tina armstrong-ogbonna
Posted January 27, 2012 from Nigeria

In traditional African culture women are presumed to be submissive and dependent on men for survival and relevance. This is what most of our mothers and grandmothers believed and which they trained their female children to follow. But in recent times a new breed of women has been evolving with time, which results from education and exposure. Women are growing strong across the world, with some sharing competitive position with the male folk. The consciousness is gradually eroding the old ideology that women's career ends in the home and kitchen. Women in this age are becoming Presidents, Prime Minister's, Governor's and other prominent roles. This trend is now becoming a challenge with people tagging women that are educated and successful as feminist, domineering and what not. Single, independent and career oriented ladies are on the increase and women are leveraging on the various platforms made available to them to contribute meaning fully to societies where they are found. Does being a single, independent, career lady, a challenge to men these days? The stories vary from how some women are perceived as home breakers, stubborn, proud and domineering. Nkechi Amadi, a 29 years old, single and career lady who lives in Lagos, South-West Nigeria explained that most men become intimidated at her status and either tags her to be domineering and not willing to submit. But she said society has not been fair to single, young and career ladies as most times, their families put pressure on them to get married and be content with a first degree. Nkechi said most of her friends who are married either have to put their career on hold to keep and sustain relationships, as men believe they are too ambitious. Most times they have to put their career on hold for some years before going back, if they ever go and realize their male juniors or contemporaries are now senior to them. There are also instances of young, single ladies not given accommodation by landlords because they feel the women would be having many visitors. This is a regular occurrence in major cities and towns in Nigeria. Rita Ajayi, who couldn't get an accommodation because the landlord asked of her marital status and she said single, ended up squatting with a distant relative in Abuja, Nigeria's capital city. Rita said most times she wants privacy but can't get it because it would be like asking for too much. According to her, "I have to wait till when i meet a man that is ready for marriage, so i can get a house where i can get privacy or what else can i say", she lamented. Is society fair to women that are single, independent and career focused?

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