The way people would receive the news that a dog bit a man would totally be different from when it is reported that a man bit a dog. The latter would be received with shock and disbelief.
This small scenario paints slightly the picture of bold and daring ordinary women striving to make their marks in male-dominated professions in Nigeria.
Before now, occupations like truck driving, car repairer and electrician were considered the mainstay of the male folks in Nigeria until some women began to change the narrative.
Sadly, these women have not had it easy owing to the uncoordinated intimidation they get from potential customers and misogynists who still feel it should remain a male thing. These lots are not apologists of the popular saying that what a man can do, a woman can do better. At times, they face ridicule from women alike.
What the statistics say about the men and women population in Nigeria Data analysis by Statista shows that the total population in Nigeria is estimated to reach 244.9 million people and a new peak by the year 2027. This is because the total population of Nigeria was forecast to continuously increase between 2022 and 2027 by in total 28.2 million people (+13.01 percent).
By gender, the total population of Nigeria between 2011 and 2021 has a slight difference of 2.9 million. According to Statista, the Nigerian male population stood at approximately 107.15 million inhabitants, while that of the female is approximately 104.25 million. Country Meters, another data source, put the current Nigerian male population at 111.5 million people (50.6 percent) and put the female population at 108.7 million inhabitants (49.4 percent).
While these two statistics sources failed to marry the actual figures of both genders, they agreed on one thing and this is that men are slightly more than women in Nigeria. If the difference is a mere 2.9 million going by the data presented by Statista, then this begs the question of why women still face bottlenecks of intimidation and harassment for engaging in male-dominated jobs. Iyeyemi Adeniran, a female who drives trucks for a living An out-of-school Nigerian lady identified as Iyeyemi Adeniran became a viral sensation after she was spotted driving a truck.
As if the challenges on the job is not burdensome enough for one person, the young lady told Legit TV that she faces intimidation from men. She said that men do not just intimidate her but sometimes use cuss words on her, but this has not deterred Iyeyemi. “I want the whole world to hear my voice. I want the whole world to support me. I want them to know that what a man can do, a woman can do.
“So, any lady that wants to go into it (truck driving) should go for it. I don’t want them to be scared of dying or having an accident.
“I want the whole world to see that we ladies are not lazy,” she said confidently.
Onokpite Agbaduta Beauty, a female bus driver In the year 1992, a Nigerian lady, Onokpite Agbaduta Beauty, began to make ends meet as a public bus driver. The 59-year-old woman’s story is quite interesting in that the ill-treatment she got from drivers drove her into driving buses herself. Beauty said in an interview that she relocated to Lagos to set up a business but returned to the transportation job after the business failed. What she did next was to get buses and give them to drivers who were expected to give her returns daily. Not until they began messing her up and maltreating her that Beauty took the bull by the horn.
“…I started the transportation business in Lagos by giving vehicles to drivers to bring returns for me at the end of the day, but they were messing me up, so I had to take over the vehicle. “I remember how one of the drivers came back one day in 2011 and just threw my key at me. I was annoyed, so I went to the park and started taking passengers from Ebute to Ikorodu garage. After that, I started plying Ojota to Maryland,” she recalled.
Maryam Rita Christopher, a plus-size painter Maryam Rita Christopher is undoubtedly the perfect example of a strong-willed fellow and the description of how to achieve success at an endeavour close friends have given you zero chance at succeeding at. The young lady has been in the painting business for over 10 years and has had her own share of being ridiculed, particularly by her friends.
When I started this job and took it as a business, my close pals made jest of and laughed at me to my face that I’m doing a dirty job and nothing was going to come out of it,” she told Legit.ng in an interview.
As if that wasn’t enough, her then fiancee made her choose between their relationship and her job. “At a time, my relationship crashed because of the job. My man then said if I really wanted to settle down that I should stop the job. He said it is a dirty job and wouldn’t want the mother of his kids always being in dirt all the time.” But she has held her head high and remained on the job. Lessons for many women struggling in male-dominated professions in Nigeria Despite the odds stacked against them, Maryam Rita Christopher, Onokpite Agbaduta Beauty and Iyeyemi Adeniran all have one thing in common – they never chickened out.
In today’s society, people irrespective of gender give up at the slightest intimidation. This should serve as a lesson that giving up shouldn’t be the first point of call when faced with such challenges. Rather, explore solutions to nipping it in the bud or reducing it to the barest minimum. Also, having a good support system goes a long way in helping one overcome harassment and intimidation associated with male-dominated jobs.