The Article, Reflection On The Burden Faced By Women: A Case Study Among The Tiv Women Of Benue State, Nigeria Is Written By Alaka Sesugh Gabriel.
REFLECTION ON THE BURDEN FACED BY WOMEN: A CASE STUDY AMONG THE TIV WOMEN OF BENUE STATE, NIGERIA.
By Prince Alaka Jnr.
Following the assumptions, people make about women concerning their behaviours while with their parents or in their husbands’ homes, some of which are drawn from traditional perceptions that are highly detrimental to their dignity. These perceptions are, however, drawn from the various customs, cultures, and traditions of the tribes or ethnic groups in our country Nigeria. Limiting women in this regard, therefore, poses an unbearable burden on them hence the broken houses and marriages we have today. In this paper, I concentrate on the perceptions and conditions of our dear women in Benue State, particularly the Tiv, and the possible ways of curbing this menace or what can be regarded as molestation.
I Am sure most people who are Tiv or non-Tiv will feel agog to read further and consume the work for proper insight about the challenges or experiences women face. Thus, I shall make the work not to be abstruse but fluently for our understanding; emphasizing the foregoing, at least I will attempt to touch up and down some facts hidden which are by the virtue of equality, women’s rights are observed to play on, in a given democratic environment. ( Society).
THE CONCEPT OF WOMAN.
According to online research, WOMAN, FEMALE, AND LADY are nouns referring to an adult female human being; one paradigm of gender and biological sex for adult human beings. WOMAN is the general term. It is neutral, lacking either favorable or unfavorable implications, and is the most commonly used of the three: a wealthy woman; a woman of strong character, and a woman of unbridled appetites. In scientific, statistical, and other objective uses, FEMALE is the neutral contrastive term to MALE and may apply to plants and animals also: 104 females to every 100 males. Among lions, the female is the chief hunter.
FEMALE is sometimes used in disparaging contexts: a gossipy female; a conniving female. LADY meaning “refined polite woman” is a term of approval or praise: a real lady in all things; to behave like a lady. When used as a form of address, LADY may be polite or neutral in tone: Ladies, did you hear about the new brunch menu with bottomless mimosas? However, in the singular form, it is often perceived as rude: Hey, lady, I don’t have all day.
Having attempted the meaning of the concept of woman, to some it might be absurd because of the presentation, though it’s not appalling let’s step on the stone where we can have a crystal clear definition and evaluation of the word woman, because is only when we elaborate on it with cogent and vivid points that, we will stand the chance to discuss the challenges they face.
THE BURDEN FACED BY WOMEN
Women are axiomatic or universally viewed or assumed to be a living human creatures with the ability or chance to mother another being either male or female by chance and accident.
Following this philosophical comprehensive view about the concept ( meaning) of woman as assessed by a young philosopher prince Alaka Sesugh Jnr., women are those female beings with the ability to give life to a new creature (mothering); this process entails two methodologies, through God or what I view as artificial insemination.
By this little analysis, we will observe that women are those female genders whose conscience and attention are focused on the children of those whom they live under.
Women are located almost all over the world, and most of them have the same empirical iota of knowledge across all the states (countries), thus I examine their burden with research among the Tiv women of Benue state of Nigeria.
The blessed Tiv women of Benue state of Nigeria are among those women who face some challenges in the world. The Tiv women are the most loving, caring, peaceful, and strong female gender across the state (Country).
These are the people who are widely married and settle down around the world. Only a few families reject extra marriage, some allow it and go with their cultural attire for identification, known by their traditional marks or dress with a weaved coloured clothe called Anger (in Tiv), a shiny two colour clothe weaved with black and white trade.
With the affection, most got from their patriarch to husband, some lunatics and insane forks who never greet with a Tiv woman in life, term to view them as women who don’t possess any valuable iota of knowledge; so, they should be disqualified some opportunities, this wicked act is practice on women in the middle belt and even across the countries.
Tiv women of middle belt treat fellow human beings respectfully and happily, They see their husbands’ brothers and friends indeed like brothers to their husbands which defines human equality. Thus, am proud and tempted to expose the hidden reality that awards me a feminist philosopher.
It is quite obvious and indubitably that most women in the middle belt face some burdens across the geo-political zones in Benue state which seem to make some of them become baby mamas and this is quite domiciled across the world.
BURDENS WOMEN EXPERIENCE
Below are some selected burdens women experience;
- Lack of understanding
- Seeing them as the problem to their success
- Responsibilities and Accountabilities
- Amounting all on them
- The burden of fertility and delivery
Women, as earlier identified, will turn our understandings or our whole views of them into a hocus-pocus and a state of befuddlement and bewilderment if we continue seeing them unvalued. Only if we illuminate our minds and shun gender bias we will keep our understanding and treat our women perfectly and give them attention, trust, care, and after-care to satiate our test. Explanation of the above-mentioned points will help expose us to the reality of the burden faced by women.
LACK OF UNDERSTANDING
A woman is likely to face this burden in her parents’ or husband’s house and this can emerge as a great lacuna between her and the people.
Most families don’t understand the lifestyle of their daughters or women thus, they affirm whatever assumption they made about them as truthful.
This is because, they don’t understand how most times women do strive and plan to live a good life and with such hope, they always feel encouraged when families have that at the back of their minds and say good prayers to them than accepting falsehood thought about them.
SEEING THEM AS THE PROBLEM TO THEIR SUCCESSFUL LIVES
This point here seems to be a debating point for discussion, moreover, I shall touch widely on it for easy consumption.
I could remember one good mesmerizing and ho-hum quotation that, behind every successful man there is a woman. This quotation carries a good illustration that captures almost all the whole meaning of my explanation. However, most people’s presumptions remain in a fallacious state, some see it in a negative perspective that women are the cause of their unsuccessful life.
Women tend to face such problems in their homes as abuse or bewitchments and most times, the parents or husbands remain the reasons for their unsuccessful lives as they go on mismanaging resources to claim personhood in a given household.
This is one of the burdens faced by Tiv women in the middle belt. They face this burden of immaturity when the person’s love is not practically acting mature.
In most homes, the leaders of a given woman in a Tiv setting behave immaturely. This immaturity can be observed even in a gathering as the parents or husbands act like a child by commenting unnecessarily and leaving the environment before a final decision. Most households use the opportunity of parents or husbands who drive them by their immaturity to sell some farm produce or important house items like land.
Such act depresses women and hang their minds on perpetual thinking, because as a strong and courageous woman, she faces all family problems alone since her husband has an immaturity mind, and so she constantly reflects on the shame and challenges her husband puts her into mostly every seconds.
RESPONSIBILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY
Some people assert that women are the most intelligent but confused set of gender. According to them, they are smart, intelligent, caring and loving, but can’t keep to it for long.
It is observed that women want the best from whom they love or they are going to stay with for life. Thus, they expect such a great man of their heart to be accountable and always ready for responsibilities.
In a situation where such expected exceptional points are to be uneasy to come through, most women face more burdens in their families than the head which is not fair; because, responsibilities are for both hence they have agreed to live a single body to fight for their common lives.
AMOUNTING ALL ON THEM
This is one of the most very important points that are so interesting to discuss in this paper. Most of the Tiv women can attest to this point and award it great marks as it’s one of their usual burdens.
Most people amount all on their women like provision of clothes and food for the household and being in charge of domestic problems, kitchen, and prayers for the family. Shifting all these to women becomes a great burden faced by them, not just in the middle belt, particularly the Tiv women but universally understood.
It is universally accepted that women are helpers of men, but in this case, I am tempted to say, some men are helpers of women; on the ground that, a woman faces more challenges in a given home than the man, all is mounted on her, after farm she fetches firewood with a baby strap on her back, she cook, serve and boil water for the man to bath, and if her husband is going back to farm in the evening again, she follows; which if limit to men, only few will allow themselves to be part and parcel of it.
THE BURDEN OF FERTILITY AND DELIVERY
Birth which is understood as bringing one into life becomes a major burden faced by women by their husbands. Most people fail to acknowledge the fact that the inability of fertility in women is most at times not from them, but the husband’s incompetence either because of spiritual affiliation or illness.
It sets my mind in a state of constant reflection on how people fail to allow civilization to rule their minds because if they do, they will not beat or cause their women; they will understand that for a woman to have found it difficult in conceiving could be a problem from one or both of them and reason to seek for medical attention to unravel the reason(s) behind it than irritating her all-time which at times she develops schizophrenia.
This issue of fertility or conception is faced by women almost across the cosmos, some send back home their precious wives because of it and take home another wife. Fertility is not a single responsibility, it is always a thing of joy in women to see the fruit of their womb bouncing in healthy status. Women do feel painful, sardonically, aggressively, and even chaotic if married within a year but without a child; she has no peace of mind, even though she smiles around with people. This entails a great burden faced by the virtuous Tiv women in the middle belt and across the globe.
Women because they are understood as helpers of men, or living creatures capable of mothering other beings by chance or accident despite their big opportunity in human life, are looked down on by some people scornfully and unvalued.
This is the misunderstanding most people have which they limit to the fact that naturally a woman is created to be so. Thus, such an assumption has broken some connections between some women and families hence it indicates what I call gender bias.
©Alaka Sesugh Gabriel
Benue state University, Makurdi
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