As women all over the world battle to rise to top positions in politics and other spheres of life, most Nigerian women are also taking over the headship of homes. This is attested by the large number of women who are now bread winners against the order of God and nature.
Mrs. Cecilia Adaudu from Benue state is a lecturer with one of the nation's polytechnic and speaking to leadership on the role of women at home, the mother of three said" for the past 8years, I have been the bread winner in my home. My husband is a also a teacher but he never brings his money home. It is always one need or the other, most times his family burdens are more important than our own. He drinks and smokes and naturally spends the money outside. If not because I am a lecturer, I wouldn't have known how much he earns because he doesn't tell me anything about his money. I am building a house for us and I have also been investing for my children, I have stopped looking unto him for any financial assistance. I have never known what it means to have a husband buy wrapper for me; I fend for me and my family".
Another woman who is also shouldering the needs of the family is Mrs. Abigail Ishaya, a trader and she said "I have been the bread winner in my family since I got married over 19years ago. I sell foodstuff in Nyanya market. The only thing he does is to buy like a bag of rice once in a while, but I buy the soup ingredients and other things in the house. I also pay most of the schools; sometimes he will give half of the fees and tell me to balance it. It was my late father that gave me money to start this business when he saw the suffering I was going through in my matrimonial home. I would have gone to further my education because I have only a school cert and we got married when I was just 19years old. But I can't because the children are in school and I have to pay their fees. It is not easy. There are times I curse the day I got married, it has brought me nothing but only pains and suffering. My mates who further their education come to buy foodstuff form me and when I see how good they are doing, I feel so ashamed. My only consolation is the kids".
Dr Adebisis Adeola is a psychologist and a therapist and speaking to leader on the role of women, she said "traditional we used to know that the men are the head of the home and they are meant to provide for their families. I remember during our time, when we were growing up, it was our father that will give mother money to buy all the food stuff and even clothes that we will wear, mother will even save a little out of it for other purposes. Back then, women were still living under the shadows of their husbands and the economy was good. Severally factors have changed the situation, here in Nigeria, it is the economic situation. So many men are out of Jobs like because of the closure of factors and insecurity, we are currently going through a difficult period and the government seems to be lost. Naturally women are very industrious and you know, they can do anything for their families, so more women have become bread winners
Even though some people are beginning to accept it as a norm, many women find it painful and frustrating, they detest being the bread winners and that is the cause of many problems in marriages nowadays. I have counsel many women who are in this situation and most of them are unhappy. That is why many women are beginning to leave their husbands because in most cases, they will suffer and bring in the money, but the man will use the same money to chase women outside.
Some few years ago, fathers' roles were primarily to serve as breadwinners and had the responsibility to impact moral values and religious education to their children. But , with the coming of industrialization and urbanization fathers became distanced from the household and their families. And this is one of the reasons that women started taking care of the home front and also the changing economic role of women in economic and social life , the truth is that, the number of working age women employed or doing business has increased to more than 60 percent. From what was obtainable in the past. This has made paternal financial support less necessary for some families. There is also the issue of declining fertility; increasing rates of divorce and remarriage, and childbirth outside of marriage have resulted in a transition from traditional to multiple undefined roles for most mothers. Another factor I have notice is that, men have become lazy and weak, they all want the good life but do not want to suffer to get it, so they tend to assess women these days before they marry them because they don't want to play the traditional role of bread winner, some will tell you out rightly that they don't want a liability. What we do is a just o advice couple who come with such problems and encourage the man to take his responsibility seriously".
On his part, Pastor Habila Adams of the Christian faith and Miracle church said, "Christianity does no encourage any man to leave the feeding of his family to the wife, because 1st cor. 11:3 says 'But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ," if you go to genesis 2: 24, it also says that" this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh." When a man and woman get married, they become on flesh. It is expected that, the man will treat the wife as part of his flesh. Eph. 5:25-27also says that "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her; 26 that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the Word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless," so the bible has clearly stated that, the headship falls on the man, not that he is better than the woman, but because wants it to be so. He has the responsibility of guiding and feeding his family to create a closer relationship with the Lord. God will require it of him on the day when all our deeds are judged by God. Also 1 Timothy 5:8 says that "If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."
Mallam Abdulaziz Isa, an Islamic cleric also said "The husband has some duties in Islam, in the words of the Prophet (s), it permits one to meet Allah "pure and cleansed" (tahiran mutahharan). One's behavior towards one's wife is the measure of the perfection of one's belief as the Prophet said: "The most complete of the believers in his belief is he who perfects his manners, and the best of you in manners are those who act best towards their wives." Marriage must be approached with utmost seriousness, entered with the purest intent, and cultivated religiously as it does not come cheaply and it carries immense reward. The Prophet (s) called it "his way" and "half of religion" and he also said: "Two rak'at (prayer-cycles) of the married person are better than seventy rak'at of the unmarried."
He also warned that among the greatest of responsibilities that had been placed upon men is that pertaining to the treatment of their wives. For the career women, it is praiseworthy for the husband to hire maids that will help her do her chores to relieve her burden, Islamicaly, the wife's duties does not require her to feed her child, nor eve to nurse it, nor to clean nor cook. It is the husband's duty to provide a nursemaid, food for older children, and servants to clean and cook. However, if the wife does those things out of mercy and love, it is a gift to the husband on her part. The husband is expected to continue to treat his wife well even if they decided to divorce. He is to keep and feed her as before in his own house until the expiry of her iddah (waiting period) without harassment, [Qur'an 65:1, 65:6] and to make provision for her according to his means".