Sunday, June 27, 2010

Women’s Role in the Society

Women do not have the same position as men, though much progress has been made in the society to bring women to a stage where they have equal rights, equal pay, equal independence but still it is not achieved. Though it may seem that women have a great deal of freedom and independence, the overall condition of women in the world of today is not as it should be. Still the bird flies with only one wing as the other is hampered and not fully functional.

Equality requires that those women who are the most liberated from bondages come forth in the world in all spheres of life and make themselves known, make their values known, influence the society. It is changing quickly but it must change more quickly for it is bringing up the feminine qualities and characteristics that will save the human society from annihilation.

From this feminine quality and characteristic rising to the forefront the human society will grow and thrive in the future. Without this development the human society will move to destructive actions. Those possessive and territorial qualities and characteristics that are normally associated with masculine vibration are much less with the balancing of the feminine, with her influence and leadership.

Of course there are many variations among men and women so that a generalization will not apply to all. But it is true that, in the main, the masculine has certain qualities that are stronger than those of feminine nature. Those of feminine nature have certain qualities that are stronger in the main will be stronger. It can be said that those in female form have more capacity for emotional bonding and attachment. This is the result of the nurturing role of women with children. It is a biological factor.

What mother wants a war? What mother with sons wants a war? The mother’s desire is always that her children be safe and have the best life possible. So a woman is bound to bring peace to the world. As those of feminine quality become more influential in human society, they bring care for the aged, care for the ill, care for the young and strong desire not to allow harm to their sons and daughters.

These are the qualities of the feminine. These qualities are in dire need in the human political arena, in the development of the society. The qualities of the feminine personality are needed and the sooner they come forward the better.

So the women’s liberation movement sought to give equal employment to women. But then the women had to be like men, to forsake their time with their children, forsake their strong desire to be with the family and children in order to achieve financial success and status. Then, when their menses comes, they must pretend they have no pain and no need. When they go into menopause, they are not to show signs or symptoms. This is seen as a weakness, both to have pain with the period and to have signs and symptoms of menopause.

By whose values are these weaknesses? Who has said this is weakness? This arose in the world based upon the work of men. When women enter that world, their needs are seen as weaknesses. So women are the weaker sex and they get emotional before their period, another feminine weakness. By whose standard is this a weakness? By whose standard are women the weaker sex?

You see women leaving the captivity at home where they are dependent upon the working men for bread and butter. They leave to earn their own living in the male-dominated work force where they are expected to be like men. Then what happens to the children? What are those children with their mothers gone? What happens when the mothers have a hard-hearted boss who thinks it is a weakness if the mother must take time to be with her child?

This is not liberation. The women in this society are not as liberated as you may think. The true liberation of women requires the values and standards of women, the sweetness, the softness, the association of care and nurturance. Why is it a crime to need a day, a week, and a month off the work? Perhaps it should be the standard. The values of women and the needs of women must be incorporated into the society, the sooner the better and the more the better because it is when this comes forward that balance will occur in the human society. It is not for women to become men ignoring all of their own needs, trying to suppress them so that they don’t show any weakness. It is for women to come forward and all these things that are natural to stop being defined as weaknesses. These are natural to the feminine body and to the feminine mind. They are to be seen as a natural flow, respected as such, and given due time and accordance.

When this occurs, change in human society will occur of a great magnitude. War will become a black mark in human history. Human services and the care for living beings will become more prominent as women come to the front. There are women who are charging ahead of the crowd to take a post that requires them to adopt the standards, methods and values of men but this has a great cost to themselves. It is not inherent to their nature. It is not natural or happy. It is true as I have said that this may vary from individual to individual. But you will find when you analyse many women who have gone far in their carriers or in their political position having to adopt many masculine traits and practices, that they are feeling some pain, longing for something, missing or fearing they missed. This is because they have been oppressed even though they may be very successful, they have been oppressed as women and they have not been taught to value their sweet and softer side. They have been taught to suppress their feminine cyclical nature, their emotional variations to be successful in the world of man. Perhaps they have had to sacrifice having children or nurturing and knowing their children. Perhaps they have had no time for them and they feel a great loss.

These are hardships of women in society today where the women appear to make a better stand for themselves in the working world. But to truly make a better stand, it is not only to be in the working world, but to be proudly a woman, carrying forward the values and standards with pride, respecting the cycles of a woman’s life, of your life, your changes, the ups and downs, ebbs and flows, days when you must rest, days when you should go out into the world, days when you feel slightly irritable. The cycles of menopause, the cycles of a woman’s life are like the rhythms of nature. They are a part of the rhythm of the earth and the moon. They are great. They are not weaknesses. They are the tides of nature.

Be women in the working force, in the world! There must be made a place for women so that success in the world will be on your terms in the tides and rhythms of your body, your mind, your feelings, and your relationships. None of this should be forsaken, sacrificed. No, it is time for this to end because the greatness that women have to offer is not to be another man in the man’s workforce but to bring the feminine heart to change that masculine force, to soften it, modify it, dance with it in a rhythm that will soothe it and shape it and put an end to the strains that now rest upon the world.

The religious role of women in Igbo traditional society

The religious role of women in Igbo traditional sociey
In the Igbo society, women played and still play significant roles in the religious activities of their communities and villages. It is very certain in Igbo land that women both participate in the religious activities of their society and make their own contributions to the spiritual welfare of their families and society at large. The women in traditional religions, and in Christianity have the diverse ways through which they played and still play active roles. In some Igbo communities women were and still are women Priests (Priestesses), known amongst the Igbos as Eze Nwanyi and as Nne Mmanwu. A good number of the women belonged to the various masquerade cults and play very active roles. The women priestesses offer prayers for their families and communities and consult the oracles to seek for direction and instruction for the society. Women were and still are traditional healers, and some of these female traditional healers handle women and children’s ill health. They have also delievered pregnant women of their babies
Amongst the Christians in Igbo land, the women played and still play very active roles in the churches, the welfare of the priests in charge of the churches are more often than not taken up by the women. It is well known that amongst the Pentecostal Churches, the women Ministry take the welfare of the Pastors as their responsibility. In the 1980s, as a young child, I witnessed first hand the shared responsibility amongst women in my local Church to send in cooked food to the Priests and church workers especially the single ones amongst them.
In the contemporary Igbo society especially amongst the towns in Anambra State, women are very actively involved in church projects and all sorts of levies ranging from Church hall building fund, Church building fund, children church fund are imposed on and collected from the women by and amongst themselves. The popular and annual August General Meeting of some of the Churches have been turned to avenues of raising funds for the Church projects through the women thus giving room to unhealthy competition and rivalry, which are very common and noticeable during such meetings.
Furthermore, a good number of modern day churches are beginning to support women’s ordination as Pastors and Ministers of the gospel and encourage women to hold positions of leadership, unlike in some of the churches introduced by the colonial masters who still treat women in accordance with St. Paul’s instructions in the Bible. In the Anglican communion in Nigeria, women are not ordanied as priests, rather they could become lay Readers, while in the Catholi Church pre
Thus in the religious sphere, the position and roles of the Igbo woman cannot be overlooked as they are like the pillars holding the structures.Read more