Education

Women, Brace Up!

Women exploring opportunities

I have noticed that so many times, it seems that a lot of women are laid back when it comes to applying for opportunities. We have complained that women were not given the opportunities they deserve. Today, things are a lot better and women have more opportunities yet it seems like they are not utilizing it as they should. Not many women are applying for these opportunities. This is part of why most organisers of scholarships say that “Women are encouraged to apply”. 

Whenever opportunities are announced, usually more than 70% of applicants are male. Most times, this is discouraging especially when you know that more women are also qualified out there. Women tend to give up opportunities for domestic reasons or even romantic attachments. I heard of someone who gave up an opportunity for further studies because of her boyfriend. I have also heard of others whose parents are scared of them going too far. Usually, many married women would always consider their families/domestic responsibilities first. They also choose them over life-changing opportunities that can lead to their personal development.

A good number of men don’t think that way. Once they hear about an opportunity, they apply. A good number of them wouldn’t even stop to think about any domestic demands. Once an opportunity would make them advance in their careers, they go for it. They give it their best shot and they go for more. One time, a scholarship was announced and 90% of those who applied and got it were males. I was really shocked. Did it mean there were no females qualified?

Even among the younger females and teenagers, a lot of them seem more interested in fashion and in their physical appearance. While this is great, I think that they should also be concerned about their personal development and how to advance in their careers. They shouldn’t just learn how to look better or more stylish. They should also learn about opportunities and start early to be exposed to them. This would make them well-rounded successful individuals. 

Applying for and going for opportunities helps broaden your horizons. They give you visibility. Visibility is something every woman should crave especially in this day and age. Visibility is a tool for societal change. With visibility, you can make a tremendous impact. You can be a source of inspiration to young girls out there. This is because when you are visible, your voice is heard. When more people hear you, you can make a difference. You become an influence. People start looking up to you as a solution. Being visible also makes it easier for you to be given more opportunities. So, women should stop shortchanging themselves. They should step out into the light, take advantage of opportunities to grow, and then show the world what they’re made of. 

I understand that women have lots of domestic demands. This is why women need to marry supportive husbands. Being married to a supportive husband would make things a lot easier for you especially when you want to advance in your career. But I know that it is not just marriage that seems to make women laid back. Even single ladies are sometimes saddled with the responsibility of taking care of the household. Among siblings, the onus still lies on the women when it comes to domestic demands than the men. This can be very demanding. But as a woman, you shouldn’t let opportunities slip past you. Grab them by the horn. Apply for and accept them. Accept to host interviews or programs. Accept to be featured in reputable blogs or newspapers. 

To do this effectively, you should treat your personal development as a priority. Be intentional about your life. Consciously decide to do these things. Then, find a way to make things work. Get help from your spouse and family members where necessary. Get inspired by women who have families and are still able to take advantage of these opportunities. Then, start applying for and accepting opportunities that would make you advance in your life and in your career.

Adewuyi Roseline is passionate about the girl child. Growing up, she had a lot of questions about her identity. She is on the journey to ensure that young girls rise above limitations, smash stereotypes in their communities.

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