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Patriarchy; Fate of a Girl Child in Nigeria Society

5 Mins read

 Patriarchy is a social system in which men hold primary powers and predominant roles of political leadership,moral authority,social privilege and control of property i.e society that the male sex has more privileges than women.African as a whole is patriarchal in nature.The female sex are seen as second call citizens and had no equal rights to the male gender.The issue of gender inequality and patriarchy is a major issue in Nigeria.

   In Nigeria, it is observed that a woman is reduced to a second class citizen,there is this general belief that a woman or girl child place is the ’kitchen’ i.e the kitchen is only for the woman and can show off her skills no where else. This trend has bought about tremendous misinterpretation of women right at the family level down to the circular society.The Nigerian traditional society is so patriarchal in nature;it is structured with social relations and material base which enables men to dominate women.An average Nigerian woman is seen as an available object of prostitution, force marriage,human trafficking and misfit in the society.

  Over the years,women try to prove to the society that they can can take up jobs that where seen before as what only male sex can the court of law,women are The larger percentage of judges and lawyers than Male sex. They take up uniform jobs like police, army,air-force etc.In the medicine sector a large number for doctors are women who have prove the society wrong about their beliefs on jobs. Women take up manly jobs like engineering, architecture,Mechanics and to name a few.Even in the universities the larger population of students gaining admission every year are the female sex.

   In the Igbo society the male child is seen as the most important in every house whole. Infact a man’s strength is determined most times depending on how many make offsprings he has and if his off springs are mainly women he is considered as a weakling and has no prestige in his community his counter pact look down on him . An average Igbo man has to prove his people wrong that why if his fight wife is not bring forth male children he is advised to take another one in other to keep his family and linage alive.The woman is treated as a second class citizen.They can’t talk or make decisions in the meeting / gathering where men are discussing. She is expected to keep quiet and to speak when spoken to and answer when called upon.The girl child is seen as an investment most times that is why their father send them to school not for the right reasons but for them to increase their bride price when men come for their hands in marriage.

  A family that their offspring are only female children, are considered as incomplete . It is believed that their father game will go into extinct when he dies . Some times, this men are pressured to take another wife so as to live up his name .if the man isn’t Lucky enough till he dies, His wife is shared as part of his properties and his daughters gets nothing out of their father’s will be shared among his brothers .Some of these widows , are pressured to seek another man outside to impregnate them and give them the suppose son for her late husband so that she can get a share of her husband properties for herself and her children.

  Some girl child are also pressured not to get married but to stay in their father’s house and bear children to keep their father and family name alive brain washing them that is the right thing to do.Some even go far by paying the bride price of a woman like them so that she can give birth to a male child their family wants and keep there family name and integrity. There was a story of a lady who her parents has five female children till their demises.Her uncle shared her late father’s properties among themselves without giving she and her sisters one penny.She was advice to pay for the bride price of another woman to marry that the first issue of the new bride will be hers if it was a boy. She did pay, unfortunately for her,the lady gave birth to four ladies no male child at all. Till date,the woman and her siblings never had a share of their parents properties.

 Hence, in some case scenarios,the Ada’s (I.e first first daughters of the family)are still given some right to make decisions over their siblings and families,there is also a group called the Umanada. It comprises of all the first daughters of each day who collectively meet and discuss on the decision to move their community forward and also talk about the rights of women in their communities.

  Further more,in the northern part of Nigeria, a girl child is seen as an object of marriage and riddle.At a very tender age,the child send off to marriage to a man that is thrive as old as her age , the painful part is,she can be his second or third wife without any choice she is expose to a polygamous life at a very tender age.These girls don’t have any other choice than to obliged to what the husband and her family wants.Sometimes , these ladies are sold off by their parents , used to pay up for debts and has no choice than to give their daughters off to old men. Some of them even justify that its culture to marry younger ladies than them. 

 In northern Nigeria , vesiovaginal Fistula disease among women is very rampant. It’s is estimated at 2.11 Cases over 100 births every year . It’s is rampant in the north because young girls are forced into early marriage , get pregnant and their cervix is too small to deliver the baby.They get complications after.There is also psychological, emotional trauma these girls are subjected to for a life time .Women are also considered as the property of their husband. They are mandatory to cover themselves from head to toe and no one should see their faces except their husbands because it’s a taboo. They husbands in the other hands are allowed to marry as many wives as they want.

 Although the Yoruba culture is flexible when it comes to patriarchy,but there are limit and restrictions to girl child and women generally, the concept of inheritance, widowhood and some taboos gives restrictions to the free movement and placement of the women in the Yoruba society. The women / girl child are not entitled to properties of their husbands or fathers,the male child has the right to pick what ever they want any give their sisters anything . There are some taboos that restrict women movement  and doings

 The Nigeria society is shaped to favor men more t he new modern feminism and education , has  given Nigerians room  to be more liberal and also give the female gender and girl child to prove their real worth in the society.

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