My current favourite thing about Nigerian women is everything they’re doing to defeat the patriarchy. There’s nothing I love to see more than the passion and the drive to defeat the patriarchy. Let’s list some of the steps they’ve taken and the things they’ve done in the past one year, shall we?
Beyond the fact that Nigerian women have been at the forefront of major protests around the country, we’ve seen them move big in women specific issues. So in April 2019, when there was an Abuja raid on women where dozens of women were arrested on grounds of being prostitutes, women took to the streets to protest. This was super necessary, because honestly, women are tired of their rights being trampled upon by both the state and private institutions. Give us a break!
The amazing part about these protests especially #SayHerNameNigeria is the fact that several teams came together to pull off these protests across Nigeria.
If you live in Lagos, you’ll know that Yaba and other similar markets are not friendly to women. They are havens of sexual harassment, groping, catcalling, etc. In 2018 Market March, an organisation working to end the bullying of women in Nigerian markets, organised a protest against harassment, groping and catcalling in Yaba. You know the great thing? It actually achieved results. There’s still plenty work to do but that was a good start.
More women-only events!
Did someone say Wine and Whine? Did someone hear pained men crying that women had fun without them? That women existed in a safe space — without being afraid of their drinks being spiked or being groped. Phenomenal. Women 1, Patriarchy 0.
It started when a young woman from the North (Khadijah Adamu) called out her abuser on Twitter. A ton of other women came out to talk about their experiences too, while showing support for this woman. And #ArewaMeToo, a hashtag coined by Fakhrriyyah Hashim saw the beginning of a new movement for women from Northern Nigeria, seeking redress from sexual violence.
It’s not every time a woman can come out to talk about her experiences with sexual assault, especially when it was by someone powerful. It exposes them, makes them vulnerable, and yet, Busola Dakolo, a well known photographer went on television and spoke about how she had been raped twice as a teenager by Pastor Biodun Fatoyinbo. Thousands of women stood by her, protested against the church, boycotted church activities. We loved to see it.
Sex For Grades Exposure
BBC Africa Eye sent undercover journalists posing as students inside the University of Lagos and University of Ghana. Reporter Kiki Mordi was at the forefront of this investigation, revealing how the sexual harassment of students is a norm.
To put it like a Nigerian mother, this is just the tip of the iceberg. The number of lives impacted (directly and indirectly) by this defeats on the patriarchy has not been documented, but I like to believe it was enormous. Here’s to more activities that defeat the patriarchy.
Honourable mention to everything Stand To End Rape is doing. And if I forgot anyone (or any event) or organisation doing the Lord’s work for women, let’s celebrate and appreciate them.