International Women’s Day, 2023
Hello Woman, Produce after Your Kind
Nature is designed in species. Nature produces after its kind. Nature does not compete with itself. Light does not compete with light. Water does not compete with water. Any segment of nature that competes with itself will drives itself nuts. The only way to enjoy nature is to align with nature, cultivate nature, and not compete with nature.
Today is March 8, celebrated as International Women’s Day. I like to say a few things to the women in my world and those within my circle of influence. I like to establish that Women are crucially instrumental in the maintenance of a stable society. But stable societies begin from stable homes. Women’s roles must begin from the home.
By the way, in the home she is called “Mother”. Motherhood is both a role and a status. In the society, she is called a “Woman”. Womanhood is more of role than a status. What is the deference?
Motherhood is about nurturing, caring, support and domestication. Womanhood is about contribution, participation, and leadership. Anytime you hear about the role of women, think about it from the point of view of their involvement in public life. And public life includes workplaces, professions, politics, governance and public leadership.
I am particular about women’s participation in public life of their community and society in general. In the political turf, women are too critical to be ignored. I made this point clearly in Chapter eleven of my book, “The Quest for Political Leadership & Citizens Democracy: How Individuals Become Public Citizens” (Joseph Ibekwe, 2018). In the introduction to the Chapter titled: “Politics for Women”, I wrote:
“Women bring so many good things to the political domain. They bring intellect, loyalty, managerial and multi-tasking skills to bear on politics. Women bring humaneness to politics… Indeed, politics is dry, tasteless, and colourless without the active participation of women “.
Nature works in pairs. The public space can only function effectively when we recognize, tolerate, and harnesses the power of working in pairs. Women complete the pair in public life. Men are part of the pair. And in this pair, there is no superiority by reason of maleness or femaleness. What matters in public life and in the space is contribution, participation and leadership. Women in the public space should focus on the contributions their bring, the leadership they offer and their participation in the general growth and sustenance of the public space where work and function. They should resist the temptation to compete with the men. Both men and women bring different flavour and colour to public life. It is the complementarity of these contributions that make the public space functional and productive.
I often hear the statement ” What men can do; women can do better”. This is one of the most rebellious statements in the public space. It is a statement of competition, propagated by the early feminist movement. The statement itself is part emanated from the feeling of low self-esteem by some women who think they must do what men do or even do better, to prove they are somebody. No! You don’t have to prove anything. Just make your contributions. Participate. Provide leadership in the public space within your inherent capacity and dispositions. That will enough! Don’t compete. Just contribute!
As you celebrate this year’s IWD, on the theme: “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”, make it your goal to mentor younger women to participate actively in the digital world. Mentor them to be who they are, and not seek to be who they are not. Men are men. Women are women. Let everyone produce after their kind. Then we complement. That is the only way we can sustain a stable thriving society for all of us.
At FLED Institute, we groom women to participate actively in public life and to offer non-competitive leadership in the public space.
We invite forward-looking women across Africa to apply for *Induction into Public Leadership* at FLED Institute.