African culture isn’t bosom friends with women’s rights. Neither is religion a known admirer of ambitious women who demand equality with men. It only requires a bit of emotional blackmail to muscle a female into realizing that the male gender is king, the sole head and chief executive officer of the home in a traditional African society.
However, the last few years haven’t been an entirely comfortable one for conservative African men, who are continually threatened by the feminist movement which is fast gaining the interest of more women around the continent. A new wave of enlightenment which aims to disinfect the minds of women against extreme submission to men, as it strongly crusades for gender equality. In fact, to a great number of African men, feminism is the new mental illness in Sub-Saharan Africa!
African feminism comes with alien demands like women sharing equal partnership with men in all facets of family life, abolishing male preference in politics, ensuring reproductive rights for women and girls, and recognizing the rights of women to hold religious titles without restraint to preside over men. The feminist movement also criticizes all forms of domestic violence (no matter how severe the provocation), and frowns at oppressive cultural practices like: child marriage, female genital mutilation, and most recently, its strong demand to discontinue the payment of bride price during marital rites, since of course, the bride isn’t for sale.
In a strongly religious and culturally conservative African society, it isn’t sane to make demands for gender equality. It isn’t alright to question the historic gendering of God as male, which gives influence to the superiority of men over women. It is psychotic to request equal partnership for husband and wife in the African marriage systems.
African women must keep up with the fight against gender discrimination until the ‘deranged’ concept of feminism becomes the new standard of the African society.
Credit: Face2face Africa