How to Advocate for Gender Equality in Africa

One of my favourite quotes is this: “You don’t have to experience something yourself before you can have empathy for those who go through it.” – By me??? I’m not sure who said it or if I coined it, but it’s remained in my mind.

In January 2020, security forces, backed by the Lagos State government in Nigeria forcefully removed the 10,000 residents of Tarkwa Bay from their homes with no prior warning and no provision for alternative housing on the grounds that they were criminals vandalizing oil pipelines in the area…

I was almost arrested once.

Well, maybe not almost. It was about 2am one Friday when two policemen took me and my friends, Mark, Chinedu and Binti* into their raggedy van, because we were driving at night and had no school IDs on us. Not to mention that we were obviously “criminals”, “cultists” and “prostitutes”, according to them. I was a gang leader because I had henna tattoos drawn on my hands and I was dressed in my pretty short black-and-white play suit. Binti wore a green sweatshirt and jeans though I have no recollection of while Mark’s and Chinedu’s…

I obtained my law degree from the University of Ilorin, Nigeria in 2017 after which I proceeded to the Nigerian Law School. Following the release of our results, I will be called to the Nigerian Bar in November, 2018. I also plan to study for my Master’s Degree in International Human Rights soon.

I am passionate about achieving gender equality in all spheres in the African society. Patriarchy, the system now in place, is deeply ingrained in our culture and passed on through social conditioning. The effects of patriarchy have been highly destructive and oppressive, mostly to women. …

For majority of the crimes that plague our societies -murder, kidnap and armed robbery-it seems our culture boldly denounces them and blames the murderers, kidnappers and robbers, and never the victims. Well, unless it’s a politician stealing huge amounts of money from the people or internet fraudsters scamming white people. In these situations, we hear all kinds of justifications for the criminals; you’d be amazed.

But there are certain crimes that society surprisingly ignores or blames the victims. If your husband beats you, just because you’re a victim doesn’t mean you’re innocent. The reasons are many. If you talked too…

In this interview, Ohotu discusses with Ms Ahunna Nwaogwugwu on her perspectives on Feminism. Ms Nwaogwugwu is an advocate of gender equality. She tweets via @AnnaTheFeminazi. I hope you can relate to her opinions and learn from them.

Ohotu: Please could you tell us your name and what you do for a living?

@AnnaTheFeminazi: My name is Ahunna Nwaogwugwu and I am a business developer.

Ohotu: What informs your stand as a feminist?

@AnnaTheFeminazi: My stance as a feminist is informed by my life and the lives of women all over the world. …

The legal profession practised in Africa today has its origins in ancient Greece and Rome. Colonialists introduced these foreign systems to most parts of Africa and African countries have clung to them with little or no development. Prior to colonialism, the legal system was informal with various levels of law making and enforcement, the highest level being the traditional leader in most cases. Men and women were jointly involved in the making and enforcement of laws under African traditional systems although the status of women remained subordinate to that of men.

Laws are now made in very formal settings –legislative…

‘Feminism’ is the most-searched word of 2017. Really popular, right? The world is talking about feminism more than ever before which is a really goodthing. But the aversion to feminism remains, especially in Africa. This is most likely because many of our searches lead to misconceptions of the ideology, or we simply want to remain in a bias world.

It’s not too difficult to get confused. People have claimed feminism in one sentence and advocate patriarchy in the following action. Here are a few examples on misconceptions of feminism.

‘Feminism is a Western importation into Africa.’ ‘Feminism is UnAfrican.’


“It’s Never a Big Deal”: The Normalisation of Sexual Harassment Suffered by Men

Let’s make up a scenario: A woman is talking to her subordinate at work. She finds him funny, she laughs, reaches over to touch his arm, his button, his beard, she leans on him. She comments on how strong his arm is and how kissable his lips are. He does not complain, he cannot complain. (Every male is supposed to like every female’s single touch on their bodies or be helpless against it). Scenario 2: Just imagine that the boss is male and the subordinate is female…

Remember when Chimamanda talked about the car parker-beggar who thanked her male companion for the money she gave him? Or how Olanna in “Half of a Yellow Sun”*refused to give alms to beggars in front of Mohammed’s house as they hadn’t asked her cos she wasn’t a man? Reading these stories, I felt what Chimamanda and Olanna felt; the rage, the insult and pain. Yet. I did the exact same thing to Dr Babashayo.*

I’ll tell you about it.

I had to interview certain persons for my LL. B project work and I came across some email addresses which were…

Ohotu Ogbeche

Freelance writer | Founder “Coloured Africa” | Lawyer | Feminist advocate

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store