A VOICE IN SUPPORT OF CHILDREN AND WOMEN
We must as a people begin to set our priorities right. We need to start setting realistic goals. In view of the harsh economic realities on ground and for the sake of proper human management and development, it is high time we started considering the rate at which we breed babies in our country.
Parents should be encouraged to start viewing things from this angle. It will be of no benefit to you and the society, if you start bearing several numbers of children that you can hardly meet up with their proper developmental needs.
Children are like a company, you need to properly manage them; as failure to do this could result to several problems not just for yourself but the society as well.
Yes we are a developing African nation with strong values attached to bearing children, in most cases a lot of our people opting for many. But we must begin to re-evaluate this. Children need so many other things, proper parenting which should be also evident in their parents abilities to meet up their needs.
Very often we have seen that due to limited resources meant to use for proper parenting, a lot of problems arise from larger families. Is not like most smaller families even with abundance of resources do not face certain problems associated with proper children upbringing. But statistically speaking these problems even though, differ a little occur more in larger families especially, with much more limited resources to carter for their children’s needs.
Every parent wants the best for their children, yet not all parents are ready to take time and consider the number of children they can properly manage according to their resources. The reality is, there is no pride in bearing more children when it’s obvious the ones you already have are not being well taken care of and their needs not properly being attended to.
This becomes a burden not just to you but also to your other family members, society and the government. The resultant effects of this in most cases, has not been good.
For societies problems to be well managed, the important role of families which is the first and immediate society of any child cannot be over emphasized. It’s a common belief amongst our people that children are gifts from God hence; the more number of children is an indication of more blessings. Yes this is true but those blessings can become a curse to you and society, if not properly cared for and well managed.
In light of the aforementioned, it is quite reasonable to suggest the need for proper planning before bearing children. It will not also be evil to suggest that families employ modern best, birth control methods to ensure that mostly children that are well planned for are given birth to.
Our focus should also shift towards encouraging entrepreneurship, and self reliance amongst our young women especially. Our mentality of solely demanding marriage, for our young women; forcing them into early and in most cases unprepared marriages is to a large extent affecting these women negatively, and should also be given a second thought.
On a more personal note, I feel it is a great error in our seeing it normal for a man to stay unmarried as long as he wants, yet put so much pressure on young women to quickly bring home a man. If this happens to take a while longer than our self imposed marriage time line on these women, then we begin to subject them to all forms of public judgemental sentiments that are not necessary.
These women are also human beings like us therefore, I think it’s more reasonable to also allow them make their marriage choices as at the time they feel ready to, just like how such right is accorded men. Our treatment to women in all issues should be with that of mutual respect and understanding.
What makes it so evil should a woman decides to stay unmarried? Or single for as long as she wants? Just like how men do most of the time. We must begin to desist from this habit of unjustly tying a marriage burden around our young women’s neck, while allowing men to swim in the ocean of freedom as long as they want.
Have we not noticed that very often; this you must marry early syndrome has led these women into by force marriages that has cost them their happiness? Or is it not wise for us to also take the happiness of our daughters into consideration?
Women too must be allowed the freedom to pursue career, do exploits in their various fields and must not in any way be reduced to just mere house wives. What is good for a man should also be good for a woman. This is a fact we must all come to terms with, and accept. Women also have a lot more to contribute positively, for the betterment of our society other than being just house wives.
Our Nigerian society must by all means, begin to encourage equal rights for men and women.
***Afagha Emmanuel, is an advocate for people.