It is not farfetched to see landlords insisting that they do not want to rent their apartments to single women in Nigeria. These individuals have a way of attaching a stigma to the fact that the person seeking accommodation is a single woman.
In their mind, such women must be promiscuous, hence the decision to stay alone so that there can be freedom for her many lovers to come visiting without a husband to monitor and restrict such activities.
These landlords do not want to accept the fact that this is never the case with all women. While it is true that some women are up for such behavior, not all women are on this ship at all.
Old fashioned reasoning
The reasoning that single women should not rent an apartment on their own is old-fashioned to be sincere, but, unfortunately, many of these landlords do not want to shake off this old-fashioned way of reasoning.
Do not be surprised to see female property owners also having such thoughts about single women.
Many of the property owners see women from the traditional perspective that a woman should move to her husband's house after leaving her parents' home. So, a single woman staying alone never goes down well with them.
This has put a lot of single women searching for accommodation in a very difficult situation, with many of them are unable to get their choice properties to rent.
Unfortunately, it can be a difficult task making these property owners change from the idea. They seem bent on sticking to their guns that a woman should only be in either her father’s house or her husband’s house.
Is a single woman staying alone truly promiscuous?
This is never the case at all. While it is true that some single women staying alone do so for promiscuous reasons, it is also true that many single women stay alone because of circumstances.
Take for example a single woman that gets a job in another city far away from her parent’s city of abode. It is simply impracticable for her to travel to her place of work every day from her parent’s house. As a result, she has to get accommodation in the city where she works.
Another example is a female youth corper posted to a different part of the country far away from her parents. She just has to get accommodation in that new location since she simply cannot travel from her parent’s city to her place of primary assignment every day.
Several other examples are surprising the fact that a woman does not have to be promiscuous for her to seek accommodation away from her husband’s or father’s house. Even a widower can stay alone without being promiscuous.
There are instances where married women are posted or transferred to another city from their husbands and children. She just has to travel to get accommodation in her new place of work since it can be unreasonable for her to travel back and forth between her new family and her place of work every day especially if the two are far away from each other.
The above are some of the instances provinces that a woman does not have to be promiscuous before she can decide to stay alone. There are so many legit circumstances that can errant such an action on the part of the woman.
Can the orientation change?
It can be very difficult to change some people’s mindsets, especially, the deeply traditional individuals. They simply want to stay glued to what they believe to be true even when presented with evidence that such an orientation is not the right one.
What can be done to change this traditional and absolutely incorrect orientation about women? Education can go a long way in changing the minds of these landlords and landladies. They need to understand that not all single women and promiscuous or irresponsible.
In fact, many single women are more responsible than some married women or their male counterparts. This is to say that promiscuity is not a women's thing; it can be traced to virtually anybody, irrespective of marital status or gender.
In fact, one can translate the dispositions of these landlords to single women as a double standard. This is because some men are also promiscuous. In fact, many single men are in this category and they prefer to stay alone since it will give them the freedom to have their way with unsuspecting women.
If these landlords are sincere, they will also apply the same rule to single men seeking accommodation to rent. The scrutiny of women by landlords should also be given to men.
Educating these individuals can be difficult. Will it interest you to know that many of the landlords and landladies that are restricting women from renting accommodations on their premises are learned, individuals? Some of such landlords and landladies are teachers, principals, university professors, doctors, and even lawyers.
If the so-called learned individuals can have such an orientation about single women, how much more those landlords that do not have any form of education at all? One can only imagine how such individuals will reason about single women seeking to rent apartments.
One of the major issues making it difficult for women to get rental apartments easily in Nigeria is because many of the estate agents are men. A woman, especially a young woman working as an estate agent should be more understanding than a man or an older woman. With the increased involvement of women in this area, it will not be difficult to successfully put an end to the discrimination.
Women too have a role to play in turning things around. Single women should become gainfully employed and it will change the orientation of the landlords and landladies about them. Marriage is not for everyone; every landlord and landlady should understand this.
They need to also understand that a woman does not necessarily need marriage to be complete or upright. Such understanding will go a long way in changing the negative orientation about women seeking rental apartments in Nigeria.