The Fear of Being Challenged is An Oddly Female One

The Fear of Being Challenged is An Oddly Female One

Women constitute a majority of the poor and are often the poorest of the poor! Many thoughts will come to your mind, you might be thinking how are women poor when the majority are workers, some are on different businesses compared to their lives. Relax! Come with me, you shall find every answer here!

The societal disadvantages women face, because they are women shapes their experience of poverty, differently from that of men. It also increases their vulnerability and makes it more challenging for them to climb out of poverty. In other words, poverty is an experience — addressing it requires an analysis of norms and values, the division of assets, work and the dynamics of responsibility between women and men in poor households.

In most societies, societal norms define women’s role as largely relegated to the home, as mother and caretaker, and men’s role as responsible for productive activities outside the home. These norms influence institutional policies and laws that define women’s and men’s access to productive resources such as education, employment, land, and credit which lead to women having the inner fear of being challenged!

This fear of being challenged is an oddly female one. It is a fear which keeps us poor, small and scared… but seemingly safe. In the words of most young ladies I interacted with:

“I have the fear of working on being me for so long — an extremely bad feeling that being me would equal nothing.”

Well, I completely agree with them because I too once had that feeling that who I wanted to be, what I wanted to do, what I’m doing, what I will do next, was menacing!

They told me how trapped by terror they are; that their desire to create or speak out is submerged by fear. What is at the root of this, I wondered? And so, as I travelled through my own personal fear I got to realize that;

  • We are learning that we are the ones we have been waiting for: it is both thrilling and terrifying.
  • We hear the call, but hold back, unsure as to what it might entail.
  • We have received many invitations to step more fully into ourselves, but do not know if we dare to respond.
  • We fear what comes next.
  • We believed that to step into greater worldly power, we must be more powerful.
  • But we don’t know how, and we have seen the lives of powerful women in the public eye enough to know that each step we take towards our truth, requires self-trial — inner and outer — as we find the courage to face down the judgements and restrictions of others and embody ourselves more authentically.
  • We can sense this, and it scares us.
  • We don’t know how to proceed because the mainstream world does not acknowledge the winds of change that are making our noses twitch.
  • And so, we feel alone, burned out, frustrated, and even a little crazy as we try to work with these massive energies that are shifting within us.

When we do the best we can, we never know what it’s worth in our lives and how it changes other people’s lives


Balkisu Abdullahi is my name but am nick named Queen B, I am an indigene of Sokoto living at Arkilla Area Sokoto State. I am a student of Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto (UDUS) majoring in BSC.ED in Education Biology.
As the treasurer of Illela Local Government Association, Coordinate and organize Quiz and Debate competitions together with the association members to encourage school drop-outs in Illela Community to resume back to school.

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