This post is dedicated to all African men and women who fought relentlessly for the girl-child education, who broke protocols for women to go into professions like their male counterparts and who worked with indefatigable energy to provide opportunities for women to participate in politics and hold public offices.
Feminism has been twisted and spoken of in negative light, especially in my country, Nigeria. It is even seen as a trap and tool used by the devil to break up households and society, and I am not even joking about this. Religious groups raise prayer points to combat this stronghold and demon possession that has taken over the women of today.
You are bound to fear what you do not fathom.
I have so much to write but I am going to say this instead.
There was a time in history when all men were not regarded as equal. There was a time when the world was divided along the lines of color. A race was regarded as superior based on nothing but the color of their skin. The first set of people who fought against the oppression were regarded as mad folks who were out of their minds questioning the norm. But in decades that followed, they were considered as heroes who fought the good fight.
Today, there is another societal injustice across gender lines and it’s going to require a collective effort to combat. Equality is not a gender competition, it’s not a senseless fight to snatch control or a hate battle or a who-can-do-it-better reality show or an all girls group.
Gender equality should be every human’s aspiration, to see a world where every human being is respected and provided equal opportunities to participate effectively in society.
Feminists may seem like mad folks questioning culture and societal norms but a day will come when all African men and women will stand as equals under the sun. And people like me will be called heroes and heroines who fought the good fight.
“Gender equality is more than a goal in itself. It is a precondition for meeting the challenge of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and building good governance.”
— Kofi Annan