The struggle for women to take up spaces, be given equal rights and be treated fairly especially in work places has been an arduous yet, a rewarding one. Though more work needs to be done to equate the math, safe to say they’ve come a long way.
The cause has taken different but necessary steps towards ensuring that women are seen, heard and regarded as just who they truly are; leaders, ambitious, strong, intelligent, self mades, CEOs, creative, decisive, independent, breadwinners and more, as against being seen as feeble-minded, incapable, weak, gold-diggers, prostitutes, too ambitious, too independent and a set that lack leadership skills amongst other such derogatory labels.
Over time also, there have been movements by women who understand the need to have their own voices else their silence will reflect poorly on generations after them.
Therefore, it’s quite refreshing to see more women who are not only speaking up for themselves now but also actively pushing towards championing this noble path which of course isn’t new as Nigerian women throughout history are known for their resilience, leadership prowess and heroic nature.
Take for instance, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti whose activism for women rights led her to form the Nigerian Women’s Union back in the day. She didn’t achieve all her goals on roses but rode through thorny patches so we can ride in her shoes today.
We also have the first female governor in Nigeria, Virginia Etiaba of Anambra state between February 2006 to February 2007. She conquered the male dominated political system.
Not forgetting a pacesetter and great role model for the girl child, the Queen Amina of Zaria. This list is endless!
From the above generations till date, women have been breaking barriers and remain true to their cause even though their efforts are usually being swept under the carpet.
As you read further, we will be sharing with you some of the women taking up this challenge in our generation through their arts, social media platforms and actions – the goal is same; giving the voice to the girl child and ensuring she gets equal and fair treatment as her male counterpart.
Thus, it’s worthy to mention the contribution of the ‘Feminist Coalition’ in this fight for women rights and equality in Nigeria generally. Their right intentions became even more plausible during the #EndSARS protest last year when they raised more than £296,000 in order to provide protestors with essentials such as food, legal and medical aides among others.
While it seemed impossible in decades passed because it’s been a long road to this point, it’s safe to say that women actually never stopped making giant strides in this direction and paving a way for the next generation of women as even globally, the impact of women in all spheres of life are indelible.
From arts to entrepreneurship, from politics to business, women have been unstoppable and they have positively transformed the world in ways uneasy to put into words.
Just like Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former Liberian President who was also the first female President in Africa, to now Kamala Devi Harris, United States’ first female Vice President; the highest ranking female elected official in the U.S history, we hope in the nearest future, our Nigerian women who have shown time and time again that they are capable of bringing the needed change in Nigeria and birthing a new country that’s safe for all, will be given such opportunities to serve.
Again it was a breath of fresh air to kick off the year 2021 with the news of Kamala Harris occupying the office of the Vice President of the United States. Just like many women who made such groundbreaking histories before her, her victory also symbolizes hope for the girl child and a push for more women to remain resilient towards making the world a better place through politics.
Finally , with this cover, we are not only celebrating some of the most vocal women in Nigeria when it comes to politics, women rights activism, and the general affairs of the nation but also encouraging them to consider taking up spaces in politics as they have our resolute support and trust believing that together we can have the Nigeria we all yearn for.
Thus, in no particular order, we have Aisha Yesufu who has been at the forefront when it comes to socio-political activism in Nigeria for years now. Being a mother and a wife and despite knowing the risk of being so vocal in a patriarchal and unsafe country such as Nigeria, Yesufu never stopped using her social media platforms to address societal misdeeds. She is a co-convener of the Bring Back Our Girls Movement, an advocacy group that brought attention to the abduction of over 200 girls, from a secondary school in Chibok, Nigeria, on 14 April 2014, by the terrorist group Boko Haram.
Another name worth mentioning is Obianuju Catherine Udeh, known professionally as DJ Switch. While she remains a household name in Nigeria as her musical achievements can’t be ignored, DJ Switch is more than just an artiste. She an activist who has also been vocal about the ills in our society.
She was one of the heroes who risked it all on October 20th, 2020 during the Lekki Toll Gate Massacre where the Nigerian soldiers killed peaceful protesters.
DJ Switch was seen on her Instagram Live assisting some of the protesters who had gun wounds and could not walk shortly before her battery ran out of power. While on Live, the brave DJ was begging Nigerians who were watching to help record the season as though she knew that the government officials were going to lie about what truly happened afterwards.
Luckily for us, the whole world tuned in, including CNN.
Also, Nollywood veteran, Hilda Dokubo who wastes no time in calling those in power out whenever the need be. She roots for women and always ready to jump over the cliff in order to ensure justice is served where necessary.
Top singer and songwriter, Tiwa Savage has also been actively loud on socio-political matters of Nigeria even through her art.
While lending her voice against Police brutality, unlawful killings, injustices and bad governance in Nigeria, the mother of one created the “We Are Tired” hashtag which didn’t only start more conversations but trended for days on all social media platforms.
Another Nollywood legend, Kate Henshaw is one whose voice can’t be silenced in fighting for a better Nigeria. She’s seizes every opportunity she gets to address societal ills and remains vocal in ensuring all things work for the good of the Nation.
Also, the fearless and daring Adetoun Bola Lanre-Adeniyi is one of the bravest activists of our time. She never stops using all her social media platforms to lend her voice where needed. She knows she commands attention and she uses such a great privilege for the greater good.
Again we have Oseyi “Ozzy” Etomi, writer and a feminist. Etomi is definitely a force to reckon with when it comes to fighting against misogynistic and patriarchal society such as ours. She’s passionate about the girl child and she’s very vocal on it as well.
Contributing a great deal during the peaceful #EndSARS protest last year, were BBNaija’s Anita “Tacha” Akide, Feyikemi “FK” Abudu and Rinu Aduala.
They went all out during the protest; walking the streets of Lagos under the sun alongside other protesters and advocating for a better Nigeria for all. They use every platform within their reach to always champion this cause as well.
Aduala later represented the youths at the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Enqury after the protest in order to ensure that their interest was protected.
Like we mentioned earlier, this list is endless and we do hope everyone gets onboard so that together we can build the Nigeria that benefits us all.
Overtime these women have proven to everyone that their voices cannot be silenced anymore… hopefully in the nearest future we hope to see them contest for elective positions in the country .