Last week Saturday, a group of women marched into the popular Yaba market to protest against the perennial sexual harassment women face in the marketplace. A movement pioneered by feminist Damilola Marcus, these women were joined by male allies and held placards, shouting into megaphones and shaking the status quo with their collective, impassioned voices. The hashtag #MarketMarchYaba burned into social media with resilient fury, clips of the march going viral and showing the familiar antagonism, derision, and condescension from men, male traders whose first impulse when they see a woman in the market is to touch her inappropriately.
This, of course, stems from male entitlement reinforced by patriarchy, and the first outing of the #MarketMarch movement and its tangible impact is indicative of a paradigm shift. Already, I have been seeing tweets from women thanking the movement, going unharassed or left alone as they went to Yaba market after the protest. Reportedly, more market protests have been slated for next year and a revolution has just begun.
Oh. Went through yaba today with my sister. As usual yaba men started approaching us “buy jeans, buy shirt”.
Then one of them stopped & said “no touch them oh” then they stayed away. Fam, the feeling was so good , I almost shed a tear!! Thank you everyone & @MarketMarch !!
— janey baby 🌸🌸 (@Janettee_) December 19, 2018
Today was amazing, i was in yaba market and no one tried to touch me or call me “my colour”, and when i got to ojuelegba and a man tried to touch me, the moment i made my complaints, all the other men there started to insult him on my behalf, i was in awe. @OmogeDami God bless
— The dm Lawyer (@t_odeyinka) December 19, 2018
BTW, I went to yaba today and no one touched me. Progress? #MarketMarchYaba
— Anjie Baby (@AnjieAjay) December 20, 2018
Thank you @MarketMarch .just leaving yaba market and not one, I mean nobody tried to touch me or even touched me. 👏👏 .
— Adenike Adediran (@nikeayaoba) December 20, 2018
I passed Yaba today and not even one trader touched me. God bless whoever started the #MarketMarchYaba .
— Folzzz (@shade_alder) December 19, 2018