Equality Of Men And Women

Decent Essays

Equality of men and women is a concept that is not as implemented as it should be. There was a time in African history where women were well-respected leaders in society. However, that changed when the Europeans colonized the continent. The Western ideals were thrusted upon African societies and patriarchal views became the norm. The idea that women were inferior to men became a social construct. Power belonged to men and women were expected to be dutiful wives whose most important jobs were to have children. These ideals evolved as Africa grew and made it the society it is today. Yet, other countries, including many in Europe, have experienced women’s rights movements of their own and women have succeeded in gaining those rights; it has become apparent that Africa must do the same. The problematic beliefs of African women regarding motherhood in the form of expectations and rituals, as well as the patriarchal essence of marriage that Africa abides to will be examined first. Then, the rise of awareness by African women of these problematic beliefs will be discussed with relation to African literature. Buchi Emecheta’s The Joys of Motherhood (1979) will serve as a lens for African tradition in terms of motherhood and marriage, specifically in Nigeria. The recognition of the issues in African societies such as the controversial traditions surrounding motherhood and marriage helps women in Africa raise awareness on the importance of African feminism. In “African

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