FEMINISM IN NIGERIA

I listened to a lady speak about feminism and my heart went out to her. I wasn’t sorry for her because she had made it clear that she couldn’t get married, I was sorry for her because she has not the slightest idea what feminism is to begin with. The worst enemy a group of people sharing a common ideology could have is an ignorant individual amongst them. The ignorance of these few becomes a problem to the rest who actually understand the reason behind the ideology and know exactly what they are fighting for. When one listens to most women speak of feminism, one would think all women are being discriminated against or all women are being tortured, but I do know successful women who are married and maintain their relationship with men around them properly. Being incapable of managing one’s affairs and being tortured are two very different things. It is important that we do not mistake one for the other.

Feminism has never been a movement against men. Feminism was never a move to incapacitate men, but rather to liberate women. It began as a form of reform, to abolish slave trade,gain guardianship of infants,property rights, divorce access, higher education , equal pay and protective legislation. Considering the above reasons for the initial movement,it is ignorance, to claim that women are generally being oppressed in Nigeria. It’s like a perfectly sound person taking drugs meant for someone who is indisposed. Take for instance, feminism movement in ancient Rome and Greece where women were tortured and used at will. The Roman women had no say in political or economic matters. As a matter of fact a woman wasn’t allowed to have too much knowledge, and if she did, she was to use it to stroke her husband’s ego. A woman who was sound in poetry and law was seen as a threat. A woman was often threatened with a divorce knowing she would never see her children again, since the sole guardian of an infant was the father. Women in that setting, were being oppressed. Fights against such oppression would be perfect. And would be termed as feminism. On the contrary, in Nigeria, women were never treated that way. If they were in certain cultures, it was due to the failure of these people to evolve. Like the child marriage, and deprivation of educational rights. At this stage in our lives, to an extent that has been taken care of. People who still practice it are either not enlightened or are simply wicked considering the level of technological advancements in the country. It is outright hypocritical to term rape as an abuse of female gender. There are thousands of boys and men who get raped by women as well. Rape is a crime against humanity and should be treated as one, not solely as a crime against females. The fact that more female rape cases are recorded doesn’t make it a crime solely against women.

In regards to using panadol for another person’s headache, I would love to bring to your reckoning, the African/Nigerian culture. Right from time memorial,women were respected, treated as goddesses and our men were ever ready to provide the needs of the family. In fact, I recall my father telling me tales of how women won the hearts of men with their culinary skills. And believe me you,they were happy doing this. The indigenous Nigerian society had women function as complementary to men rather than subordinate. Power was based on seniority rather than gender. Among the Egba,women were the economic powerhouses of the nation due to the trade and market system they had developed. Women dominated the trade and merchant exchange of goods of their communities. Women were responsible for a number of things including: setting the rules of trade among themselves,agreeing on lucrative terms of trade with outsiders; These women had a highly developed business acumen which they used for the economic upliftment of their community. Majority of these women were taking over their businesses from mothers or aunties of the same profession. This confirms that the economic knowledge they implemented had been honed for centuries. In short, they knew what they were doing. To this day, women still dominate the local market in Nigeria.

Where then does the oppression come in?

We so often mistake our way of life for oppression,forgetting our heritage in an attempt to copy the culture of another.

It is true that there are certain jobs that pay the male gender higher than the females, but truth be told, a woman cannot afford to perform certain jobs as effective as a man would. Having this in mind, it is necessary that we re-enlighten ourselves on the true ideology of feminism and the change we hope to impact by the movement.

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61 thoughts on “FEMINISM IN NIGERIA

  1. ” managing ones affairs and being tortured are two different things¨, I think that one leads to the other, also for men and animals. Every action has a reaction. Hopefully unlike wild animals we have a semblance of respect for each other as humans.Won´t comment on feminist since I know the history and all type of arguments. Hey! I didn´t know it was womens day today, learned it earlier from a fellow blogger. Humanity should make a Charly day.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Especially in a continent like Africa, men are saddled with the responsibility of “thinking and acting” on the fact that they are breadwinners. And that they have to be the ones to provide

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  2. You said something about feminist.
    I love girls who are feminist.

    You concept about thjs post is quit unique. All the women i have come across have the idea of feminist. But you have narrowed your view very well.

    Feminism is a movement . Not to hate men

    I feel blessed by your writing right now.
    I found delight love and joy in what you just wrote about women. Though am a man but a women gave birth to me.  So I respect then a lot.

    I will love my own part of the contribution here and the feminist I have come across.

    Here is the little summary:

    I asked a Muslim girl who is my friend on Facebook, an Algerian  girl. She is a blogger also.  After a long chat we discussed some recent issues about women in the Society and likewise chinanmanda adichie a popular feminist in USA(the writer of purple hibiscus)

    So I throw up a question to her

    Question- Can you be a Feminist?

    Her answer(reply)
    One thing you should know about feminism is that there are many kinds of feminisms. Not all movements have the same goals and views. I can be a feminist. I might agree with some feminists like Adichie because they speak of troubles women go through in certain places and it makes sense. What I don’t agree with, though, is being a fanatical feminist, those who are fighting just for the sake of fighting. There needs to be a cause and as a Muslim woman, I fully believe that my religion has covered all what a woman needs to have. Islam assures all the rights of women and preserves them very well. So all what we need is to follow the rules of our conviction and work in accordance with them. And then we wouldn’t need a feminist movement at all. Thats my belief.

                                       Latina Khadidja

    Facebook-Latina Khadidja

    Her website-
    https://abookworldweb.wordpress.com/

    Again such a beautiful writing.

    I Enjoy such post about feminists. Keep the good work.

    #PATRICKSTORIES
    Peace ✌and Love ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I saw a show on Tvc News channel, The Big Topic and two women were brought out to debate on this same topic, “Feminism”.
    From every thing i saw and heard that day i observed afew things:
    1. According to them, most carrer women are feminists.
    2. 90% of them are either single mothers or divorcees.
    3. Their views on feminism are influenced not by the happenings in their country but in others which are public knowledge.
    4. Most of them battle for gender equality for themselves further delving into sexist movements and still call themselves feminists.
    The woman who spoke in favour of feminism as opposed to domesticity for themselves made a remark, she said that she couldn’t win the debate on feminism as she had taught in oxford university and over there, they embrace the idea wholeheartedly but its morality is questioned in Nigeria.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on deLuna and commented:
    Food for thought….
    “We so often mistake our way of life for oppression,forgetting our heritage in an attempt to copy the culture of another.” ~ Lola Zee

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Feminism is a rejection of sexism. Sexism is the act of building social roles on the bias of biological functions.

    If you say “it is true that there are certain jobs that pay the male gender higher than the females, but truth be told, a woman cannot afford to perform certain jobs as effective as a man would….” then it’s obvious you’re still a sexist,not a feminist.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I totally get you. But I’m not a sexist,in fact I’m a lady as well.I’m just being realistic. Could you please enlighten me on these social roles built on the bias of biological functions in Nigeria?

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      1. I understand and respect your argument .. but don’t you think that it is fair to deem your statement ‘ a woman can not afford to perform certain job as as effective as a man would ‘ sexist ? And if you do not mind , could you name some ?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. We all know that most women are fragile,there are certain jobs that if done by a woman won’t turn out as good as that of men because of the physical strength and involvement.

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        2. There are certain tasks if done by a woman would turn out with very bad consequences to her body as against that of the men. The truth remains that men have greater physical strength that females,no amount of argument can change that fact.

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        3. Though,to a small extent, that might be true it could also be one of the predominant factors causing this to be true. If we constantly enforce this idea that men are stronger than women of course its unlikely for women to even consider that they could take on a job that we as society have successfully perpetuated is for a man.

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        4. I see absolutely nothing wrong in paying a woman just as much as you pay a man if and only if she does the job as effectively as the man. But saying an equal pay should be granted to both parties when one does more work than the other is what isnt fair

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        5. It is quite ironic that you say that because every job people argued women cannot do more than one have managed to . I still agree with you, no argument can change the fact ; we need to do something about it .We can only spread so much awareness and at some point we have just got to stand up and go for it 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

        6. You see,before westernization and all,african women were known to be involved in a lot. They did just as much as the men but that was how they were trained. They were trained by their mothers and those before them to take on such tedious jobs and then a woman who had a family of her own and knew how important it was for her to keep her home and kids in good condition as well,knew when to stop and when to fire on. The women of the old cannot be compared to modern day women. In fact modern day women cannot perform half the task the women of old did because they weren’t even half trained to do work as tedious as those. Most times when the men are away at the farm the women take on the duty of preparing food and taking care of the house and kids. That’s how the modern woman has been trained.

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        7. If we could once do something surely we could progressively and eventually be able to do it again but if you are bombarded by what society enforces upon us then there is no hope at all

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        8. How many women do you really think have the strength to “go for it”. Let’s be sincere to ourselves,60% of women out there who claim to be feminist do not care about other female folks,what they care about is their own personal liberation from what ever trauma it is they are facing in their homes. It might not even be trauma. Some women who claim to be feminist just feel that women are generally oppressed by men all over the world. The question is what is stopping them from doing what men do?

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        9. If women feel they can offer more or even better why can’t they go on and do just that? If they feel they are being deprived then they should do what needs to be done to make government listen to them

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        10. You said yourself not many have the strength to do so .. As a result we should aim to liberate and inspire others 🤷🏾‍♀️ Somethings may seem out of control which is why we need to continue spreading the word

          Liked by 1 person

        11. Very true , so instead of complaining and criticising we should work together to paint the correct picture . ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’ Progress takes time 🤷🏾‍♀️

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        12. For men and women to have equal opportunities and choices . It should not be anti men and should respect the efforts of both men and women who support the movement . Enlighten people on issues which prevent equality and aim to change the issue.

          Liked by 1 person

        13. Currently it is under a lot of scrutiny as there are people ,like with any movement, who do misrepresent feminism . I.e (I hate men and they are the problem outburst ) which I believe is contrary to what feminism stands for .(I talk about it in my blog post if you want to check it out 🙂 )

          Liked by 1 person

        14. Some feminists who happen to be wives and even mothers have no issue with their “society-gifted” roles as wives or mothers. In fact some of them embrace it as an opportunity to spend more time around their children and build their own home. Their belief of feminism comes in when a woman is being oppressed or violated. That’s because they’ve come to understand the need to understand how this “division of labour” works in the home.

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        15. Live your life. We keep screaming society society society like it’s human. Society is ideology in our heads passed down at least in this context. Being a wife or a mother depends on you,the mother part would have to also depend on your spouse. No one would ask why you are not a wife,and if they do,tell them your ideology,its that simple

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        16. That aside,feminism in marriage is another ridiculous thing women who fall into the 60% category advocate for. How can you expect so much equality in marriage. Look marriage is not a business organization or some contract that one is being forced into. Yes being married doesn’t stop one from having his or her Constitutional rights,but when you decide to live with someone for the rest of your life,c certain sacrifices have to be made. Two captains cant sail a ship,and that’s why there’s division of duties between partners. These duties however doesn’t stop you from working or having a career as long as you know it doesn’t affect your performance or ability to carry out the duties expected of you as a wife and mother

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        17. Fair enough but that duty should not be dictated by society and should not be something you have to break out of or fall into it should be a choice within your selected partnership, no?

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        18. I have no problem with that,as long as it is made clear before the marriage union. If your intended,understands and buys into your ideology then fine,it is no one’s business how to choose to run your marriage,you and your spouse. My problem is getting married to someone who has a totally different ideology from yours and then shouting all over the place after marriage. When you get married,you embrace a person’s ideology. These are things to be discussed before marriage not after marriage

          Liked by 2 people

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