Celebrating women: Why men should empower their women


By Furera Bagel, Ph.D

A few years ago when my sister was then working for Save The Children,  she sighted a little boy of about 4 years old obviously having trouble with his legs for he walked using the sides of his legs. She stopped and asked him to take her to his parents and he did. She asked the dad to allow her to take him to the hospital and the Doctors said the ailment can be corrected through a surgery and he will be able to walk normal.

She gave the money for the surgery to the boy’s father after a date was set. But after a few weeks she was visited at her office by the weeping mother who informed her that the father has taken the money meant for surgery and paid a bride price to a girl he intended to marry. He said that God had created the boy like that and no one can change that. Well, he soon found out he was dealing with the wrong person for my sister called the cops upon the wicked fatherland soon the money was retrieved and the surgery was done successfully. The boy will forever have his mother to thank because left to his father he would have grown up a cripple.

There are many other similar cases in our society, which clearly signifies how women are forced to witness neglects against their children by indifferent fathers, Simply because they are not financially empowered themselves to help their children.

Various studies have shown that there is a positive relationship between women empowerment and a country’s social and economic growth.

Every individual requires living an independent life free of domination and subjugation, but in northern Nigeria, women are required traditionally to be under the protection of men from birth till date. Those men are, the father, when she is born, the husband when she marries and the brother or father when she is divorced and the son when she is old.

This was indeed a beautiful tradition when the men used to respect the rules and keep up to their responsibilities towards those women. But unfortunately we now live in a society where a father does not educate his daughter and does not equip her with any other thing to enable her to survive if she ever finds herself without the protection of a man. Most of the time the father couldn’t wait for the time when he would pass her responsibilities to the husband. We have husband’s who shirk their responsibilities of feeding, clothing and children’s responsibilities to the poor wife and we have witnessed some who divorced a woman after 50 years of marriage sending her packing out of the house penniless, homeless and vulnerable.

The divorced women will have to return to their father’s house and in many cases she is considered as burden to their male relations and often become victims of ridicule and scorn by stepmothers, sister-in-laws and in many cases even daughter-in-laws from whom they sometimes will have to endure insolent songs and proverbs like “May God bring forth heavy wind, that would destroy that old hut!”

There are many reasons why a man should empower his woman, and this includes all the women in his life, which are his wife, daughters and sisters.

Nowadays because men have absconded their responsibilities very few are not able to take care of their sibling’s children, as it was the usual norm. We see examples everyday of families abandoned by their relatives after the father’s death. But if an empowered woman can take care of her children’s needs when her husband is no more.

Empowering women promotes peaceful co-existence between co-wives and even strengthen mother-in-law/daughter in-law relationship because such woman does not waste her time being envious of what her husband gives her co-wife or what he does for his mother and relatives. In fact, she also contributes towards ensuring they have what they need.

Once a woman is financially empowered, be rest assured that all her children, parents, and any other important relatives would be taken care of.

An empowered woman doesn’t  follow men around for financial gain. Once a girl is empowered financially, she will take care of her own needs and would not depend on boyfriends.

And that is why men should always empower their women financially, for just like education, which is the first step, to empower a woman is to empower a whole community.

Therefore, men should strive to empower their women because, according to study, it is their rights, it means healthier families, it strengthens economies,  it is the key to breaking  the cycle of poverty for families around the world and finally because it is the right thing to do.


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