing that a man, can fly high and have a successful career while the woman is to tend to the man’s needs.

Teaching children that a man is the head of a family will make them grow up believing that a man, because he is male should automatically be the leader, not because he possesses the abilities but because of his sexual organ. Why should sexual organ be used as a yardstick to determine leadership? If there must be a head in the family, then the leadership should be based on abilities and not by having a vagina or a penis.  Studies have shown that Domestic violence is related to culturally supported attitudes about who should be in control in a relationship.

This is 2017, we know these roles have changed and our children ought to be taught what is obtainable now. It is not the role of only the father to provide for the family, it is the role of Fathers AND mothers to provide for the family. Fathers and mothers are heads in the home. They are a team. When some issues come up that daddy can handle better, he takes the lead and when other issues come up which mummy can handle better, she takes the lead. They are both leaders, working together to make the home successful.

In a survey carried out in 2014, by British Council, 4,500 student teachers were asked questions on gender equality.  The views of students show that highly gender inequitable views are widespread, particularly with regard to women’s political leadership, knowledge about contraception, joint decision-making in families, and vulnerability to sexual harassment. Discriminatory views were evident amongst a large proportion of male students, but are also articulated by a sizeable minority of female students. Teachers are meant to be a key resource for effecting gender equality in education, they need to understand gender issues, get rid of their prejudices and not transfer these to their students.

Let us stop teaching our children what applied in the year 1900 as the norm now, they can learn about that in history class. Books need to be updated to improve the understanding of gender equality in schools and teachers should point out examples of  gender inequality whenever they come across it in books.

We need to change the mindset of the younger generation.

 

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