Womanism Research Paper

2350 Words 10 Pages
A WOMANIST PERSPECTIVE ON GIRL-CHILD EDUCATION AS THE CROSSROAD FOR ATTAINING SELF ACTUALIZATION BY WOMEN IN NORTHERN NIGERIA

BY

MADINATU SHEHU PhD
Department of English Language
School of Languages Federal College of Education Zaria
Abstract
The thrust of this paper is to show that education is the only crossroad for attaining self-actualization. In doing this, the paper adopts womanism as its theoretical framework. By adopting this theory, therefore, this paper is set to show that women especially in northern Nigeria are not volatile in their quest for space. They only seek a more accommodating atmosphere; one that would allow them the opportunity to realise themselves and by so doing, contribute to nation building. The paper finds
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Unlike Peter Abraham and Ousmane Sambene, who knew and projected the worth of women, the Nigeria writers have in many instances portrayed women negatively or in their subordination to men. In Ekwensi, Jagua Nana the woman is presented as prostitute; Wole Soyinka’s Amope in The Trials of Brother Jero is a ceaselessly nagging woman who makes life intolerable for her husband. Achebe’s Miss Mark does not hesitate to put her sex appeal to work in order to attain desired objectives. In J. P. Clark’s Song of a Goat, Ebiere entices her husband’s younger brother into sexual relationship. The focus has always been on the physical, prurient negative nature of women (528). In protesting the ongoing degraded portraiture of women, Omolara Ogundipe admonishes women to struggle and ensure that they are not left behind by men in humanity’s effort to change …show more content…
This imbalance is traced to pre-colonial and colonial days in Africa when women are almost always relegated to the background. It is in light of this that gender studies emerged as a means of advocating vocations for women so as to make them economically independent. Women like Flora Nwapa for instance, opine that “the society is changing and women must try to be economically independent” (102). It is in view of this that Omode posits that ‘under the patriarchal system, men because of their supremacy over women were in total control of the economy; they dominated all aspect of economy of the society” (181). This dominance is seen in ways through which women are deliberately deprived from acquiring formal education. This they did knowing that education is key to economic liberation. Genderism in Africa pronounces the removal of the educational, social and religious impediments on African women. According to Omode:
African girls in the past were deprived education at all levels. Their belief being that they would end up in their husbands’ kitchen. Males were allowed to go to school at the expense of females as males were seen as backbone of the society and far worthy than females. Even those few girls that were allowed to go to school dropped on to get married

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