#BeingFemaleinNigeria: How social media sparked a necessary conversation about feminism in Nigeria
It was only a few years ago that Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie’s now globally recognized TED Talk ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ called for citizens around the world to understand the necessity and significance of feminism. However, while Chimamanda’s address was to the world, within Nigeria her speech was met with almost an indifference that illuminates the challenges of talking about feminism or issues affecting women in Nigeria. This may be odd to some, expecially considering some of the realities for women and young girls in Nigeria. Like Boko Haram’s crusade against women, and the continued kidnapping of women and girls throughout Northern Nigeria. Or the fact that Nigeria has some of the highest rates of FGM and child marriage in the world.
So when the Warmate Book Club, decided to create a hashtag #BeingFemaleinNigeria (or alternatively #BeingAWomaninNigeria) to share their first hand stories of sexism in Nigeria- it was somehow surprising yet also welcome, when thousands of women joined in on the conversation. Now over 20,000 tweets later, it’s encouraging yet depressing to hear the tales of what it means to be a woman in Nigeria.
When she gets raped| why did you dress like that? When she gets beaten by her husband? | What did you do to him? #BeingFemaleInNigeria
— JJ. Omojuwa (@Omojuwa) June 30, 2015
What Nigerian women face before and during marriage:
#BeingFemaleInNigeria Nigerian parents don’t expect you to date but expect you to be married at 25.
— Chukwuebuka Akara (@ebuka_akara) June 30, 2015
Just how many different ways women’s rights are violated:
Having to bear the Trauma of your rape alone because your rapist is a highly respected family member #BeingFemaleInNigeria — Nigerian God (@Echecrates) June 30, 2015 Other criticisms Nigerian women face:
Then of course, there’s the man who felt the need to tell women to simmer down:
But he was appropriately silenced, albeit by another man:
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