Lagos – A professor of Theatre Arts at the University of Lagos, Osita Ezenwanebe, on Monday advised women to see feminism as complementary efforts aimed at developing the society.
Ezenwanebe told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the role of women should not be seen as competition, but contributing to the development of society.
“Feminism is very important toward addressing the issues of gender inequality and oppression as well as encouraging women to fight, liberate themselves and correct such abnormalities.
“It is not healthy for the development of a society, whereby, nearly half of its population is marginalised in politics, education and in its legal system,” she said.
She noted that what women were agitating for was a platform where males can work hand-in-hand with their female counterparts for the progress of the society.
“I remember attending an event with my husband where they introduced us as Mr and Mrs Ezenwanebe.
“And throughout the event, it was my husband that was being referred to as the professor.
“In spite of the fact that my husband corrected them several times, the MC just could not take that down into his psyche that I was the professor and not my husband.
“This type of discriminatory behaviour is ingrained in the African man and this will not lead us anyway forward but instead, it might lead to radical feminism,” she said.
The professor said that her encouragement was for people to welcome gender complementarily to avoid gender competition in future.
“It is high time we began to take issues concerning feminism seriously in this part of the world,” she said.
Also, Dr Franca Attoh, an associate Professor of Sociology, said that feminism was a paradigm that tried to address the inequality that had been existing between men and women over the years.
Attoh explained that there was usually a misconception anytime the issue of feminism came up because most people did not to believe in what women were clamouring for.
“All we are saying is that, if we (women) constitute 50 per cent of the population, then we should be given a chance to contribute our own quota to the nation’s economic development.
“If we want to actualise the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as proposed by the United Nations (UN), then Nigeria must tap into the other dormant 50 per cent that is not contributing its quota.
“For example, in a country of 200 million people, we have just 5.7 per cent of women in the parliament.
“The implication is that things that pertain to women and children will not be given priority attention in the parliament,” she said.
Dr Akinmayowa Akin-Otiko, a researcher at the Institute of African and Diaspora Studies (IADS) at Unilag, said that feminism would go a long way to re-evaluate and re-examine standards and values that had held sway for a long time.(NAN)