While gender roles and stereotypes have continued to be a problem in the world, especially in homes and families, Aisha Yesufu has a solution which has over the years been tested okay and working in her home.
Aisha Yesufu had described her husband as her number one fan, a practising feminist and a constant support system to her as she lends her voice against bad governance in Nigeria. She was then asked if she thinks the males of the soro soke generation can go such extent for their females, especially with the religious and cultural constraint.
Replying,Aisha Yesufu said they had better be as there is no room for lording over another person. She condemned gender based roles, saying no one came into the world carrying a frying pan or a cooking pot. Our Woman of the Year then stated that people should rather carry our strength based-roles which she practices in her family.
“They better be ooo (makes face) else they will enter wahala. Forget about it! Our generation is done with one man wanting to do lord and master like that of our mothers. It’s over, clear your eyes! This generation is about partnership, so it’s either they move with the time or the times will leave them and I say this with out mincing any word, if there is any girl expecting to be doing ‘dobale’ for one man, crush it because it won’t get you any where. You are equal partners, there must be respect, mutual respect. There is no lording over any one person”, she began.
Using her home as an example, Aisha Yesufu added, “I have two children, a son and a daughter, so I have both gender. I brought them up not on the basis of their gender rather as human beings who would grow up to make the world a better place. So because you’re a boy doesn’t mean you won’t be in the kitchen or you will sit and have someone serve you food. My son knows to get into the kitchen when he is hungry, my son knows never ever to touch his sister, he was never allowed to.
So, I think it is very important, and I always say to parents, especially mothers, if you bring up your sons to be expectant of things you did, you haven’t done a good service. It is very important for this Soro Soke generation to understand things are no longer what they used to be. You can’t have what your parents had where the women kept quiet or stayed even in a relationship that they shouldn’t have stayed or marriages.”
Aisha Yesufu noted further that she does what she is good at, and her husband does same in their home. “What is most important is that there’s mutual respect for each other.There are no gender based roles, nobody came to the world holding a frying pan, nobody came to the world holding a cooking spoon. So what most people should do is strength based roles, and that’s what I do in my own family. Sometimes people ask me, “How do you cope with activism and two kids“, and I’m like, “do you ask my husband how he copes with office work and his home? So why are you asking me that question?”
In my house, what we do are strength based roles. There are certain things that I’m the one who is good at them, I get them done, there are certain things that my husband is the one who is good at them, he gets them done. For example, car, I don’t even know where the bonnet to my car is, I don’t know how it is they change oil, I don’t even know what it looks like. All I know is, I enter the car in the morning if I’m driving, and I drive out. If I’m somewhere and the car gets spoilt, the highest I will do is to do a phone call to my husband to say the car has a problem and see where I am.”“If 10 minutes later, I have not seen the driver bringing another car, I’m like, ngwa, I’m still here o. There are other things that I’m the one who is good at them, like the children’s school, who is doing homework, I do all that. When we were young parents and my son started school, my husband would be the one to take him to school in the morning, and I would be the one to bring him back in the afternoon, because I’m not a morning person. My husband is the one who is a morning person. I can still all day till 5am before I sleep or 6am. What does my husband do?”
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“Normally, he gets up in the morning, prepares breakfast for himself and our son, showers, does everything, get our son ready and he is off to work. He would even tell me sweetheart sleep, if my blanket is not well done, he covers me. When I wake up, I will be the one to bring him, take care of my son, do homework and prepare him lunch. So it was more of strength based roles until we got it, and I think that’s more important than just saying oh, these are gender based, it’s a woman that must do it, whether she is strong at it or not. Oh, it’s a man must do this, whether he is strong at it or not. No. It should be as a couple, you should be able to understand what are the things that work for you, what are the things you both are good at and let that person just do it”, Aisha Yesufu preached on.
Photos Credit: KOKO