Feminism is described as the belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.
Feminism aims to combat the persistent systemic injustices that affect women’s lives on a daily basis.
Contrary to popular opinion, feminism does not encourage sexism towards any gender and has nothing to do with demeaning males. The goal of feminism is equality, not female dominance.
Although there have been significant advancements toward equality, women and men are still not competing on an even playing field, which is what feminists want the world to know or at least accept.
Africa’s particular customs, norms, and beliefs are wholly apart from those of the West. The type of feminism practiced in Nigeria reflects this.
During the Aba women’s riot in 1929, the Feminist Movement in Nigeria covertly and unintentionally got its start. In Nigeria, women are now observably present in all walks of life, a sign of the country’s extraordinary growth over the years.
However, there is still a massive underrepresentation of women in not only places of power but some sectors that are primarily considered for men. Women are still also discriminated against heavily.
Here are 5 reasons why every Nigerian should be a Feminist
Feminism is about basic human rights
For generations, feminists have fought to win essential rights for women, including the right to an education, the ability to vote, and the right to personal freedom.
Women were only granted the ability to vote in the 20th century, officially recognizing that they do “have the capacity for reason.”
It may seem apparent, but until everyone is free and equal, our society cannot be free and equal. Everyone will be affected by the inequity as long as women do not have the same rights as men.
It will take centuries for women to be truly equal
True gender equality is a long way off, notwithstanding advancements in suffrage, employment, and education. All around the world, women are still engaged in a struggle for survival, democracy, and individual autonomy.
Women’s rights movements have been working hard for a long time to remedy this imbalance, advocating for legislative changes or marching in the streets to demand that their rights be upheld.
The internet era has also seen the emergence of fresh movements, including the #MeToo movement, which draws attention to the pervasiveness of sexual harassment and gender-based violence.
Around the world, 30% of all women who have been in a relationship have been victims of physical or sexual abuse by their partner. Women are more likely to become victims of so-called “honour crimes,” such as rape and other forms of sexual abuse than men.
Society gets better for everyone when women’s rights are upheld and taken seriously.
There’s proof that the workplace gender gap is real
“As a male, people assume that you know what you’re talking about. As a female, they assume that you probably don’t.”
Pay disparities are just one aspect of gender discrimination at work. Women continue to face obstacles when trying to advance into leadership roles, especially black women, LGBTQ+ women, and women of color.
They are also more likely to experience microaggressions, which are offensive remarks or insensitive inquiries based on a person’s race, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation.
Another typical instance of gender bias is when males are praised for behaviors that women are penalized for in the workplace. While assertive men are praised for having strong opinions and delivering outcomes, assertive women are called “aggressive” or “bossy.”
“When a little boy asserts himself, he’s called a “leader.” Yet when a little girl does the same, she risks being branded “bossy”
Women are denied their sexual and reproductive health rights
The right to life, the prohibition of torture, the right to health, the right to privacy, the right to education, and the right to be free from discrimination are just a few of the human rights that are linked to women’s sexual and reproductive health.
Women’s rights to sexual and reproductive health are frequently violated, despite these commitments.
These come in a variety of shapes, like lack of access to services that only women need; subpar services; requiring third parties to approve women’s access to services; forced sterilization, forced virginity tests, and forced abortions carried out without the consent of the women involved; female genital mutilation (FGM); and early marriage.
Women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights violations are frequently brought on by deeply ingrained attitudes and societal norms. Due to patriarchal conceptions about women’s duties in the family, women are frequently valued based on their capacity for reproduction.
Infertility is also frequently blamed on women, who then experience rejection and other forms of discrimination as a result.
Laws and policies prohibit women from equal access to land, property, and housing
Women’s ability to exercise their rights to land, property, and housing is hampered by pervasive gender disparities in both the public and private spheres. Such disparities are made worse by the numerous and interrelated ways that women and LGBTI people are discriminated against.
There is increased strain on land and natural resources, as well as the housing and livestock dependent on them, as a result of several worldwide developments, including the financialization and commodification of land, climate change, and urbanization.
Realizing women’s rights to equality and a decent standard of living requires that they have access to land, property, and housing.
A woman’s independence and autonomy are supported by having safe access to land, property, and housing, which also meets her daily needs and those of her family and enables her to overcome some of life’s most challenging obstacles.
Joshua is a multidisciplinary creative and tech enthusiast who seeks to create meaningful experiences that make for a better and more equal world. He is a creative entrepreneur and human rights activist whose work navigates socio-cultural discourse and how it can be used as a vehicle for change.