Should gender equality exist in marriage?
MARRIAGE is an institution that has its own pros and cons. It is interesting when there are love and mutual respect. However, there is no thin line in achieving this. Gender equality is one of the major contemporary narratives t
which advocate that women and men should be on the same pedestal. However, not everyone believes in this notion. Many blame this on western education and civilisation. Over the years, this issue has been in corporate and social spaces but seldom is it openly talked about in marriage. Thus, we ask: should gender equality exist in marriage?
On WhatsApp Conversation, these are what those who joined the conversation and our experts said on the issue:
Gender can never be equal in a normal marriage. When a man marries another man, then we can be talking about gender equality.
No. Not in marriage. In the corporate and social world, it is a Yes. In marriage the wife is the supporter of the man. She supports by correcting and deliberating with him. However, the main head of the family is the husband. There cannot be two captains in a ship. Even the Bible says the wife should submit to the husband, and the husband should love the wife. This means each has their position. It is not at the same place.
Well, gender equality should exist anywhere. But just like in administration, there is positionality. It is the same for marriage. It does not make anyone lesser than the other or deprives any of opportunities he or she could have.
The answer is No. God has given us the holy books as our guide. Everyone has to be respected in his or her own right. The husband is the head, but the wife must not be treated as a slave. In fact, he must cater for all her needs.
Gender equality? Can a man be pregnant? Can a woman impregnate? It is simple logic for the witty ones only. A wise man would treat his wife with love and respect—vice versa.
I hope those opting for women submission know that is not the only part of the scripture. The man has to respect the wife to make her submit to him. It is difficult to submit to a man who does not respect you. So, it is respect then submission for me.
Yes is the answer, because it is an equal enjoyment between women and men for social values, opportunities and resources. It is freedom and improved quality of life for everyone.
Some people call themselves feminists while they are something else. Gender equality exists in some aspects. Men are kings, yet some treat their wives like housemaids, get annoyed over nothing, and the woman would have to apologise for what is not her fault. They restrict them from going to places important to them. So, yes. Gender equality should exist.
The problem is that people fight for equality instead of equity. They do not know what they want. Equality means you want the same opportunities and duties. Equity means everything is distributed as it should, depending on the people receiving what is being shared. There should be equity, not equality, among men and women in marriage. It is like going against a natural order. They were created differently with unique qualities. They play different roles as well as accomplish different purposes. A man married a woman for a reason, part of which is that she is a woman, not a man. When she says there must be equality between the two of them, then she is saying she also wants to be a man. Same goes the other way.
Obaze Emesomi, a public health specialist, is our expert on this matter. She noted that there is a huge difference between equality and equity. Equality cannot be achieved no matter how hard the world tries. Anyway, using the Bible as a guide, many people have taken that chapter of marriage out of context. The only thing they see is: ‘Wives, submit to your own husbands’. A lot of people miss the fact that God gave men harder jobs to do. He said: “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loves the church.” That means no matter what she does, love her, forgive her, care for her. Nothing should separate her from your love. That is a whole lot.
However, submitting to the husband does not make you a fool. It does not mean leaving all you have worked for to care for your husband. It would be wrong giving up your life’s work because you want to marry a man and care for the home. I do not think a particular thing was meant for a particular gender. So, there should be gender equity, not equality, in marriage. Honestly, this might seem subjective but it is the truth.
Next week on WhatsApp Conversation, we would be treating: In a trying marriage, should spouses persevere or opt out?
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