Friday, June 18, 2010

WOMEN'S HUMAN RIGHTS: The Power of Information by Yewande Okoya

WOMEN'S HUMAN RIGHTS: The Power of Information by Yewande Okoya

Paradoxical Commandments

People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered. Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest person with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest person with the smallest mind.
Think big anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack if you help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you might get kicked in the teeth.

Give the world the best you've got anyway.
Kent M. Keith

Women's Liberation: A Case of Globalisation?

Whenever I think of this subject, what comes to my mind is the lamentation of my friend Abisola in my secondary school days which I can still remember vividly. She said “I wondered what the import of my father’s statement several years ago was when he said to my elder sister “You have to wait for your brother to go to school before you go, at least his education is very important”. This statement kept me in a world of confusion several years till when I came to the realization that women education was not valued in this part of my world. But I could not muster the courage to speak because of fear of what might happen to me - my Dad used to be a military man before he retired at that time, she explained”.

In the past, women throughout the world were second-class citizens, being denied their full legal identities by being excluded from the rights, privileges, and security that all citizens of any country should enjoy. Unjust laws, discriminatory Constitutions, and biased mentalities that do not recognize women as equal citizens violate women’s rights. A “national” of a country, a citizen, is defined as someone who is a native or naturalized member of a state. A national is entitled to the rights and privileges allotted to a free individual, and is also entitled to protection from the state. My question then is why this injustice?

Given this intrinsic animosity to equality between the sexes and to women’s rights and their role in society, how can the condition of women in these societies be improved? The answer must be to get rid of obnoxious traditions and try to develop the inherent potentials in building the society which is the job of every member of the society and this is what I call globalization. I am happy to announce to you that we have achieved it even beyond my imagination. You can call it feminism but I usually refer to it as women’s liberation.

To some experts, globalization has such negative impact on women that they argue that globalization is a man. They point the way women suffer disproportionately from IMF and World Bank policies as public services are cut and they are forced to care for sick, disabled and older relatives, as well as earn a living. But globalization could equally be a woman. Capitalism’s expansion across the globe has resulted in a massive influx of tens of millions of women into the workforce who had traditionally been dependent on husbands and male relatives. Globalization has contradictory effects on women as a matter of fact and those who assign male gender to globalization are right to a point but that is only half the story. It has also brought great freedom to women, especially those living in traditionally conservative countries where women are able for the first time to be economically independent of men and to have at least some choice in their personal lives.

Ultimately, by bringing women into the workforce, globalization has given women a power they lacked in the past – the power to end the system that breeds poverty, exploitation and oppression.

According to Jaya Mehta, globalization is viewed as a restructured process of capital accumulation in which women are recruited in preference to men because they are cheaper, more flexible and are not expected to offer collective resistance. Feminization of labour is then not intended to discriminate against women workers, rather it is directed at constricting the economic space available to the working class as a whole. Mehta here looked at this term from a feminist perspective and that is understandable. But the term “Globalization” can be viewed as a century’s long process, tracking the expansion of human population and the growth of civilization that has accelerated dramatically in the past 50 years.

The impact of globalization on women needs to be assessed in the light of women’s multiple roles as productive and reproductive members of their families, as well as their contributions towards overall community cohesion and welfare and maintaining the social fabric. Due to deep-rooted difference in gender roles and socio-cultural expectations, women and men feel the impacts of globalization quite differently. While class, race and culture are also extremely important factors in determining the nature and extent of impacts, by and large, the very policies and trends are likely to have quite different implications for women and men.

An analyses of working women in developing countries would be incomplete without reference to women’s role in agricultural production Many countries in Asia and Africa have more than two-thirds of their workforce engaged in agriculture and allied activities. Women’s participation in earning activities in this section of population is almost equal to that of men for they work either as wage labourers or as household labourers and sometimes as both.

In politics, women have accomplished much in the past century, having influenced decision makers and the allocation of resources. Yet, many females, political scientists, and policy makers do not believe that those accomplishments are enough. To illustrate women’s progress in politics and the obstacles that continue to limit their involvement, their participation as voters and roles as political officials should be examined.

Americans have become more aware of the role of females in politics since the 1980 presidential election, when the media reported that eight percent fewer women voted for Ronald Reagan. In reality, sex-based voting differences occurred earlier than that in American history, though the gender bias was that, before 1964, women favoured Republican more than Democratic candidates.

Women’s political participation varies from culture to culture, from region to region, from one economic development to the other and also one political system to another. Within global women’s movements, it has been demonstrated that those from industrialized countries concentrate on issues such as access to birth control and childcare, equal pay for equal work, affirmative action, and policies against sexual harassment. On the other hand, women in developing nations often concentrate their organizing effort on issues such as access to childhood immunizations, clean water, primary health care services and affordable food. Thinking about women in politics, it is possible to divide their involvement into categories-as participants and as officials. In many Western societies, the easiest way for men and women to participate is through voting. In the world today, statistics has it that women are more in population than men and invariably, women vote more than males.

Today, possibilities in all human endeavours are awesome. These have been the by-products of the sweeping change that has reconfigured the framework of institutional structures of the global society. Standards are a common norm of conduct in sustaining relationships. A measure of performance for one applies to all. And slowly but methodically all the players in the globalization process are committed to building excellence of performance.

The acceptance and recognition of the capacity of women, in our society is no longer a matter of debate. Women as leaders and achievers in our society have been in the loop of developmental progress and growth. In fact they have broken through the “glass ceiling” long before the men’s world could recognize it – the foundations of traditional social structures. There are women presidents and women cabinet members. In our industries, there are strong presences of women CEOs. In the legislature, judiciary and executive branches of governments including bureaucracy, women stand toe-to-toe with men in charting the march of this generation to a brighter future.

Information is the well-spring of knowledge and today knowledge knows no boundaries as it is a free gift of nature which is given to every human being to explore and share. Women today are sharing their knowledge to every facets of our lives and as they share the “know how”, they magnify the extent and reach of knowledge to the farthest corner of our society.

Monday, June 7, 2010


There are times I wonder why and how some people could be soaked in stupidity and yet claim that they are the wisest people on earth. When questions on matters relating to their stupidity arise, they tend to even exhibit their stupidity in the highest order.

Life brings goodness and knowledge to those who seek it, not those who fight for it. Human beings owe their selves the gift of knowledge which is actually by their fingerprint. How well you source for it determines how far you will go.

There's no magic in enriching oneself. It takes nothing more than dedication and determination.