Research confirms that women are more powerful than they know. However, what they fail to mention is that women’s power is intrinsically tied to their role as mothers. Women’s empowerment is not confined to the school buildings or high end offices. Their power lies in the most basic form…taking their role as mothers seriously and actually mothering, raising and caring for their boy children as they do for their girls. The slogan to free and empower women tomorrow can only be realized if women raise their boys today.
Homeschooling has taught me a lot. And what I recently learned is that when parents provide their children with the time and energy to raise them, your children will become exactly what you raised. If you put time and energy in providing materials for your children, they will grow to become people who value materials. It’s that simple. All the ancients said it. An African proverb states “kasava leaves cannot grow from the plantain tree.” This means that your children cannot bear fruits which you did not plant and nurture within them. Women cannot be free tomorrow if no one is making sure not to create potential tormentors today.
The old adage that women are their worst enemies is true in this context. We can either raise children who will respect and listen to us tomorrow, or leave them to persecute us tomorrow. By not raising our boys, we endanger the lives of other women around the world. Rape is the most common form of violence against women during turbulence.
It might seem anti modern or Western for a woman to applaud motherhood above a career, but this framework obviously has not helped the world. Let’s take a look at all the violence we are seeing: young boys ganging up to rape young girls on trains in India, boys beating and killing elders in their communities in Congo and other parts of Africa. And the list goes on. Who raised those boys? What seeds were planted in those boys? I know from personal experience that no seeds were nurtured in my brothers. This is why they are all one bad move away from a prison sentence today. But they are not alone, that is why from America to Zimbabwe, the topic of boys causing violence is gaining attention. But the solution is not in providing them employment and getting them off the streets. The solution is in mothering.
Women, as mothers hold the key to not only transforming the future, but the people who make up our futures. In the hands of mothers, children learn how to be human beings. They learn how to treat others, how to be independent and the rules of right and wrong. However, Ghanaian women, like many women around the world, have been misled into believing that motherhood can be done by a Creche, a school or society. That they are not as pivotal as the Ancients stated. That women are mere carriers and not king makers. Let’s take a cue from the Asantehemaa. The king she chooses is the one who will listen, respect and always remember who made him. We are having children but not raising them to remember from where they came. No one is teaching our boys how to be human beings.
Who is raising the boys? Who teach them how to be independent? Who teach them right from wrong? Or how to live with others? Apparently no one is. We know this because during the time of every election in Ghana, politicians feel the need to talk to “boys” about not causing riots and violence. Why are they only speaking to the boys and not girls? Because they know, as we know, that boys are left to raise themselves. They are left to basically kill themselves and others if need be.
Women need to take back motherhood. We need to take it seriously. It’s the greatest job we have. To raise children who will become responsible and decent global citizens tomorrow. We do this by providing our children time to be with us. To watch us and to learn from us. But we need to realize that we have a valuable job. We need to know that our job today shapes the world tomorrow. For each child who is left to be raised by “society” we can add another potential rapist, murderer, or criminal to the list.
Children cannot be left to be raised by others. We know that. The lesson we are learning is that no one is raising our boys so they are causing havoc. It’s a cry for help like all tantrums.