Efforts needed to improve women’s welfare

01Jun 2016
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Efforts needed to improve women’s welfare

There has been much talk on what measures need to be taken to advance the cause of women in Africa.

We oft hear the commonly repeated refrain that there should be policies in place to improve the plight of women on the continent.

We oft hear the commonly repeated refrain that there should be policies in place to improve the plight of women on the continent.

However, this has been just talk thus far. Crucially, there has been precious little done to turn this talk into transformative action.

Indeed, it has become worryingly fashionable for the political class to make verbal pronouncements about doing this or that for women but very few countries on the continent have actually followed through and taken the requisite, concrete steps needed to markedly improve or significantly change the lot of women in Africa.

Consider the troubling fact that there are so many young school-girls who get pregnant while in school yet no one is in the slightest bit bothered to pursue these cases in order to bring to book those responsible for these pregnancies in the first place.

Sadly, some innocent, gullible girls fall prey to the sickening advances of shameless grown men who have no compunction at all about engaging in affairs with girls young enough to be their daughters.

Incredibly, some of these men even hold positions of great responsibility in the society.

Indeed, they make themselves out to be outstanding members of society and even paragons of virtue when in actual fact they are entertaining evil thoughts about other people’s daughters.

As a way of combating this horrible menace, school girls should be strongly encouraged to reveal the fathers of their babies and consequently the authorities should spare no resources to ensure that these grossly irresponsible men are held accountable for their actions.

Because the fact of the matter is that at the end of the day school-girls are minors.

They are still children who should not be preyed upon in the worst way by predatory, disturbed men.

Indeed, no one should be allowed to get away with the extremely serious crime of curtailing their education and in the larger picture changing their lives forever.

Without question, authorities on the continent should be very strict on this issue and show no favour to anyone no matter who they are.

The message should be sent out loud and clear: those who are so morally warped, and can’t keep their hands off school-girls, and thus mess around with them should be prosecuted in court and receive their due punishment.

At this critical juncture, it is important not to forget that our girls are the future mothers of our nation.

Indisputably, they need to be given an opportunity to pursue and complete their education.

Indeed, education enables them to take better care of their families and earn a living for themselves as well as their loved ones.

Furthermore, there is still a huge discrepancy between the number of women and the number of men appointed to greatly sought-after positions.

In fact, it seems as if women are brought in as an afterthought.

In many countries on the continent, for instance, it is widely known that men are considered first for most top jobs.

One should also bear in mind here that the population of the continent is made up of roughly 50 percent men and 50 percent women. Hence, it is incomprehensibly daft that most positions of note are occupied by men.

And, frustratingly, this totally unfair situation persists until today.

In view of all this, it would be good for countries on the continent to borrow a leaf out of Rwanda’s book where the still unfulfilled dream of gender equality in Africa is concerned.

Indeed, Rwanda is doing a truly commendable job on the important question of women. Doubtlessly, they are a sterling example to other countries on the continent.

This brings us to the matter of inheritance in the event of the passing away of a family member.

In some areas on the continent women are unjustly shoved completely aside when it comes to the issue of inheritance.

Perhaps this inexcusable and groundless denial of women’s rights can be attributed to culture because it seems that African culture is especially cruel to women.

Indeed, it denies women almost everything. Women are only supposed to work on the farms. Mind you, they are not even allowed to own the land.

They are told that because they are women, they cannot own anything. In other words, they are second-tier members of mankind, which of course is all a load of rubbish.

It seems then that despite the encouraging progress made in quickening the march of the continent towards gender equality, there is still great work which needs to be done.