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TOPIC OF ARTICLE: FEMINISM IN NIGERIA


@Holt I am giving you an exclusive since you helped me with the title. I will also be happy to receive feedback from others.

NB: THIS IS AN ORIGINAL ARTICLE AND IT WILL BE PUBLISHED ON A MAGAZINE. IS THE ARTICLE OKAY AND ADDRESSING THE TOPIC BELOW. EVERY PART OF THE ARTICLE IS OPEN FOR REVIEW. THANKS FOR YOUR FEEDBACK IN ADVANCE. TOPIC IS BELOW

Topic of article: FEMINISM IN NIGERIA: THE RISE OF THE CAREER WOMAN

several influential nigerian women



Nigeria didn't start out with women having rights to vote or being in positions often classified only for men. Nigeria is a country full of diverse cultures and not a single one support women to be equal with the man. It's a great news that a lot of women, feminist,activists are fighting to change most of these things. A lot of women are on the rise getting into positions perceived to be only for the man.

Funmi Ransome-Kuti an early feminist, educator, women's rights activist and the first Nigerian woman to drive a car. Funmi was part of delegates of the national council of Nigerians and the Camerouns who negotiated Nigeria's independence with the British government. She was being described as the doyen of female rights in Nigeria, as well as "The Mother of Africa". She advocated for the Nigerian woman's right to vote in the 1950's. Through Funmi's activism, women rallied against price controls that were hurting market women. She also oversaw the successful abolishing of separate tax rates for women, she educated illiterate market women to campaign against taxes and price controls as trading was one of the major occupations of women at the time. Funmi was one of the women elected to the native house of chiefs, serving as an oloye of the Yoruba people, treasurer and president western women association of the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons, leader of Abeokuta women's union, leader of Commoners Peoples Party and leader of Nigerian Womens Union. Throughout her lifetime, Funmi fought for the Nigerian women.

Oyinkansola Abayomi is also another early Nigerian feminist, educator, scouting guide and nationalist. Abayomi is the former head of Nigerian Girls Guide and founder of the Nigerian Women's Party. She educated women and girls in Nigeria, which was not equal to that of men and boys. On May 10, 1944 Abayomi founded Nigerian Women's Party and the organization sought equal rights for women.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a modern day Nigerian feminist, novelist, short story writer and non fiction writer notably known for her books: Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun, Americanah. Adichie's work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared in various publication and she has received notable awards like the MacArthur Fellowship in 2008. Adichie has spoken many times in a TED talk. In her TED talk "the danger of a single story", she expressed her concern for underrepresentation of various cultures. Only by understanding a single story, one misinterprets people, their background, and their histories. In 2012, Adichie delivered a TEDX talk titled: "we should all be feminists". Part of her TED talk were sampled in Beyonce's song "flawless". Adichie talked about how we teach girls to aspire to marriage but we don't teach boys the same. That is because the single story we are taught in Nigeria is to see girls as wife material and not as career women. A woman in Nigeria is not regarded by most as successful if she is at the peak of her career and unmarried.

In Nigeria, our perspective about women is beginning to change through the works of these activists,feminists and writers. They are motivating a lot of women who in turn are motivating other women to aspire to careers, dream big and aspire to get into positions originally reserved for men. Nigerian now have a lot of women in the entertainment industry: Nollywood, singers, rappers and so forth. Women are now able to vote in Nigeria, context political offices and start huge businesses. We now have women who are founders and CEO's of multi-million dollar companies. Most of these women have experienced a lot of setbacks but they keep getting better and stronger inspiring the younger women out there to rise and break the glass ceiling.

Women like Linda Ikeji a blogger and entrepreneur who started out as a model and participated at the 2003 miss Nigeria pageant but didn't make top ten, who thought being miss Nigeria was the best thing that could happen to her. Three years later, she started a blog and she is currently the highest paid blogger in Nigeria. Linda started blogging at a time when internet was still a big issue in Nigeria, and she made frequent trips to the cybercafe to make her posts. She assists young girls aged 16-25 who have great business ideas and are willing to venture into entrepreneurship.

Folorunsho Alakija is another Nigerian woman who is on top of her career. A business tycoon, second richest woman in Africa and the first in Nigeria worth $2.1 billion. In 2015, she is listed as the second most powerful woman in Africa and 87th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala served two terms as finance minister, served also as the coordinating minister of the economy, minister of foreign affairs, highly respected and influential global leader, economist, policy maker and thinker on finance and economic development. She was previously Managing Director of the world bank (2007- 2011). She is renowned as the first female and black candidate to contest for the presidency of the world bank group in 2012. Dr Okonjo-Iweala graduated magna cum laude with AB in Economics in 1976 from Harvard University, and earned a PhD in regional economics and development from MIT in 1981. She is the first female to hold position as Minister of Finance.

Diezani Alison-Madueke is another Nigerian woman who have held a ministerial position before. She is a former minister of transportation, minister of mines & steel development, minister of petroleum resources and the first female president of OPEC. In April 2006, Shell appointed her it's first female executive director in Nigeria. She worked in male-dominated sectors, Alison-Madueke was the first woman to hold the position of minister of petroleum resources in Nigeria.

In 2015, six female senators like Stella Odua-Ogiemwonyi (a Nigerian senator and former minister of aviation) were elected to the 8th assemble. Most Nigerian women are rising to the top of their careers, more girls are now in school, and the rate of girl child marriage is gradually dropping in Nigeria. Women are now a vital part of the Nigerian government, they can now vote, they are now recognized and motivated by the success of these feminist,writers,entrepreneurs,political leaders, CEO's,artists and activists.

Even though Nigerian women have made these progress, there are still some changes we need to implement like abolishing sexist laws like: in Nigeria, violence "by a husband for the purpose of correcting his wife" is just fine (which is supported by the constitution. Citizenship rights is against women. Some of our men still think that girls should aspire to marriage, be good wives, great mothers and world class cooks for their husbands and in most cases be the house keeper/housewife (doing all the chores at home).

I was on a trip to Abuja (Northern Nigeria) and I decided to spend a day meeting a lot of people and learning about their lives. It struck me as I observed a particular family of about 5kids, and the oldest, a female-got pregnant at a teenage age and dropped out of secondary school, two of the boys were still in school and the last child who was a girl was out of school. She told me her father didn't have the money to send her to school because her father believed that sending her to school will be to waste his money and she wanted to be a lawyer and have her own firm. I saw the rude manner her father always shut her off whenever she brings up the ideas of herself starting school or becoming a lawyer. Her father was busy giving her elder brother a thumbs up while he was playing football. Her father only prepared her for marriage because that's the single story he has about women and prepared the sons for a career.

Though women are still not largely regarded as equals to men in Nigeria, but the goodnews is that we are already on that path to gender equality. We are looking forward to having more of these Nigerian women from different cultures and background as senators, billionaires, feminists, CEO's entrepreneurs, engineers, leaders and even president of Nigeria. We are changing our single story about feminism in Nigeria and the career woman to develop more stories about women who motivate other women to have different stories about themselves and not just aspire to marriage but also to have dreams, set goals and aspire to careers. This is the beginning of the rise of the career woman in Nigeria; watch out for more.

Jan 8, 2017   #2
Chizaram, thanks for the exclusive. The essay that you wrote certainly qualifies as an article, but it needs further improvement before it can become a full article. Consider that you have only written about the success of Feminism and Women's Rights in your country through the years, but you have not discussed nor presented any information about what life was like for women before these trail blazers came to the forefront of women's liberation. So, in order to create a better and more informed discussion for your essay, your paragraphs must first present the negative side of the historical treatment of women when, let's say, driving a car, or voting, or one of the other topics that you presented in your article. That will bring a balance to the presentation. You know, the dark before the light sort of thing. In order for the reader to understand why these achievements are important, they first have to learn why it should be considered that way. Remember, most of your readers will probably be taking most of these historical accounts for granted because there has been some change in the treatment of women in your country. That means there is a generation of women in there who never had to experience the sexism and gender discrimination that existed historically. The essay comes across an an educational piece of article writing if you approach it from that angle. I am not sure how you will revise the essay in order to do this, I know you have either a page or word limit for publication. The decision of how to best edit the paper rests in your hands in this case. Just the same, you did a very good job in writing this article. It has the full potential to become an excellent piece of published work.
Jan 8, 2017   #4
The first paragraph is a great improvement. I suggest that you use examples of the punitive widowhood rites if you can. Just in case the article is read by the international community, it adds to the need for women's rights to be addressed and fought for in Nigeria. In the second paragraph, before you say that women's rights were granted, you need to first discuss how the women's rights movement began and then how it evolved to the point where the rights were granted in 1958. So give examples of the kinds of battles that Nigerian women mounted in order to gain those rights. For example, brutal rallies where women were harmed or killed, lawsuits filed by women in the hopes of getting equal treatment in their offices or equal salary. Popular sexual assault cases would also help to prove that the women's rights in Nigeria were hard fought and hard won. The article you are writing needs to create some drama. A sense of the difficulties in order for the reader to feel the difficulties and happiness that exists within your writing. Remember, your article has to appeal to the imagination of your editor in order to get a chance to be published. So work on the backstory just as hard as you worked on your factual presentation.
@Holt this is the revised edition of my article. I made the enhancement on the first and second paragraph.

Topic of Article: FEMINISM IN NIGERIA: THE RISE OF THE CAREER WOMAN

Nigeria didn't start out with women having rights to vote or being in positions often classified only for men. Nigeria is a country full of diverse cultures and not a single one support women to be equal with the man. In pre-colonial Nigeria, women were regarded as subordinate to men. Their major role was to fulfill motherly duties. At this time, women could own personal properties but not lands. The tax rates didn't favour the women because it was harsh and different from that of the men. Women faced violence at home (which the Nigerian constitution supports), women were not entitled to an inheritance, widows were treated badly after the death of their husbands through punitive widowhood rites. Some widowhood rites and practices which are considered to be dehumanising are as follows: Between January and June 2000, a major conflict precipitated the Catholic Women Organization (CWO) interest in and action on widowhood practices. On one occasion, a widow was alleged to have maltreated her husband and had not taken good care of him when he was on his sick bed. The umu ada (the daughters union) accused her of being responsible for her husband's death, and ruled that if the woman was contesting, then she should prove her innocence by drinking the washings of her husband's corpse. Where she refused to drink, she would be ostracised and dragged along the streets to her father's house. This is an accepted traditional practice (igu mmiri ozu). Another option was for her to crawl over her husband's corpse (ige ukwu ozu). The women relations of the widow and some CWO members at the funeral resisted this and conflict ensued.

In another event, the umu ada refused to shave the head of the widow because they alleged that she did not show enough sorrow that her husband died. They alleged that she was conversing freely and even smiled with sympathisers. It was a taboo for a widow to laugh or look cheerful when her husband has not been buried. She was appropriately fined for the misdemeanour. Not shaving one's hair for the husband is a sign of not mourning him and is feared to attract the dead husband's wrath on the widow and other members of the family.

A widow not having a bath until after eight market days (one month) when she would be led to the river by twelve midnight to bathe (iwu ahu),a widow having to sit on bare floor during the period of mourning,a widow having to cry aloud to the hearing of the villagers almost all nights to demonstrate grief and that she misses her husband throughout the first month of mourning, restriction of the woman's movement to market, church, social events for the one year period of mourning. Loss of right of inheritance, if she has no male child. Compulsory fasting on the day of her husband's burial. Girls were forced to marry early from 12years up (mostly occurring in Northern Nigeria), fewer girls attended school and women were not formally involved in politics or had the right to vote.

Women had to demonstrate publicly half naked before they got the attention of the government and request for a favourable and same tax rates with the man. A lot of female activists had to organise and educate women before they were able to vote during elections. Nigerian women were first granted suffrage at national level in 1958. It's a great news that a lot of women, feminist,activists are fighting to change most of these things. A lot of women are on the rise getting into positions perceived to be only for the man.

Funmi Ransome-Kuti an early feminist, educator, women's rights activist and the first Nigerian woman to drive a car. Funmi was part of delegates of the national council of Nigerians and the Camerouns who negotiated Nigeria's independence with the British government. She was being ...

(...)
@chizy7
Great article,Just a little suggestion
From the 1st paragraph
"At this time, women could own personal properties but not lands"
You could replace "this" with "that" because you're referring to a past event.
However, you could stick with it if the American standard permits it's use but it doesn't sound right to me.
Great article all the same.
Jan 9, 2017   #8
Review your article for redundancies. Your first paragraph mentions Nigeria at least 3 times in successive sentences. If you want to make sure that your reviewer will get irritated, keep repeating the topic country in the paragraphs. You need only insert spaced out reminders regarding the topic country reference. If this is for a formal article, you should not be referencing websites as in text citations. Are you writing this for publication or for class? An opinion article for publication doesn't need references like you would present in a research paper because this should be coming from your own opinion and researched knowledge. Look at other opinion papers online if you are unsure about how to properly format your article for publication. While the addition of the examples makes for a good inclusion in the article, the way that you did it is too redundant. When I asked you add these examples, it was to help illustrate the mentions of how women's rights are trample on in Nigeria. So the examples should be attached to the women's right limitation. The example should be summarized as best as possible so as to avoid unnecessarily lengthening your article. So the formula for writing this should be:

reason + example = 1 paragraph

Do not touch any of the tense presentations at this point. Don't bother with the grammar correction yet because your information presentation isn't finalized yet. The way that you say things will still change at this point. So while Okoro makes a good point, this is not the time nor the place to implement those changes yet. Focus on your content first. That is more important than the grammar right now.
Yes it's an opinion article and not a school work. The examples are much (I know). I just uploaded all of it to get your thoughts before I now go through it to cut down all the unnecessary details and I don't have grammar usage in mind now (that will be the last thing I will do).

I will still upload my next revision (probably in the evening. Am trying to work that into my schedule for today).

Thanks for your constant feedback
@Holt what do you think about this version of the article?

FEMINISM IN NIGERIA: THE RISE OF THE CAREER WOMAN
In pre-colonial Nigeria, women could own personal properties but not lands, had separate tax rates, couldn't vote or be in positions often classified only for men, faced violence at home (which our constitution supports), were not entitled to an inheritance and widows were treated badly through punitive widowhood rites like: drinking the washing of her husbands corpse on accuse of killing him, not having a bath until after eight market days(one month) when she would be led to the river by twelve midnight to bathe. Some of these widowhood rites and practices are dehumanizing.

Funmi Ransome-Kuti an early feminist, educator and women's rights activist and the first Nigerian woman to drive a car was part of delegates of the National Council of Nigerians and the Camerouns who negotiated Nigeria's independence with the British government. She advocated for the Nigerian woman's right to vote in the 1950's. She educated illiterate market women and oversaw the successful abolishing of separate tax rates for women. Nigerian women were first granted suffrage at national level in 1958.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a modern day feminist,novelist,short story writer, non fiction writer and a MacArthur Genius Grant recipient notably known for her books: Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun, Americanah. In her TED talk "the danger of a single story ", she expressed her concern for under representation of various cultures. Only by understanding a single story, one misinterprets people, their background, and their histories. Adichie also delivered a TEDX talk in 2012 titled: "we should all be feminists." She talked about how we teach girls to shrink themselves and aspire to marriage but we don't teach boys the same.

In Nigeria, most people think that a successful career woman who is unmarried is not really successful. That is the single story most people have; I don't share in that story. Through the works of these activists, feminists and writers, a lot of Nigerians now have a different perspective about women. Our women are becoming more involved in politics, entertainment, business, health, technology and so forth. Irrespective of setbacks these women face, they keep pushing thereby inspiring the younger women to rise and break the glass ceiling.

Women like Linda Ikeji who failed as a model but didn't let that discourage her to become a successful career woman. Linda started blogging in 2006 and she is currently the highest paid blogger in Nigeria. Her success motivates a lot of younger women to develop interests in computer science and entrepreneurship.

Folorunsho Alakija is another successful career woman, a business tycoon and second richest woman in Africa and first in Nigeria, worth $2.1 billion. In 2015, she is listed as the second most powerful woman in Africa and 87th in the world by Forbes.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala have held various ministerial positions in Nigeria. She is a global leader, previously Managing Director of the world bank(2007-2011) and the first female and black candidate to contest for the presidency of the world bank group in 2012. She graduated magna cum laude with AB in Economics in 1976 from Harvard University and also earned a PhD from MIT in 1981. She is the first female to hold position as Minister of Finance.

Diezani Alison-Madueke is another Nigerian woman who have held various ministerial positions. She became the first female president of OPEC while serving as Minister of Petroleum Resources. In April 2006, Shell appointed her it's first female executive director in Nigeria. She worked in male-dominated sectors and was the first woman to hold position of Minister of Petroleum Resources in Nigeria.

In 2015, six female senators were elected to the 8th assemble. More women are rising, more girls are now in school, women can now own lands, women can vote and contest political offices and these punitive widowhood rites are almost non-existent. Though we have made such progress, we need to continue on this path to abolish sexist laws like: violence "by a husband for the purpose of correcting his wife" is just fine (which is supported by the Nigerian constitution) and we need to change citizenship rights to work for women not against them.

In Abuja (Northern Nigeria), I met a family of 5 kids and two of the boys attended school while the girls are out of school because the single story their father have about women is that of women who are mothers and wives, and not women who have dreams. We should invest more in our girls, remind them that their career are as important as that of the boys. We need more women CEO's, entrepreneurs, senators, governors and even president of Nigeria. I strongly believe in the success of our women. Our women have progressed so much to get involved and stay involved and this is changing our single story about women in Nigeria. Our women now aspire to careers not just marriage, they set goals, work on their dreams, and get into positions originally classified as 'only for men.' This is the beginning of the rise of the career woman in Nigeria; watch out for more.
Yesterday, 08:25am   #11
Believe it or not, you only need one transition paragraph to connect the history of feminism in Nigeria with the rest of the essay that depicts the rise of the female career woman. After you discuss the types of cruelty to women, write a paragraph that indicates how women, though suppressed by law, never allowed the iron fist to dampen their desire for equal treatment in the eyes of the government and the male of the Nigerian race. That transition will best lead into the discussion of the first female who was able to drive a car and the rest of the information in your essay. You have done a very good job on this article and I consider it highly educational to read. I hope that the editor you will submit it to will consider the merits of your work and allow it to be published with very little editing or censorship coming from the end of the publication company. Best wishes on the publication of your article.


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