1.1 Background to the study
The struggle for women’s right began in the 18th century during the period of intense intellectual activity known as the Age of Enlightenment. These women accepted their fate without resistance because of the obnoxious and socio-cultural practices. In the same vein, female children are accorded inferior roles unlike the male ones. They also go through cultural suppression and affliction. This reason makes Dollar and Gatti to opine that:
In most countries, their cultural practices are that women should be less educated than men; and preference is always given to the male children to be educated. Also, the men’s healthcare is catered more than the women and the women have no legal rights in family properties. In marriage, they have no legal rights to property and have less political power, as seen in their low representation in parliament. Even voting rights women are restricted; it is only men that have rights to vote (22).
From the foregoing, female writers write to show how their fellow African women are subjected to extra repressive burdens that are arising from the socio-cultural structures of patriarchy and gender hierarchy.
In the same vein, men seem to have the upper hand in all areas of life while women appear to be rather relegated to the background. Due to these divided understandings, certain movements have come up such as feminism and male Chauvinism. To prove the above point, Divya Singla, defines male chauvinism as
‘‘A blind allegiance and simple minded devotion to one’s maleness that is mixed with open or disguised belligerence towards women. According to her the literal meaning of chauvinism is an attitude of superiority towards members of the opposite sex. Since males in our society have somehow decided that they are the superior ones they are always proud to be chauvinist”(45).
Furthermore, Male Chauvinists believed that men are superior to women. Consequently, it is on the above mentioned issues that the study seeks to portray the aim of feminist writers on issues affecting women with reference to the socio-cultural injustice in Mariama Ba’s So Long a Letter and Nawal El- Saadawi’s Woman at Point Zero.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
African women are victims of society regulated by cultural norms and traditional values, especially in the marital institution. The issue of socio-cultural injustice in Mariama Ba’s So Long a Letter and Nawal El- Saadawi’s Woman at Point Zero forms the problem of this research study.
1.3 Purpose of the study
The purpose of this research study is to investigate the socio-cultural injustice in the writings of Mariama Ba’s So Long a Letter and Nawal El- Saadawi’s Woman at Point Zero.
The study will also project how African women’s issues are trivialised through practices like patriarchy, tradition, gender socialisation, polygamy, class religion and domestic enslavement.
1.4 Significance of the study
The significance of this research stems from the fact that it reveals the issues of the African women in different aspects of their life; their community status, work opportunities, their schooling and role as householders.
In addition, the research attempts to explore the African women’s issues that have been dealt with by Nwapa will, and assess the literary and intellectual standing of African literature
1.5 Objectives of the study
The objectives of this study are:
- to examine the issues of socio-cultural injustice in the writings of Mariama Ba’s So Long a Letter and Nawal El- Saadawi’s Woman at Point Zero.
- to investigate the socio-cultural injustice, sufferings, pains and cultural practices affecting African woman.
- to analyses how the characters in the two novels suffered the socio-cultural injustice with reference to African women and suggest possible ways for the call of women’s freedom.
1.6 Research Methodology
The research method that is used in this project is library research. The primary method is the use of Mariama Ba’s So Long a Letter and Nawal El- Saadawi’s Woman at Point Zero. Internet, academic journals will be used to obtain further information.
1.7 Scope and limitation of the study
The scope of this study is delimited to Mariama Ba’s So Long a Letter and Nawal El- Saadawi’s Woman at Point Zero.
Originally posted on April 24, 2021 @ 7:49 pm