Ever wondered why some people bother with the phrase “no disrespect”, right before they disrespect you? Well, if you are the least bit sensitive (subconsciously or consciously) over a vocal woman discussing topics of undesirable treatment in the workplace- then discontinue reading this article.
So, shall we proceed? Women in unison: “YES INDEED!”
It may be due to my traumatizing experience of attempting to return back to my motherland and be of use to a country that I consider to be my own. But as a woman, I will advice that you be highly alert and aware of your thought process– the thought process of a contemporary African woman.
There is a federal body (name withheld)– in let’s say Nigeria, the Giant of Africa – that was interested in filling a position that was on the heavy duty technical side and heavily involved in the political infrastructure. I thought I struck gold! Then, I was in Abuja, on vacation, and completed my interview process and was promised to have my appointment letter before the June elections. Little did I know the playing field would change, and before I could say “tufiawkwa!” I was quickly approached about being one’s mistress as opposed to discussing my appointment letter and relocation assistance. Soon as I kindly declined the unsolicited mistress offer, my appointment and relocation package mysteriously did not fit the budget. In fact, the whole position stylishly became dissolved (too bad my BlackBerry crashed, maybe I would have exposed the individual). If I were to be a man, would that have even been an option, would I have to heed to such advances to get or keep a job in an African country? Infuriated was an understatement; I was livid beyond belief that with all my qualifications, I was still reduced to a piece of meat.
This is not to say that Africa as a whole has not progressed with the role of a workingwoman who expands her role beyond the household, but it is to say that we have a long way to go? In my case and in so many other women’s cases, how much progress have we really made if we are still objectified despite our accolades and certifications? HOW SWAY?