CULTURAL BARRIERS TO WOMEN EMPOWERMENT

Wherever you live, you’re going to be influenced by the attitudes, customs and practices of the people around you. Those basic elements are the definition of culture. When a person of one culture encounters the beliefs and resulting actions of another culture, there may be a clash. This can be a barrier to success. Those barriers can have huge implications in the community, society and the world. Culture interacts with development in multiple ways. However the importance of culture within development should not be seen as translating to crystallizing and solidifying its meaning or providing definitive ideas of what works.

Society have long witnessed a normative approach toward societal ways of life, which has seen the male in the front burner in all the affair of the society, thereby giving little or no attention to the female folk in the environment. In selected situation where the women were seen or heard, such societies were tailored and tagged “weak society”. In recent time, the women have broken out of their shell by been empowered and later held some leadership position, which has improved the society where they lived.

In some parts of Nigeria, culture and tradition are instruments of women domination. They constitute among others the ideology of the society, which is a superstructure on the socio-economic foundation of any society. Many of the religious beliefs and traditions are dated back to the colonial area and were designed to justify and sustain peace at all levels. Tradition or culture have dictated men and women relationship for centuries and entrenched male domination into the structure of social organization and institution at all levels of leadership limiting the participation of women in education, labour market, politics, business, family, domestic matters and inheritance.

The world has experienced a lot of changes from the colonial era till this time which separates women from being bound by a particular culture or being restricted in activities that can potentially develop and empower them to become better. The belief that a woman’s place is restricted solely to the shores of the home should be discouraged. If this belief is passed down from one generation to another without any positive intervention, the inherent damages to the unborn generation cannot be quantified. Women have the potential to contribute significantly to the society if they are allowed to break out from cultural barriers and be rightly empowered.