Female population in Africa is about 519 million according to the statistics by worldstat.info, a figure that is slightly above half of the total population of Africa. Over decades, women (most especially youths) have been speaking out on how their gender have been discriminated against and relegated to the background in all aspects ranging from leadership, sport, marriage, politics, education, entertainment, employment e.t.c. However, feminism, humanism, and womanism are all terms which have been bandied recently in academic and literary circles, with a view to redefining and perhaps renegotiating gender power dynamics.
Wikipedia defined feminism as the campaign and advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of equality of genders. This has been met with strong and serious opposition in Africa based on cultural, political and religious colouration. Feminism in Africa is seen as an endangered movement or belief; it is associated with so much bite, prejudice and stigmatisation as Enita Akpojevwe wrote, “If any woman claims to be a feminist, she will be ascribed to one or more of the following stereotypes; man-hater, angry nasty woman, pro-abortionist, homosexual or pseudo-homosexual, unmarried or a career woman, anti-motherhood, an atheist, a bad wife, a troubled or an immoral woman”. Even to most women in Africa, feminism, interestingly, is a fraud. It is a fraud because it is not understood in the right context, the African context.
There is need to establish the fact that getting “equal treatments“ may not necessarily be the same as “fairness” or “equity”. Equal treatments only erase our differences and promote privilege whereas equity is giving everyone what they need to be successful so that all parties involved will meet at a vantage point. Although, equity and equality are two strategies used in an effort to produce fairness but most importantly, equity is what we need most in building an egalitarian society.
Equity leads to equal chance for all. It ensures fair and just treatment irrespective of gender, thereby giving equal opportunity, lacked in many sectors. It enables a female to move upwards to gain a place of confidence as their male counterparts, it allows greater chance at anti-oppression initiatives both at individual and communal level. Equity allows individuals (regardless of gender, age, ethnicity…) to participate in the race of humanity and also helps in eliminating gender oppression by getting humanity upfront on everyone’s agenda. Conclusively, this is feminism that our young population should be clamouring for as no human is expected to be subordinate to others. We need to enlighten all about importance of girl’s education, dangers in Females Genital Mutilation (F.G.M), roles of females in politics and governance, e.t.c. We must all be feminist (both men and women, young and old) in order to achieve an egalitarian society and make the world a better place than we met it.
This article was written by Olowolagba Tahir Ayodeji; connect with him on IG here