One of the reasons we often hear for women remaining in abusive homes is that they do not have the means to leave. They have neither a job nor any other income source or they have no savings of any sort. I know there are several contributing factors but this is one of the things I usually hear from the women I counsel. I hear this complaint from so many married women, even those that are happily married that I have decided to address it today.
I believe that every woman should work. I was raised by a father who believed that “He who does not work should not eat.” So I grew up knowing that work was an essential part of life, regardless of your gender. I have always worked. No, don’t get me wrong, I have not always had a paid job but my hands have always found something to do so please pardon me if I sound a little impatient with women who do not work and who choose to stay at home all day long bemoaning their fate.
I am a firm believer in the role of a woman as nurturer of the home and I have no quarrels whatsoever with a woman who makes the choice to not work outside the home. What I do have a quarrel with is a woman whose only form of work is taking care of children and the home, all day, always, with no plans to do anything else! Come on people! Take care of your home and your kids all you want but please have an income source or a savings somewhere.
If your man gives you any sort of allowance at all, try to save something from it no matter how little. Let’s say for instance your allowance is three thousand naira (less than $10) a week or even a month; imagine with me that you keep aside a little, say, $1 each time, in ten weeks you would have $10. Not much you might say but enough to flag a taxi down if you need to move out quickly.
There is a sense of empowerment that comes from having some financial independence, no matter how small. And when there is no paid job, please look for something to volunteer for. You could volunteer your time at a local school or church or community centre. It may not pay but it would help to build a sense of self-worth. You could try your hands at writing or arts and crafts, or singing or anything else that catches your fancy. Build your sense of self-worth; the confidence that comes from being useful in one area will empower you in other areas.
I know a lady who started selling recharge cards in her church using the VTU method. She started the business with six thousand naira only. She approached some senior people in her church that she knew would use a lot of airtime and told them she had airtime for sale and they should help her by buying from her. Today she turns over millions in a month. She gets calls from people asking for one hundred thousand naira airtime in a month. She has a client who buys airtime of half a million naira a month! She doesn’t own a shop and she has no inventory. All she uses is her small telephone handset. Lady, please put on your thinking cap; what can you do today to help yourself?