By Zuriel Oduwole
Across the globe, boys and girls do similar things when they are young, but in many societies, girls are treated differently. They are sometimes seen as weak – I wonder whose idea or opinion that was, as if they haven’t heard about Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher who led the UK to its most recent individual war in the Falklands and won, or Ms. Indra Nooyi, who as CEO and then Chairperson took PepsiCo group that makes Pepsi cola and everything else it does to greater heights.
What about Ngozi Okonjo Iweala, who helped as Nigeria’s Finance Minister, to reduce the country’s external debt, I met her last September at the UN, she’s really smart. Also, my favorite, Prime Minister Golda Meir. She was born in Ukraine, grew up in the United States, and became the fourth prime minister of Israel. Wasn’t that the country that in 1976 flew almost 4000 miles to rescue their citizens held hostage in Uganda?
Across the world, but especially in Africa, it is very impotent not to treat one sex more important than the other, especially girls, as lower or weaker than boys. There is a simple reason, ‘Boys and Girls, become Men and Women.’
Understanding that boys and girls become men and women, why would anyone still treat their daughters poorly, or keep them from getting educated? For those who say the girls belong in the kitchen, wouldn’t they become married someday, and have to operate complicated machines in the same kitchen, or use apps to order groceries, or operate the refrigerator from the touch screen panel. Who would educate them then?
For those who allow girls to go to school and the university, but would not want them to rise in the business world, those same women would one day have to assume positions of power and authority, and have to compete with other women in other parts of the world. If Indra Nooyi whom I talked about above and who was born in India but now lives in the US, was ever denied an education by her parents back in India, where would PepsiCo be today. She is the first woman ever to lead Pepsico, and she seems to be doing well – at least, that’s what I read in business magazines in the plane recently.
For all those who lead culture, or determine education curriculum today, what kind of future do you want for your country. Now for Nigeria’s leaders, what kind of a society do you want by 2039 – just twenty years from today, when huge drones may be flying people for A to B, and almost everything is voice activated, and where most people would be required to program or code their PDAs for added security measures regularly.
As a society, what do boys and girls see on the news every day, regarding the actions of their leaders. Are they inspired by what the leaders are doing in the US, in Nigeria, in Venezuela? If you read about history, every next generation, does more of what the present generation does.
So, if boys and girls today, become men and women tomorrow, what would they be better at, or what would they be doing more of, than the leaders of today. Seriously, think about it. Let us predict the future, by how we treat or the examples we show the boys and girls of today, because tomorrow, they would be in leadership and would run everything.