What does feminism mean to you? To different women, feminism means different things. In this article different women share their opinion on what feminism means to them.
“Feminism popularly refers to the movement that promotes women’s right advocacy on the grounds of political, social and economic equality to men.
Quite frankly, I must applaud how far we have come as women from the beginning of the feminist movement. It’s a movement that has brought significant ‘liberation’ for women. Women unlike past times now have the right to vote, work, and hold public posts among other things.
However, I would personally rather embrace a ‘feminist’ movement that encourages and supports women to be their very best in their selected fields as opposed to a movement that encourages women to be equal to men. I strongly believe that each gender has its unique characteristics, roles, challenges and limitations. Both genders (men and women alike) should be respected for their individual roles in the family, workplace and society at large without any feeling of superiority from either gender.
A typical scenario is the family setting where the man is seen as the financial provider while the woman is seen as the homemaker. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this as there must be allocation of roles for any structure to work. However, neither gender should be restricted and must be allowed to take on new roles he/she deems fit.
I therefore support a feminist movement that fights for the rights of women on the basis of higher/better quality of life for them rather than equality with men.”
-Kemi Olawoye, Physiotherapist/Health Journalist
“From what we’ve been taught, gender equity refers to the process of treating both men and women with the same amount of fairness when it comes to the equality of chances based on individual needs but gender equality seems to be used mostly by those who indirectly mean women empowerment. This, in my opinion is great but want to know what happens when extremists get involved? “Feminism” is born. Feminism now seems to have gone over and even beyond the scope of equity..and not in a good way. Thoughts like “no I will not cook today because I cooked yesterday and my husband should also learn how to cook” but you’re the first to shout “Ladies first” when it soothes your need. Because let’s face it, women are not equal to men and men are not equal to women. We each have our roles lined up for us. Now, feminists get in here. If “no job (eg cooking) is solely for the women” and “why cant men do it too?”, then let me ask you this, why didnt science also make it possible for me to carry pregnancies? Or go through menstrual pain? Or why didnt it make women as physically strong as their male contemporaries? Or chromosomally the same as men? It is because there should be an order to things. Yes, definitely, women should have a bit more say in politics and more jobs should be allocated to us and training the girl-child should be of utmost importance. But I employ us all that in our fight to do exactly what the men are doing, we should not lose sight of our true power and the strength that inherently lies in our differences. The beauty of giving life combined with keeping the home while maintaining a job and balancing it out on the spiritual front too. The power that lies behind the knowledge that how the society turns out is in your hands as we raise the society one child at a time. Train the girl-child, train a nation, right?”
– Ezinne Okoli, Medical Doctor
“Feminism to me is many things. I think of it in different ways, all linked to a common root. Feminism to me is about remembering history the way it ought to be remembered. Linking read passages on the waves of feminism in Western Civilization, to what it has meant, in the last century, to the women in my country. Feminism to me, is remembering to be female, always.
Does it mean that I dislike men? Do not wish to be wed? Bear children? Cook?
No. It means that I can, and will enjoy these things, but become other things as well. I can work, think for myself, seek informed opinion but ultimately be a large part of important decisions. It means I, Ebuwa, get to be female, when I want, where I want, where it matters and where it doesn’t.”
– Evbuoma Ebuwa Medical Doctor
“Feminism is the advocacy of equality between both sexes. Women have been discriminated, raped, abused, bound to the kitchen, etc. The feminist movement has ensured that women have moved beyond being housewives in the kitchen to being educated and have an impact on the society. I am not disputing the fact that the man is the head of the society, but men have abused that statement, telling women to keep quiet and telling them that they have no place in decision making. And even while supporting gender equality, and genderdiscrimination, I do not support women hiding under the canopy of feminism to disrespect their husbands.
All in all, women are entitled to what men are entitled to! They have a right to be seen and heard, their opinions are important. They have a right to education, they have a right to say no to sex and not to be forced, they have a right to get married when they want to and not be forced into child marriage. They have a right to be free from trafficking and child molestation.”
– Aroluke Arokoyo – Public Health Specialist
Also read: What It Means To Be A Nigerian Woman