TO BE FEMALE
RECENTLY, NIGERIAN WOMEN took to Twitter to highlight what #BeingFemaleInNigeria meant, sparked by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s ‘We Should all be Feminists’ essay and TEDTalk. What followed were thousands of tweets from Nigerian women sharing their experiences of everyday sexism that, at rst glance, could have come from anywhere in the world. The dif culty that many women in these situations face is how deeply patriarchy is entrenched in most societies around the world. It didn’t take long for those who believe in this status quo to make their voices heard, hijacking the hashtag to emphasise the position they believe Nigerian women should stay in. It seems that what happens when topics like these catch global attention, is that women are challenged to identify their own misogyny, too, effectively unlearning the things they have been taught and shaking off societal norms to create their own new standards. Women must believe in their inherent worth. That they are valuable and have something genuine and unique to contribute that goes beyond their roles as caregivers and cleaners. While Nigerian women have created new awareness around their struggles, the challenge of being a woman anywhere in the world begins at birth. And there is no reprieve, even though it can be exhausting at times. But it is dif cult to identify where the responsibility for change lies – yet it is important to acknowledge that it is with everyone. It is up to us all to talk, to engage, to listen and, most importantly, to seek to understand so we can create a new path going forward.
WOMEN MUST BELIEVE IN THEIR INHERENT WORTH
Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie