When a woman talks in Nigeria, she is often interrupted to keep quiet because her voice is not suppose to be heard. Keep quiet who is that talking? dont you know that you are a woman is often the response that greets the woman whenever she is to air her feelings about the issue that concerns her and her children. I remember an incidence my female lecturer once recounted in class about how the family travelled home during the Christmas holiday and the entire male family member gathered in a meeting to dicuss how the family landed properties were to be shared among her children and their cousins.She insisted that she must attend the meeting because the issues to be discussed concerns her children and as such the decisions to be taken affects her as well. But the family declined despite her level of education.Being a professor in the university did not even gualify her to participate in the meeting.Butshe was bent on disrupting that meeting if not for the intervention of the other women who pleadwd with her to please allow peace to reign. Thus must African women have accepted the fate of not being heard and some have even given up hope of trying to convince the men to listen. After an hour or so, her action led to the family calling on all the other women to attend the meeting.Women should continually stand up and resist the the oppression from the male counterparts.Let us stand up with one force and together say no to gender inequality. We have suffered for so long. Many parents still trade the girl child's education to pay for the boys. The girl child is given into early marriage just to raise fund to send the boys to schoolwho they say will bear their name forever. This is injustice done to the woman.If a woman who has attained the higest academic standard can be so treated, what happens to the naive, ignorant uneducated woman, who does not know her right from her left. All women must be given equal given equal opportunity to access education because this is the only way to enhance the voice of the woman. No wonder my professor was able to make that noise that led to the invitation of the other wives to attend the meeting that determines the future of their children.Woman, you need education for your voice to be heard.

Most parents give so much attention and preference to the male child that the boy begins to see the sister as inferior, while he is the superior and most cherished child.I went home to Benin some few years ago to collect my result in school.This time I was already marriad and expecting a baby. Some how I could not finish all that is required within one week and had to stay longer at home instead of travelling up and down. Since I was heavily Pregnant, I usually will sit outside to get enough fresh air. I got the shock of my life when one of my younger brothers walked dowm to me to say that since I came, I have been seating out to monitor his movement and that he wonders why iam around in the first place instead of being with my husband and that I should rememberthat I no longer belong to this family. This is a common picture in Nigeria and you see most girls grow up to believe that the only thing they are good for is marriage. Some of them do not even see any reason why they should take their studies seriously. I have four children with one girl and I ensure that my boys partakes in all form of domenstic chores including washing of plates and sweeping the floor. These they take turn to do with my daughter. No child is more special than the other. Once the woman is educationally empowered, she has been given a voice, we will continue to sound it and blow our trumpet and the more educated we are in number, the more we will shout until we will make our impact felt.


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Dearest Gerty,

Thank you so much for speaking up for women in Nigeria, especially for those who have no forum to voice their needs. Your recommendations for the new UN Women agency are urgent and your voice is so powerful!

I am currently working to compile your letters and share your voices with the GEAR Campaign, who have been working closely with UN Women to ensure the inclusion of civil society groups, and through the PulseWire community, grassroots women leaders, as they set their agenda. We will also be sending your letters directly to Michele Bachelet and other senior leaders of the newly formed UN agency, to demonstrate the effectiveness for sourcing opinion, knowledge and needs from the global grassroots women's movement through our online community. Through this, we hope to open a portal for our community to have a direct line of influence within the UN Women agency.

I will keep you updated on the progress of our campaign!

In friendship and solidarity, Jade