Breaking the Bias: How Nigerian Women Are Shattering Stereotypes and Making Strides

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Breaking the Bias: How Nigerian Women Are Shattering Stereotypes and Making Strides

Author •  Joshua Oyeniyi

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Nigeria, like many other countries, has long been plagued by gender inequality in various spheres of life. In particular, women have often been relegated to secondary roles in politics, business, and other male-dominated industries. However, in post-colonial Nigeria, the fight for justice and equality was spearheaded by many remarkable women from different ethnic groups. These women were bold, fearless, and determined to change the course of history in their country. In commemoration of International Women's Day, let's celebrate the heroic deeds of three such women who left an indelible mark on Nigerian history.

a cartoon infograhics capturing women as advocate

First, we have Margaret Ekpo, a trailblazing women's rights activist from the Efik ethnic group in southeastern Nigeria. Ekpo was one of the first Nigerian women to earn a college degree and went on to become a leader in the struggle for women's political representation. She was a founding member of the National Council of Nigerian Citizens (NCNC) and was instrumental in pushing for women's right to vote in the 1950s. Ekpo also organized market women in southeastern Nigeria to form the Aba Women's Riot of 1929, a peaceful protest that challenged the colonial government's tax policies. Her boldness and determination paved the way for many Nigerian women to take their place in the country's political landscape.

margarat ekpo in action of her activism
wikipedia

Next, we have Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, an iconic feminist and activist from the Yoruba ethnic group in southwestern Nigeria. Funmilayo fought vehemently against colonization and promoted the rights of women. She established the Abeokuta Women's Union, which aimed to educate and teach women in order to empower them. She also led a demonstration against the discriminatory tax laws of the Alake of Egbaland. Her advocacy ultimately resulted in the repeal of the tax, and many Nigerian women were motivated to join her in the battle for equality. Ransome-Kuti was repeatedly imprisoned and subjected to violent assaults, but she persisted in her quest for justice and equity.

funmilayo ransome kuti activism
sheroesofhistory

Finally, we have Hajia Gambo Sawaba, a political activist from the Hausa-Fulani ethnic group in northern Nigeria. Sawaba was a tireless campaigner for women's rights and was a member of several political parties in Nigeria. She was also one of the few women to run for political office in the country's early post-colonial era. Sawaba was jailed multiple times for her political activities and suffered brutal torture at the hands of the authorities. Despite this, she continued to fight for women's rights and remained a beacon of hope for women across Nigeria.

Hajia Gambo Sawaba activist from the northern nigeria
wikipedia

In conclusion, it should be noted that notable women like Margaret Ekpo, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, and Hajia Gambo Sawaba all made a lasting impression on Nigerian history. These women paved the way for succeeding generations of Nigerian women to assume their place in the nation's political and social fabric through their audacity, tenacity, and unwavering dedication to justice. Let's honor these women and all the other heroes who have improved the lives of women in Nigeria and around the globe on this International Women's Day.

Inspiring tales of Nigerian women who have conquered traditionally male-dominated professions have been examined in this piece. These women are evidence that gender should never be a barrier to success, from female politicians who have defied the odds to become trailblazers in the nation's political scene to female entrepreneurs who are making waves in the business world.

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1 Comments

  1. Adegbesan JeremiahMarch 8, 2023 at 5:08 PM

    I love this piece. I love its brevity and simplicity as well as its power and force. Indeed it brings the notable deeds of Nigerian women to the spotlight.

    ReplyDelete

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