Having walked the streets and villages of Ondo state in search of accommodation, I came to the conclusion that women are indeed marginalized, no matter how we paint it.
So I decided I’d take a break from talking about gender discrimination, I honestly feel we’ve had enough of this conversation and if truly people want to make a change they would do so without being compelled, and we do not have to repeatedly complain about how women are treated in our society for people to act right.
Discrimination against women seems to be in the increase in the different spheres of life, work spaces, economically, homes and politically; though we have a lot of women who are trying their best to remain relevant in those spaces the question still remains, why is it different for women? Why should they try so hard over things that men could easily just get? Why do we have to prove that we are good enough? Why can’t society just see us as capable?
Housing in Nigeria is very difficult, because the demand outweighs the number of houses available for people and even better quality accommodations are either too expensive or are unavailable. It is worse in some states than the others, though. The cost of renting a bungalow, duplex, self contained apartment and even a face me I slap you as it is called in our own local parlance is very high and it is beyond what an average Nigerian earns especially when these houses are located in the cities.
The UNO stated that standards of housing are derived from a people’s cultural level of attainment and this is just the fact, with my experiences and observations that some states are more developed than the others.
It has been said that these standards merge the best features of traditional practices with the economy and rationality of modern techniques and most of the houses in Akure lack these modern techniques, not to fault them for their own cultural backgrounds.
As a nation, the federal ministry of housing and environment is yet to draw up any housing standards for our nation but these two standards have been noted to be consistent ; the first is Space demography, which covers housing intensity development when it comes to plot sizes, number of buildings per unit area of land and occupancy sizes and the second has to do with the performance standard, which describes the quality of the environment.
The past few months of staying in Ondo state I observed that the houses in Ondo state were built for private or personal use only, the people of Ondo probably didn’t put this into consideration that at some point people would migrate to their state and it is their responsibility to provide them really conducive accommodations.
Most of the houses are substandard, especially buildings that are not in the capital, and just a few houses are built with the two standards in mind. The houses are either too small, water clogged, sand, old, lack of water and people are expected to draw water from the well, clustered houses, Rusted linking zincs and so on.
Now here is the problem, after going through all the stress of finding accommodation, paying agents, and even scouting for these houses and when you finally find one that suits your taste as a woman you are told by the landlord or barrister that they do not need a woman, or an unmarried woman, you either come with your partner, most times they don’t even care to know your occupation or if you can pay the rent they just believe that women can’t do much. This is sad and really frustrating. It is even more frustrating when you find a really beautiful accommodation and they say no to you that you should come with your partner, the whole motive is not for security or what’s so ever they just believe as a woman you can’t do much.
Do I not have the right to housing in my country? Why should there be restrictions for women, I know that these houses belong to these landlords and they have right to do whatever they want to do but we should fight discrimination as a nation, if all the landlords keep saying no to women because they are women then we should expect more homeless women and children, because women who are divorced or widows won’t be able to rent accommodation if they can’t build theirs. This is just my experience.