Igbo Women And Power By Chinua Achebe

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Igbo Women and Power

Igbo women have been on a mission to gain more power in the recent years. They have gone from holding the more traditional roles in society, which were marrying young, bearing children, and taking care of the family and household, to getting graduate degrees and fighting amongst the men for jobs in the failing Nigerian economy. These women, who went from being seen as typically powerless under their husbands, are now right alongside the men in job hunts. These women carry a lot more power than one would originally think. In the more traditional aspect of Igbo life, being womanly was seen as an extreme weakness, hinting at the idea that being a woman was not good enough. This shows us that women were not highly looked upon in society. They were expected to simply grow up and become a wife, seemingly giving a woman almost no power in society. In Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart,” we can see an example of how being feminine is negative with the character Okonkwo and his father. Okonkwo is very ashamed of his father, and he constantly describes his father as being more feminine than masculine. Unoka, his father, “was a failure” (5). Okonkwo carried this shame throughout his life: “…his whole life was dominated by fear” (13) and “…It was the fear of himself, lest he should be found to resemble his father” (13). When Okonkwo was little, another boy insulted his father and called him “agbala” (13). “That was how Okonkwo first came to know that agbala was
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