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Asaba, Delta, Nigeria
A simple and easy-going young boy, who was born into the family of Mr and Mrs B.O. Ulebor of Delta State, Nigeria. He loves making reasonable friends and loves enjoying the good things of life-but not at the espence of anyone. Above all, he loves reading and writing with passion. You can check out his poems on http://www.poemsabout.com/poet/youngben-ulebor/ .

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

THE ROLE OF WOMEN IN NATION BUILDING




The concepts, (general notion or idea of something that exists) we shall encounter in this discourse are “Women” “Family” or “State” and “Nation – Building”.

The concept, Woman; means an adult female human being. Adulthood signifies maturity, i.e. fully grown and legally responsible for her actions. It can be said that a woman is an intelligent human being capable of rational thinking and the exercise of intuitive initiative. Woman is not only of the genus specie, homo sapiens but also homo Grammaticus. Woman is synonymous with mother, the sex that gives birth to babies. Women are differentiated from men based on women’s inherent structural configuration or material qualities by which they are distinguished. Hence women are said to be creatures of expressivity.

According to a chinese legend, when Go made man He found him to be a beat rough, lacking in love and tenderness like Himself. God then created a woman who is in form, delicate and beautiful, very loving and caring and highly sensitive of situations. She is naturally intuitive, down-to- earth and particular about details, an affirmation of whatever that is noble, a living evidence of deep piety and selfless devotion. (cited in F.U. Ekejindu et al (ed) 2006: The Family and the Youth Social Transformation


Mothers And Family
Family, according to the New Encyclopedia Britannica Vol. 4 is a “group of persons united by ties of marriage, blood or adoption, constituting a single household and interacting with each other in their respective social position as husband and wife, mother and father, son and daughter, brother sister. In simple term, family is the union of man and woman along with their offspring living in private and spate dwellings. Elaborating further, Raece McGee (1980) see family as a “kinship structured grouping normally of an adult male and female and their offspring living together in a more or less permanent relationship approved by the society as marriage”. The sacrament of marriage is matrimony.“Matrimony” has derivatives from Latin roots: “Matris” and “Manus”. The first has to do with “mother” while the second refers to “work” or “office” or “office”. Thus, we can see that matrimony as the sacrament of marriage has to do with office of the mother.
The family is the most important agent of socialization. Not does the family create and physically maintain children but also carries out the responsibilities of socializing them. Socialization is a process beginning at birth, through which an individual adopts norms values, beliefs, culture and the roles appropriate to the individual position. Children are mostly taught by their family to conform to socially approved patterns of behaviors. The family provides the workforce, economic and administrative machinery for nations building. All these the family does under the auspices of the mother. Raece McGee tells us that, mother plays the expressive integrative leadership role in the family ie makes every member to become full members of the society and be involved completely in societal activities.
As a social institution, the family is the very cradle of the society. The book of Sirach 26: 1-4 and 13-18 describes the joy and blessing of having a good wife and the qualities of a good wife. Women are the foundation of the home; the entire family revolves around them. They are everything to every member of the family. Mother is the nurse, teacher, instructor, model, mediator, intercessor, comforter, breadwinner, peacemaker, architect, manager, liaison officer and procreator. Without women the human family will suffer not only a discontinum but economic, moral, spiritual and intellectual Kwashiokor. The word of God says in Prov. 29:15 “a child left to himself bringeth shame to his mother” the Bible did not say his father so, the Bible affirms the dominant role of mothers in child up bring. Mother is the sunshine of the home, the gold of the family. Mothers are therefore primarily responsible for the all-round development of child mentally physically and morally in short, for all the domains of educational taxonomy.

Women As Peace Builders.
It is a truism thatpeace is a sinequa non, a fundamental prerequisite of development and nation building. Peace is the one the most sought after phenomenon in the world by individual, communities and nations. Peace is often associated with such terms as “security”, it is a pre-condition for justice. Even war has peace its ultimate goal, hence the saying; if you want peace, prepare for war. Righteousness will bring peace but there is no peace for the wicked. Isaiah 48:22, 57:21. (Lev 26:6 1st Kings 2:23). God is peace (15:33). In this regard, the immense contribution and gigantic role of women in conflict resolution and peace building cannot be overlooked. Think about Mother Teresa of Calcutta of India, women in Somalia. Women have always played critical role in the maintaining equilibrium in the societies by bringing up their children as responsible members of the community. They inculcate in their children acceptable behavior norms and societal ethos and impress on them such values as honesty, uprightness and the necessity for compromise, thereby making the children promoters of harmony in the society. Peace in the heart of an individual forms the bedrock for existence of peace in the family. Since the society is the aggregate of the families, the congregation of peaceful family gives birth to a peaceful nation and this would pave way for nation building.

Women And The Church
Truism number 2: “No woman, no church, no redemption. The place of women in God’s creation and in the salvific mission is uniquely irreplaceable. Biblical evidence shows that the sin which altered the destiny of humankind can be traced to the woman, Eve (Gen. 3:12). The sin brought about the fall of man. But it was a fortunate fall. (fellas culpa) .
What a paradox! Rom. 5: 19 tells us: “ for as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one man’s (Christ’s) obedience many will be made righteous.” Also, 1Cor. 15:21-22 says “for since by man came death, by man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all died, even so in Christ shall all be alive. If we adapt Rom.5:19 and 1Cor. 15:21-22 we shall have: as by one woman came sin and death into the world, so also by one woman came the forgiveness of sins and the resurrection of the dead. When the fullness of time came, God sent his son, Jesus Christ, born of a woman (Gal.4:4), a woman who crushes the head of the serpent (Gen. 4:15) to enable us to be adopted as son and daughters. The sending of his son, one in substance with God the father, as a man “born of a woman” constitutes the culminating and definitive point of God’s self revelation to humanity. The new Eve, the Blessed Virgin Mary is that “woman” who is present in the central salvific event which marks the “fullness of time” and this event is realized in and through her. From the beginning of the mission of Christ to this very day women showed and have continued to show active and constructive presence. They are instrumental for the execution of projects in the church. Examples could be multiplied indefinitely.

WOMEN AND NATION BUILDING
The book of Genesis is a fitting beginning of the Holy Bible as its account of the first woman is for a discourse of feminist trend. When man was placed in the otherwise tranquil setting of the Garden of Eden as Lord of all creatures, his inadequacy as a fulfilled being was apparent by his relentlessness, which fact necessitated the creation of his alter ego, his other self. Woman, therefore, is the completer of the finer essence of man whose advent gave man the much needed and wholeness, contentment and self-actualization. Adam’s joy and exclamation at Eve’s presence: “this is now the bone of my bone and the flesh of my flesh” (Gen.2:21-23) continues to reverberate to the present time and will so continue. If God could find that man would be incomplete without woman, it is therefore logical that governance, leadership and even the act of administration for nation building are not the exclusive reserve of men alone. That is to say, in order to have a better nation and world, the women’s input is not only desirable but necessary.
Nation building simply put is building democratic processes. It has to do with equipping the nation with the institutional foundations necessary to increase her capacity to effectively assert self-governing powers for the achievement of her economic, social and cultural objectives.
What then is a Nation?To appreciate the concept of nation building, there ought to be a definition of what a nation is. Early concept of nation defined it as a group of people who share a common history, tradition, culture, sometimes religion, usually a common language. Today, the word nation is used synonymously and simultaneously with state. But a state is more properly the governmental apparatus by which a nation is governed (Carolyn Stephenson). Max Weber provides the classic definition of state as “a human community that successfully claims the monopoly of legitimate use of physical force within a given territory.” For Harold J Laski,a state is…
By and large it is people who run states and nation. Any authentic attempt at nation building must begin with the family. The fact remains that women are indirectly pillars in a male dominated atmosphere. Women lay basic foundations on which the government and all other agencies build. If nation building is to be compared to building a house, you can see that women are the foundation; the men, youth and children are the rest of the building while the government is the roof trying to protect the citizens. Women have been created specially and they use this special quality for the overall development of the society. Because of their natural strength, men mainly exert the overt leadership, but women have first as great an influence, directly or indirectly. In actual fact to, the same men were born, raised and cared for by women. Here we see that the underlying power and principle in the “strength” of men are to a maximal degree inculcated into them by women (their mother).
The role of women in nation building both in the traditional societies and in contemporary times cannot be overemphasized. They are the custodians of socio-cultural and national values, thee arrowhead of development. The first teachers we ever had. They are the homemakers and without them the human species suffer in discontinue. They are the agents of conflict resolution and peace. Women are agents of economic development. Most of the rural women are farmers and big time traders. Record has it that women produce 60 to 70% of food in Africa but own only a fraction of the land. Women’s strong bargaining power sustains commerce.
No doubt women have been making waves in Varies profession like architecture, education, accountancy, law communication,banking,medicine,etc. we can also talk about women icons who have and are still doing well in the economic sector of this country, like; Chief Mrs. Bola Kuforji, formal chairperson of the United Bank for Africa, first elected woman president of ICAN in 1989, Prof Grace Alle Williams, formal Vice Chancellor of the University of Benin, first Nigerian woman Vice Chancellor, Dr. (Mrs.) NgoziOkonjoIweala, formal Minister of Finance and now Managing Director of World Bank, Dr. Cecilia Ibru, MD of Oceanic Bank Plc, Prof NdiOkerekeOnyerike of Nigeria Stock Exchange, Prof Dora Akunyili formally of NAFDAC, now Nigeria’s Federal Minister of Information, Evelyn Oputa has been MD Nigeria’s Bank of Finance since2005, Dr. Asha Rose Migiro, first black woman and first African to hold the of UN deputy secretary-general since 2007 to date, VirgyEtiaba, first deputy Governor of Anambra State, and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, “Iron Lady” of Liberia now rebuilding one the fastest growing economics in the continent.
Indeed, women have played significant roles, and continue to play, in the human cognitive, affective and psychomotor development of nations the world over. This is because any development or nation building without human capital development (which women provide) would result in unmitigated disaster. It is this matter that women are fighting to avert in all nations. We must therefore vociferously applaud the rationality and the instrumental positivity of women’s contributions towards nation building.
That is why Butter posted in Thomas Woody (1974): History of Women Education,that, duties of a woman are: first in contribution …
In conclusion, it is Ralph Waldo Emerson who said that men are what their mother made them and according to Henry Beecher, mother’s heart is the child’s schoolroom. The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world, said W.S. Ross.
“Women have a lot to offer this world than just a fallopian tube. Nothing is going to change until we stop looking at them as just sperm receptacles”.
Profoundly I wish to join my voice with the Church and all well-meaning people of the world in thanking God for each and every woman; for mothers, for wives, for women consecrated to God in virginity, for women dedicated to the many human beings who awaits the love of another person, for women who watch over the human persons in the family which is the fundamental sign of the human community, for women who work professionally and who are at times burden by the great social responsibilities, for all women as they have come forth from the heart of God in all the beauty and richness of their feminist.
May God continue to enrich the women of the world with abundance grace and strength to coexist with men in mutual reciprocity, so that they with men will together in true love and sincerity of purpose, build up our contemporary society and sustain it on the heights of faith, truth, justice, peace and love.

B.O. Ulebor
 

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