Ebonyi State located in the southeastern part of Nigeria, is witnessing developmental strides in various sectors.
But there is this anomaly that have been a major issue since the creation of the state in 1996 and still persist till date, and that is the involvement of Ebonyi women into menial and hard laboring jobs.
Women in Ebonyi state are typically known for their hard working nature. So in various families, women take up the responsibility of caring for the welfare of the family members.
Ebonyi women overburden themselves everyday by engaging in hard labours, menial jobs, and taking on heavy responsibilities just to fend and provide for their families.
Every day in the capital city of Ebonyi State known as Abakaliki and its environs.
Ebonyi women are usually found at strategic corners waiting to be selected as labourers for a building site, quarry sites and to be randomly used by people for one menial job or another.
These women do a lot of tedious jobs just to earn so little but they have to work to make ends meet. In Ebonyi state, women usually constitute 70% of labourers at any work site.
There are factors that are believed to be the reason why many Ebonyi Women get involve in hard labor for survival.
And these factors includes but not limited to…
Social norms around the role of women also influence their decision to engage in hard labor.
Because social norms are the unwritten values, attitudes, and manners that are usually considered suitable for a particular social group.
Over time, women have been made to accept that they need to be extremely hard working to be considered as wife material.
In Ebonyi state this case is not different. Women in Ebonyi have been invariably compelled.
To take up hard tasks just so they can be regarded as hard working.
This is not to rule out that women shouldn’t be hard working.
But to be compelled into doing menial and hard labour jobs is demeaning to Ebonyi women.
LEVEL OF EDUCATION
A good number of these women did not undergo any formal education.
And as such lacks the prerequisite skills needed to compete in the fast growing word economy.
This has limited a good number of Ebonyi women from taking part in healthier jobs.
Many Ebonyi women could not access quality formal education due to lack of income from parents or guardian.
While some could not attend because their parents had this awkward believe that it is a waste of income to send a girl child to school.
Early marriage forces girls out of school and that is the case of most Ebonyi women who are involved in menial jobs.
A good number of Ebonyi women involved in hard labours and menial job were denied any form of education as young girls.
Because they were forced into early marriage and this led them to a life of poverty, unemployment and hard life.
The average Ebonyi man is naturally known to have big family size.
In the olden days, an Ebonyi man whose major livelihood is in farming.
Depends on large family size to help him increase farm productivity.
Today things are drastically changing. Yet that mentality of having a large family size by marrying many wives.
Has been the reason why more women are subjected in the state into doing odd jobs.
Family size influences Ebonyi women involvement in menial jobs.
Most families in Ebonyi State have up to 6 kids and above, even though they are unemployed.
When they can’t bear the hunger any more, they just settle to do any kind of menial job to survive.
The majority of the women in Ebonyi state, are considered to be the back bone of their homes. Without their efforts, a lot will go wrong.
Ebonyi women workload is too big and overwhelming. A lot is expected from her and she have to fulfill all that for the survival of her family.
Young girls in Ebonyi state should be allowed to come of age before giving them out in marriage.
So that they won’t be forced to drop out from school because the chances of them going back to school is zero.
More platforms should be created to educate Ebonyi women in family planning and other vital self and personal development trainings.
To enable the Ebonyi girl child to grow rightly into womanhood.
It is my believe that if the appropriate measures are taken to train up the Ebonyi girl child in the proper manner.
It will go a long way to ease the burden to the future Ebonyi women compared to the present situation the average Ebonyi women are facing today.