FACTORS ON WOMEN’S AUTONOMY IN NIGERIA
Patriarchy defined as male dominance has played a huge role in the lack of autonomy of Nigerian women.
Payment of bride price
Bride price has given men the power to infringe on women’s autonomy. The Nigerian culture does not expect women to make independent decisions without the approval of the husband or the family head. Bride price has inflicted greed on Nigerian men making them sell their female kids for money or run away from child care responsibility like tuition etc..
Female children are given out for marriage against their will at a very young age to older men for money.
The christian religion says “the bible commands that women should submit to their husband” from the popular verse Ephesians 5:22, which now enforces women to settle for whatever their marriage brings upon them. Interestingly, the two major religions (Christianity & Islam) hold the same views regarding the position of men & women. Respecting and reverencing the man as the head of the house. It is also discerned that fear rather than obedience is the reason most women follow these religious teachings.
Tradition plays a very big role in Nigeria. Nigerian women have been socialized according to a way of life and have grown with it, so unlearning for Nigerian women is difficult. Nigerian culture demands seeking approval from their husbands or family heads before decision making. Elderly women enforce male dominance on young women in order to ensure that they obey their husbands. Anything contrary to that is unacceptable to Nigerians, even as far as abusive marriages. Elderly women encourage younger women to endure in their marriages no matter what they are going through.
Our culture promotes an asymmetrical idea that male children are “keepers”.
These factors undermines the autonomous decision making ability of Nigerian women and eventually reduces their ability to contribute to their psychological potential to societal development.
Thank you for reading xx :))