Womenomics | TED TAUGHT ME THURSDAY
Being human essentially involves sorting and fragmenting every single detail into consciously conceived boxes in order to give meaning to our reality. This need to understand everything, define everything and segment everything neatly into mental compartments is what makes us so intricately human, and forms the basis, though conspicuously outdated, the fabric of our current reality. As a human first, before I am a woman, a black woman, a Nigerian woman, a chocolate skinned and proud Nigerian woman, I am indeed a human first. However, certain prejudices set the tone for how we perceive, understand and accept our world, allocating unsolicited labels to sort humans into boxes. Africa, a majestic continent is one which is very prejudiced with her ideologies, and especially so against its women. From the days of our fore fathers, women were merely dictations, ornamentations that floated around the streets, subject to the will and acceptance of men. What we were, our roles, our hearts, our bodies, our destines, our lives, everything was handed to us by men who saw themselves as the Lords over our lives.
Though feminism might be seen as a western movement, feminism infact originated on the mahogany soils of this beautiful continent. Preceding the splits from the ancient empires and pre the arrival of the slave masters, women historically walked neck to neck harmoniously with their male counterparts free of prejudice and unstable subjugation. Now, in the 21st century, women are speaking up again, owning their narratives, reclaiming their tongues, their wombs, their hearts, their bodies, their lives, their destinies and this new movement is as unstoppable as nature herself.
Cursed, Slut, Nagging, Irrational, Pitiful, Witch, Bossy, Unworthy, African women have always been the dartboard, taking arrows of scrutiny and judgement thrown at us if we chose to follow the unorthodox tracks that led to an altruistic freedom. Ola Orekunin, a medical doctor, ‘a trainee helicopter pilot and an entrepreneur who founded West Africa’s first indigenous air ambulance service, the Flying Doctors Nigeria which saves hundreds of lives across the region every year’ leads us on the reinforcing steps to a liberating pinnacle where women are no longer bound by the prejudices of old concerning what we can, cannot, should and should not achieve. Womenomics is a tale of West African women who are defying limiting definitions and soaring above the constrictions of a mentally archaic society , both in business and otherwise. Women are remarkable beings and there is nothing impossible for us, we can be whatever we want and it is time we pucker our lips, wear our heels, embrace our femininity and take the pencil by the hand, erasing prejudiced old wives tales and rewriting a more befitting and viable story for ourselves, our daughters and every woman around the globe. It is time we embrace our strengths, push ourselves to the max and live the fullest and most enriching lives possible without having to succumb to society’s yardstick of what a woman should be. It is our time.
cred : youtube – Tedx Talks