Deed of gift.
Every other day, something happens and reminds me that I shouldn’t inherit land as an Igbo woman. - Anonymous.
Recently, I fumed and fumed like I always do when this matter comes up and I was even going to create content about it then I had something of an epiphany. I thought, what if the angle they had back then wasn’t that of suppressing the female child or neglecting her needs. What if all they knew was that empowering the man meant that their son and his family, including whoever he decided to have children with would have food to eat at least. Yes, they were ignorant of how much more established their son and by extension their entire house would be if they empowered their women too. I remember how I always loved to see fathers who took their daughters more seriously in the Nollywood movies of my childhood — you know the ones where the head of the family threw a blind eye when his wife bought a new bead or when he found her cowries stash. I didn’t even know jack shit back then. It’s all just now making sense. Whether it was selfishness that inspired this, if it is selfishness that is sustaining it, I hope we can catch up soon with the rest of the world and members of our tribe who caught on earlier. We have so much more to achieve.
I was chatting with a new friend last week- he’s Igbo- and when this topic came up, he asked me what a woman needs a piece of land or any form of real estate property, for. Rather than get upset and cancel him, I went on to give him a few examples of two things. One, I gave him a list of some of the women who received gifts of landed property, oil wells and international stocks and have since multiplied these gifts into billion-naira empires. As if he didn’t know before 😒 Then, I gave him some of the hazards that can further result from him carrying on this mentality into his marital home. The impact that this could have on both his sons and daughters. Fortunately, by the end of our conversation, he was straight.
Your girl-child is your gift too and she deserves to be empowered just as much as your other child. See the bigger picture. Matthew 12:25 reminds us of the need to stand together as one house, rather than be divided against ourselves. I do not advocate that we disrespect tradition. I simply ask whether it is possible to free ourselves from customs that no longer serve us.
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