Dear Nigerian Man, This is How You Contribute to Keeping Women Safe

April 29, 2022

Let me start by saying that women have been “keeping safe” all their lives, and this hasn’t helped or stopped them from getting harassed or abused, so let’s focus on what men can do for a change. Here are some ways that men can help women feel and stay safe. 

Be an active passer-by

If you notice that a woman is uncomfortable with a person’s behaviour, get involved. Make an evaluation of the intensity of the situation by watching or speaking with her, call for help, report to an authority figure (this could be a manager/supervisor, a security officer or the police), do anything but walk away.

Don’t drive off immediately after

When dropping off any woman, I beg you in the name of whomever you serve, wait till she’s fully inside the building or other venue before you drive off. Don’t leave a woman standing outside alone anywhere, because her chances of getting harassed or attacked — especially at night — are high. 

Watch her drink when she leaves 

It’s not new information that women’s drinks get spiked. No woman will ever believe that her drink was watched by a stranger and still drink it, but if a female friend leaves her drink unattended for one reason or another, please watch her drink. I don’t mean stay beside it while using your phone. Actively watch it. You’d be surprised how stealthy drink spikers can be. 

Animation of a man protecting a woman's drink

 RELATED: Nigerian Women Share Their Public Harassment Stories and We Are Livid!

Ask her to share her location with you

Always ask your female friends to share their ride information with you when they use ride-hailing services. This helps you track their journey, and notice to an extent, if anything is going awry. If they’re driving alone or in a car with someone else or taking public transportation, ask them to share the plate numbers with you if they can and share their live location until they are safely at their destination. Also, text them throughout the ride to make sure they’re okay. But remember to offer, not push. In the end, it’s still her choice to let you help or not. There’s a thin line between concern and harassment too.

Offer to walk with her

This could be as simple as walking her to a public bathroom. Offer to walk with her to whatever destination while respecting her own privacy. This includes standing with her at a bus stop till she gets a bus. Once again, this majorly applies to women you know. Don’t offer to walk a woman you don’t know. Even though your intentions may be pure, it still gives off creepy vibes. 

RELATED: 5 Nigerian Men Talk About The First Time They Asked Someone Out

Animation of a man protecting a woman

Be aware of your actions 

Men need to understand that their very presence can be a source of concern for women in certain circumstances. Walking behind a woman at night may seem normal to you, but a woman is likely to have serious anxiety about it. It’s not ideal, but unfortunately, women have been through a lot. Keep a fair distance when you notice you’re directly behind a woman, especially on a deserted road. This helps her feel safe, and reduces her panic or anxiety. 

Keep your friends in line 

A man may do everything else on this list, but when it comes to calling his male friends on sexist and/or misogynist behaviour, he suddenly goes mute — that’s problematic. If your friend catcalls a woman, for example, change it for them. If you notice your friend harassing a woman in any way, shape or form, stop them and call them out on their actions on the spot. Don’t laugh with them, and don’t playfully tell them to stop. Be assertive; don’t give room for harassment to grow.

ALSO READ: 5 Nigerian Men Share How They Feel When They Hear “Men Are Scum”

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

March 23, 2021

If you have ever wanted to date a Nigerian woman that is very into Astrology, or you are dating one and do not want problems in your relationship, then this is the guide for you. 1) Set alarm for 11:11 This is so you can both manifest things together. A couple that manifests together, stays […]


Now on Zikoko

Recommended Quizzes

December 3, 2019

Are you a professional Yoruba demon? Are you walking around in search of whose life you can wreck at any given time? Well, this quiz knows exactly how many hearts you’ve shattered to date, and before you lie that your result is inaccurate, just remember that Zikoko is never wrong. Now, take it and be […]

how tall are you
March 11, 2020

Did your parents give you enough beans when you were growing up? If they did, then you’re probably around 6’0″ and above. Either way, we created a quiz that can guess your current height (pretty accurately, if we do say so ourselves). Take to see if we nailed it:

how much of an ajebutter
February 12, 2020

Are you an ajebutter or not? Well, if you’ve gone through life blissfully unaware of its harshness, then you probably are. Now, we want to know just how high you rank on that ajebutter scale, using your food preferences as a (very accurate) measure. Take to find out:

More from Her

September 25, 2022

Simi and Taofeeqat became best friends in SS2. Before adulthood came between them, they gave each other cheesy love letters and long hugs. In this #LettertoHER, Simi wants Taofeeqat to know she misses her.

September 20, 2022

If your partner spent so much time in your home that it felt like they lived there, moving on can be tougher. So what happens when you can’t afford to move out to move on from the memories of your partner? 7 Nigerians who’ve been heartbroken shared their experience.

What She Said: I’ll Run For Office in 2027
September 14, 2022

Nafisa Atiku-Adejuwon talks about experiencing politics in secondary school, choosing public service over a legal career and finding purpose in helping young women enter politics through “Girls Just Want to Run”.

September 11, 2022

“In everything I wanted to do, my grandma always told me to go for it, even if I wanted to fly to the moon. She never made any of my dreams seem unachievable.”

In this personal essay, Dammy talks about her grandmother, who was also her best friend. #GrandparentsDay

What She Said: Feminism Led Me to Atheism
August 31, 2022

This week’s #ZikokoWhatSheSaid subject is a 23-year-old Nigerian woman. She tells us about discovering her feminism, pansexuality and atheism through books while living with her close-knit conservative family.


Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

September 13, 2022
Vs The World is a Zikoko original video series that follows best friends Astor and Hassan as they take on the world.
August 23, 2022
Zikoko Ships is a Zikoko Original series where we invite two people who share a relationship to play the Zikoko card games
December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.