Nigeria is a patriarchal society – men are normally head of the household. But who is the best decision maker?
“I am the best decision maker in the household, because I am the authority and the head of the house,” explains one man on the streets of Lagos. “She can only rub minds with me.”
Nigeria is traditionally a conservative country, we respect our religious values and often believe in hierarchy in the household. Nigeria is a patriarchal society. So BattaBox Presenter Odunayo wanted to find out – who is decision maker of the home – the husband of the wife? The man or the woman?
Marriage is a lifetime commitment with a mutual understanding between the husband and wife in order to make the marriage work. Numerous campaigns for women’s rights in the West and across the world, such as the recent #MeToo campaign, aim to raise awareness to equal opportunities and sexual harassment of women. But in Nigeria there are many obstacles for women’s rights to overcome.
“Definitely, it should be the man, the husband – let us not deceive ourselves,” says a middle-aged Lagos businessman. “And the wife should be supportive.
“I am the best decision maker in the Nigerian house, because I should know more than my wife because I am head of the family and I am more mature and experienced than her,” explains an older Nigerian trader.
Even some Nigerian women agree that the husband is the best decision maker, as a young lady explained – “The man is the best decision maker because he is head of the home.”
Nigerian women are not “docile” in society, and although it is common for the man to control the finances of a home, women are increasingly equally educated and finding work to help provide for the family, especially in the big cities like Lagos.
However, Nigerian women regularly rank lower than men in development indices across the country. In particular, domestic violence, gender biased laws, and harmful traditional practices. The government has implemented various policies and strategies to combat the problem of inequality such as female development centres, gender equality policies, and more women in government.
And, not everyone in Nigeria agrees that the husband is the best decision maker of the household, especially among the women:
“We both can make decisions, it’s not for the man alone, but for the husband and wife,” says one Lagos lady.
“Two heads are better than one,” says a young woman with a smile. “We should both make decisions.”