In real human relations, equality is an ideal, something we tend to, and never a reality. Most ideals are dreams, departures from reality. To say that man and woman can be equal is to believe in the Tom and Jelly stories; that a rat can manage a cat or that the two can agree to be friends.
A lot of effort is now expended on trying to understand why though many women have the ‘qualifications’, they do not seem to be making as much progress to the top of the corporate ladder. Only a few have swam that far and if you analyze their climb, for a greater many, it was not them but their godfathers that placed them there. The glass ceiling can only be understood as a divine force that should clearly help us understand God’s purpose for creating man and then woman.
History is a story of man loading it over fellow man, and worse, man loading it over woman. The discrimination characteristic of most ancestral customs is not just unacceptable but utterly outrageous. Our greedy grandfathers denied our grandmothers goodies like eggs, chickens and grasshopper. That was not just unfair; it was criminal by all standards. The imbalances that denied women the right to own property and other good things were unfair. It is not wrong for a woman to own land, if she has worked for it or received it as bequeath. God allowed it (Proverbs 30) . So must we, humans.
Our ancestors used not to allow women contribute to discussions in community meetings, let alone attend them. What is the Biblical view of this? Paul was inspired to advise Christian women to remain silent in congregation meetings and if they had questions, ask their husbands once at home. Were our grandparents wrong in not inviting women to village arenas for meetings? My answer is: yes, they were wrong. The women needed to attend, listen and be part of the community life. Like Paul said, they would attend and listen attentively, as long as they remained submissive to men.
Our society inherited an archaic phallocratic tradition. Our modern leaders needed to work out a plan to address social exclusion without substituting one wrong with another. My only issue is attempting to handle issues in a way that conflicts with God’s grand plan of happy families where the man is the head and the woman is happy to follow the lead of her loving husband.
When some NGOs speak to women groups, they give them an impression that they have been subjugated for so long due to economic dependence on men. So with economic empowerment through income generating projects, women would not need to bow to their oppressive husbands. Such a message! And the result: a lot of women toughed by NGO work tend to get into family conflicts that at times result into violence, separation and other effects of family feuds.