Women in Nigeria breaking the limits


Some age long expressions scarcely/rarely find their practical meanings in routine or daily occurrences except in or during unusual moments or scenarios. One of such expressions is the saying that what a man can do, a woman can do even better.

The foregoing is especially true when one reasons and considers that certain occupations seems to be the exclusive reserve for the menfolk despite the saying that what is good for the geese is as well good for the gander. From the simple to the complex, the menfolk hold sway as though there is a code of ethics which bars the opposite sex from taking a shot at or partaking in such vocations or occupations.

From haunting to palm wine tapping; from morticians to town criers, it has stuck over the years particularly in Africa, that women have been schemed out in the performance of these and similar functions. Apart from drama or soap opera, it is pretty difficult, if not impossible to behold women exhibit their natural prowess in certain human occupations. Such unofficial non-legislated role segregation along gender lines have found its way into the operations of parliamentary bureaucratic parliamentary duties.

While it is common to see the female officer perform/function as clerk at table, Hansard reporter and even serjeant-at-arms, it is a rare sight to find in parliaments female serjeant-at-arms officers performing the role of the Mace Bearer in a procession of the Presiding Officer. Just last year in its about hundred years history, Sarah White and fellow House steward, Georgina Pike became York city’s became the city’s first ever female mace bearer for the armistice centenary parade. It was reported that the Rt. Hon. Lord Mayor of York, Clir Keith Orrell enthused, ‘it was an honour to be able to commemorate the Armistice Centenary, such a poignant moment in history, while presenting York’s first female sword and mace bearing team. It is always good to celebrate diversity in all areas and having women sword and mace bearers is one more example of how the Mayoralty is embracing diversity’.  

And just as Nigeria and Nigerians joined the rest of the world to mark 2019 International Women’s Day with the theme Balance for Better, their ilk in the national parliamentary in the National Assembly were attaining significant milestone which, by every standard seemed a balancing for a better society of diversity and equity. The feat was attained when for the first time in our national parliamentary procedure, a female Serjeant-At-Arms bore the MACE in a procession of the President of the Senate, Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki and his body of principal officers to the Chambers of the Senate following resumption of plenary session immediately after the February/March general elections.

This was how the prying eyes of the Digest photographer caught the historical moment.

More grease to the elbows of our women. Indeed, whatever men does, women are ready to do as much too.


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