Emancipate our African women

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If you think African women are emancipated then you are fooling yourself. Because for as long as African women call themselves ‘madam boss’ they will never ever be free.

African women in particular are still failing to define themselves as individuals with talents, abilities and IQ ratings equaling those of men, and would instead offer their entire existence to be a maid for the husband who would pay her no mind when he decides to remarry a younger female.

Of course women fancy themselves at the feet of a ‘strong man’ even though he is an abusive philanderer with no regard for his partner’s wellbeing or sanity, because society says that it must be so.

Society is the reason why women, now more than ever, trip over themselves and rate themselves inferior, because they are not entering the church on the arm of a man. It is because of this society that it is still acceptable and prescribed that women can be interrogated by a stranger to explain the absence of her children’s father.

The same society would not only pity the ‘poor man’ but would bent over backwards to justify why he arrived at a family meeting with only his child.  In fact, it is society that would drape a cloak around him to make sure he is taken care of since his wife is such a bad wife.

Never would this society enter the home where children sob their hearts out after their father hacked their mother to death. No, society would instead try to get the ‘other side of the story.’ “But why did she answer back to him? Og, these women of today, why did she not just keep quiet,” they would sob.

They would also forget that it is because of them that she remained hostage in the prison that is a marriage and therefore because of society’s sharp tongue of rebuke she chose not to say a word to anyone. Because our society would choose to insult her for having the audacity to report the man who supports her to the police.

“You know your father was also not such a good man, but because of you I stayed with him. A women’s duty is to take care of her husband and children and to keep things under the blanket,” grandmother would tell her granddaughters.

This is the society that allowed for the accumulation of bodies of dead young girls without demanding the castration of the culprits. Instead, lobby groups find it appropriate to contemplate ways for women to ‘take better care of themselves.

It is because of this society that girls find it in order to handcuff themselves to men, who abuse them as long as society is happy with the choice. It is this society that ridicules and lambasts the very handful of radical feminists for being their own people.

For having muesli for dinner, for going out in the street with frisky hair, not in the least concerned about which man saw her so. For washing her laundry when she sees it fit, who is a proud single mother and realize that she is not at fault that the men she encountered were frogs.

Because of society women are coerced into horrible acts in order to become the THING that men yearn for. Yet in the whole of Africa, we have not arranged to educate men on the needs of women, to indicate to them that women indeed are human too with feelings, cravings and desires, as well as ambitions to be successful in whichever field they wish excel.

Society therefore must free women of all these perceptions and allow them to walk blindly in the light, allow them to be beautiful in their simplicity and not become ugly in a desperate search for society’s approval. – Eewa

 

Story by Jemima Beukes

Womanhood

About author

Kemi Wale-Olaitan

Kemi is a retired broadcaster from the service of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria; while in service, she had her interest in women issues and had interviews with several notable women in the course of her duty as a producer in the service of the Federal government. Her interest in broadcasting was informed by her creative writing prowess; she has been very active in creative writing since her undergraduate days, and she has written a few fictional works in form of short stories and novel. Some of her short stories have appeared in anthologies of Short stories. Kemi was also very active in the establishment of the Women Writers Association of Nigeria (WRITA) and she served on its first Executive Council.

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