Nigerian Feminism - Is It The Way Forward?

By Emem James

Growing up in a society, where the female gender are regarded as 'weaklings' and the male gender as the 'stronger vessels' makes me wonder what was in God's mind when he created us? Was his thought of good or bad? Definitely, his thought was of good to give us an expected end.

As I grew older, I have come to realize my strength as a woman, therefore I must not be regarded as a weakling because I have depicted strength even in suffering.

While in Secondary school, we were taught Nigerian History as a core subject that we must pass in WAEC/NECO examinations; throughout my years in secondary school I was only taught about 'Men' in the Nigerian history. It was the Men who were Heads of State, Heads of companies, Governors, Presidents and other worthy offices. We were never taught about notable Women who fought with their feminine strength in the fight for freedom such as the likes of ; Queen Amina of Zazzau ( now called Zaria), Margaret Ekpo, Funmilayo Ransome Kuti etc . History will never forget the 1929 : Ikot Abasi women riot which took place on the 21st day of December, this riot took place as a result of heavy taxation imposed on their husbands with Late Mrs Udo Udoma, who spearheaded the riot. She later gave birth to a young lad known as Justice Udo Udoma. That single act showed the feministic strength and of course their love for the male gender even when they were regarded as nothing.

In the society we live in today, a woman cannot become successful or take a title without hearing the phrase of " She slept her way in". Come to think of it , how many title holders do we have in each community that are females? Most times, we have been shut up by the male gender because according to them we belong to the kitchen and the other room. For how long will this ideology continue?

As the year goes by, gradually Feminism has come to stay in Nigeria and in Africa as a whole. The women are gradually coming out of their shells to take their rightful places in the world. Today , when the names of Ngozi Okonjo- Iweala, Folorunsho Alakija, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and others are mentioned, the society stares in awe because they have become the chief corner stones that the builders rejected.

Nigerian Feminism movement calls for equality and equity. It's therefore a wake up call for every Girl child and woman irrespective of their age, incomes, social status, ethnicity, religious and educational background to take up their place in any field they venture in. Feminism is therefore the way forward in Nigeria.

"Give a pen to a girl child and watch her transform her society".

Emem Usen writes for --- You can reach her via [email protected]