There was a global call for women to take positions of power and influence. Is it a question of equality or quality? Have you ever heard of a school of thought that says gender is a social construction? Is women’s empowerment a social, political or economic issue? Are we even meant to be equal? Does equality mean similarity?
I intentionally titled this article “Home Economics,” borrowing the name from a high school subject. Home Economics is defined as a curriculum that typically includes studies in nutrition, purchasing, preparing and serving food, interior design, clothing and textiles, child development, family relations, and household economics.
The definition alone determines my thrust in this piece. There is a famous passage in the Bible, Proverbs 31:10-31, the passage speaks of a woman who was in charge of housekeeping. She is portrayed as a noble woman who is not easy to find.
While the passage seems to point to what is commonly referred to as “wife material,” I’m inclined to read it as girl power scripture; so I read it with my sisters and daughter in mind.
The economic capacity presented in the passage does not suggest any limits to the girl. As the saying goes, charity begins at home.
The sooner we embrace woman power at the household level, the sooner we will begin to see the untapped potential in society’s female capital.
It is this conscious approach to gender-balanced economic development at the household level that I refer to as ‘home economics’. The girl needs to be brought up with an economic responsibility, not the traditional mantra of housework.
The village shop on the corner was to be renamed and become “Bhero and Daughters”. If society does not empower the girl at the household level, institutional efforts will not produce the desired results but will continue to demonstrate the current superficial equality that speaks of similarity rather than distinctiveness.
Social balance should not be an extreme issue, but should be based on individual competencies and recognize that no two people are the same.
Parents and guardians should remember that it is their primary responsibility to remind their children, boys and girls, that they have no boundaries.
A non-discriminatory economic strategy unlocks the full power of the EIAs (Unique Value Propositions) of all of its human capital.
When we founded STIR Zimbabwe Trust we had a conscious mission to advance women’s empowerment and this was one of the reasons we quickly partnered with Women’s University in Africa (WUA) for our innovation and transformation Entrepreneurial Courses.
What other proponents call gender roles, which identify women with housework and childcare, proves to be an impeding weight for women who sacrifice personal development for family orientation. This has led urban women to focus on backyard or doorstep projects like poultry and vending stalls.
Ideas are gender blind as all humans are mindful enough to create solutions to their daily challenges and turn them into opportunities.
Considering women’s natural tendency to pay close attention to detail, it is no exaggeration to assume this; The best innovations are still locked behind the doors of our society, which seem to have the male human sign, as if entering all-male toilets.
I have met people who say they are now fed up with hearing the message of women’s empowerment and gender equality, some even feel that the young child has been neglected in the cause of women’s empowerment.
While I can’t directly deny those feelings, neither can I refute the fakery in 99 percent of the current effort, which is totally divorced from harsh reality.
The marginalization that the girl still experiences through social constructions at the household level cannot be concealed in marketing and campaign messages.
The son is still seen as the ultimate prize by most fathers, and this kills the woman empowerment mantra in its tracks. As time goes on, girls and women begin to be targeted by institutions with the pro-women messages that already would have to subject them to a culture that puts them second. It is this early misplacement that leaves societies with the tedious and boring feminist message that others find tedious and discriminatory against the boy.
Other animal species have shifted power to the females and seen their communities place economic responsibilities on the females. Packs rely on their lionesses for most of their hunt, with masters only invited to assist when power is the key factor, e.g. B. when killing larger prey and when there is a call for military protection.
Even elephants follow the matriarch’s instructions in their economic activities and tap into the female genius. If you study this species, you would hilariously discover that males are necessary mainly when there is a threat from other males, which logically suggests that males are only necessary to solve problems caused by other males. In Ukraine, they prevented all able-bodied men from fleeing the war so they could face their fellow Russians.
Without losing the patriarchs, it is important for me to conclude this article by noting that while women show the potential to participate in economic activity on the same wavelength as men, efforts towards inclusion should be based on quality and not just equality .
May the right women be given the right chance to do the right thing. So where a quota system requires women to fill certain spaces, a deliberate approach should be taken to ensure the right woman gets the job.
Gender need not necessarily be a social construct, as it also has biological cues, but some of the cultural stereotypes and roles that follow these biological idiosyncrasies leave much to be desired in the 21st century.
The empowerment of women is not a social, political or economic concern, but a means to fill gaps left by the traditional orientation of our society, which was largely patriarchal. It is not a quest for similarity, but a position where women can participate equally in the economy of our homeland.
Nicholas Bhero is the Founding Chairman of STIR Zimbabwe Trust and can be contacted on 0783184726 or [email protected]