Sports Are Fundamental In Addressing Gender Inequality In Our Society – Dalung
By Amaechi Agbo
The minister of Youth and Sports Development, Barrister Solomon Dalung has stated that sports are necessary instruments in addressing gender imbalance in the society.
Dalung who made the statement while address women recently, advised Nigeria women to set agenda for themselves in an area to be more relevant adding that the affirmative action is an erroneous creation meant to deepen the already existing class differentiation in the society.
The minister therefore challenged Nigeria women to rise up against cultural and traditional inhibitions in order to create their own world
“The struggle for the emancipation of women has a long history, not only in Nigeria, nor Africa, but globally. And I think this is why the United Nations decided to set aside a day where women will come together and those who also believe in the agitation of women to celebrate the day of women.
“Sports is instrumental in creating a balanced society, this is because of the diverse benefits of sports. Sports is an instrument of international diplomacy. It is this sports that brought to an end, the over five decades of crises between North Korea and South Korea with America as an interested party.
“Sports has done much in ending human conflicts situation, therefore, choosing sports as part of this year’s celebration is indeed a good decision. But I think that the Nigerian women need to develop the agenda for Nigeria woman. Affirmative action is insufficient and is not enough. Affirmative action is about participation of women. If women participate, of what benefit flowing from those who participated to the entire agenda of women? Assuming not conceding, we have 109 senators in the senate, and 80% of them are women, how does that change the fortune of the Nigerian woman? It rather reinforces the creation of class among women and I think this is where we got it wrong. Women must develop agenda around issues. The Indian women developed an agenda around the economy and today, the economy of India is controlled by women.
“There are other cultural issues that inhibit the rights of women, so common is the history of inheritance. And sadly too, is the fact that in Christianity, you could have the pastor presiding over the marriage of two young couple and you could hear him say I pronounce you husband and wife until death do you part.
“Then after some years, the man passes on, and then the family of the man will come and take away everything leaving the woman with only her children. Where is the pastor who pronounced the marriage? So does that pronouncement end there? So, pastor create problems where they will not be part of solutions. It is a very serious issue especially in Christianity where so many women, so many young widows are victims of this development. Women must consider this as an agenda. It is not affirmative action which is just an action to create another class of oppressors. Are they going to contribute their salaries to the development of women? No.
“I think the Nigerian woman needs to define her interest within the involving Nigeria democracy and pick issues that will develop the Nigeria woman. Some of us believe in the agitation for women but we are so disappointed that after so many years, the issues have remained the same. And I think affirmative action is not enough, there should be an agenda that the young women will be introduced into it such that as they grow, they will see it as an agenda of women, believe in it such that as they are growing, they will grow with it. When bad cultural practices which are perpetrated by women most, like a situation where if you have a woman, who facially is a female, and if the second one is a male, in the event of conflicts, the mother will tell the daughter, ‘my friend, don’t you know that he is a man?’
“She is already subordinating the young girl to the authority of a man. So why do you cry foul that men are marginalising you when you are actors of self-marginalisation. Therefore, if you have a daughter who is the first child, you must define it clearly to your children that they should respect her because she is the first child. When you subordinate your daughter’s right to the authority of her younger brother, you are creating a gap that will cause trouble. And that is why I say that women are the ones marginalising themselves. We have to correct some of these things we have been practising which is the root of the major problems but above all, I think the inequality in our system has to be addressed because despite the weaknesses of the agitation of women, we need to do justice to them.
“I therefore look forward to the involving of political clime to create more space for the accommodation of women in the political activities in the country and all over of the world. They should be involved in the social structure, power, politics, sport, among others. I wish the Nigerian women the best as she celebrates the women’s day,” he said.