By Adesuyi Leslie Ajayi
This poses a challenge to responsible parenting. Gender dichotomy and educational accomplishment gap have disappeared in many Southern Nigerian families. This means men and women have rough parity in professional accomplishments ( maybe less in Engineering for women, but there are now many PhD Engineering women ).
High education achievements for women, translate to career and financial empowerment, with some surpassing most men in their age gap or vicinity.
Marriage has always been based ( until the latter part of the 20th century) between a contract between a man’s pocket and a woman’s body and nurturing services to the man, who is then the husband. The Abrahamic faiths also endorse this view.
Parents have failed to update their upbringing instructions to their children, in response to the career and economic transition and female empowerment. Women are enjoying financial independence that their maternal ancestors never dreamed of. This unprecedented potency has to train and be tamed.
The Girl child needs to be instructed that she has to embrace a two- track mind approach to relationship and marriage. That she should strive for excellence and be a boss in her career or profession. But that boss mindset must end at the home’s doorstep and home, become a submissive wife to the husband.
That such submission or respect is not second rate or slavishness. That it is for societal order and her peace of mind, career progress children/ family peace and joy.
Parri passu the instructions to the girl child, the sons need to be instructed and educated that, apart from physical ability, women can be as smart and even outperform men in many fields of human endeavour and even earn more than men. The health fields of nursing, medicine and pharmacy are mid/high income earning and tend to have female predominance demographically.
That there is nothing wrong to be married to a woman, with higher income potential. That a higher earning woman does not diminish their masculinity, because there are other ways other than financial that women need men. That is feeling secure physically and emotionally, good counsel, and spiritual leadership. and in paternal parenting, a man’s role as husband and father is of inestimable value.
That a world where women are kept perpetually pregnant, barefooted and financially dependent on men, is over forever. I believe that if these core concepts are taught at an early age and given curricular emphasis, there will be a salutary cultural change, to the delight of all.
*Professor Adesuyi Leslie Ajayi, former Welcome Trust Clinical Research Fellow, Department of Medicine at Queens Medical Center Nottingham, is a public affairs analyst