The Effect Of Culture And Tradition As It Affect Women In Buchi Emecheta The Joys Of Motherhood And Second Class Citizen

The Effect Of Culture And Tradition As It Affect Women In Buchi Emecheta The Joys Of Motherhood And Second Class Citizen
The Effect Of Culture And Tradition As It Affect Women In Buchi Emecheta The Joys Of Motherhood And Second Class Citizen

ABSTRACT: This study examined The Effect Of Culture And Tradition As It Affect Women In Buchi Emecheta The Joys Of Motherhood And Second Class Citizen. The study looks at the two West African Novels selected for this work, the Joys of Motherhood and Second Class Citizen by Buchi Emecheta. The study investigates the effect of culture and tradition as it affects women in African Society. It looks at the contemporary African Society which is dominated by men, little or no recognition is given to women thus they have been oppressed, depressed, subjected and neglected. The study identified the numerous forces militating against the right of African Women specifically in the traditional setting and blamed them on some cultural beliefs and customs which are destructive enough to keep women perpetually at the background.

This study shows that as long as men stay on power, women will continue to be subjugated, oppressed and suppressed in the society. It’s hope that an awareness of such practices will eventually eradicate the social inequalities that are engendered by such practices in the African Society.


The Effect Of Culture And Tradition As It Affect Women In Buchi Emecheta The Joys Of Motherhood And Second Class Citizen



1.1     Background to the Study

Feminist movement emerged in the eighteenth and nineteenth Centuries in Europe and America respectively. Before this time, women were regarded as the oppressed group. Women have contributed a great deal too industrial activities with the introduction of feminism. This is to say that women became members of the working class in labour market thus, paving way for new industrial centres.

A feminist concept therefore consists of taking interest in the life styles, activities and occupation of women both at home and in societal growth. Feminism believes that women have been denied their rights as human beings in a world ruled by men and that they need to be liberated from patriarchy. Feminism is also a world-wide ideology and political movement directed at changing the existing power relations between man and woman. It is a social theory that highlights the inequalities in the male and female relationship in any society where patriarchal hegemony is practiced.

Patriarch is an ideology that gives men confidence to subjected the female or treat the female as an inferior being, men in such society hide under guise of patriarchy to subjugate women by a system of sex role stereotyping to which they are subjected from the early age. Thus, feminism as an ideology, according to Achufusi in feminist inclination of Flora Nwapa (1994:164), came about from the realization that a woman can never hope to have the proper recompense for her services until her usefulness and her success in life are not only demonstrated but fully understood and acknowledged.

The early feminist behaved that the solution to women subjugation should come from a political movement since patriarchy is tagged an oppressive political system. However, woman quickly recognized the realities of their new situation and as the century wore on, became the focus of an emergent feminist movement pressure for the right to maintenance and custody in the event of divorce or separation began as early as 1830s. The Governess Benevolent institution was founded in 1843 and was followed by a long campaign to improve women’s education opportunities, a campaign which included, the founded of Queens and Bedford colleges in 1869 and 1871 respectively: The first attempt by a woman to register as a medical student was as early as 1856, and the first parliamentary Bill to give married women the right to own properly was introduced in the same year in Britain, Patricia Stubbs (1920:3).

Feminism as an ideology later finds a fertile ground in Africa in the 1960s. Obioma Nnemeka (1995:40) establishes the functional purpose of the discourse when she asserts that “it provides the opportunity of re-evaluating attitudes and misconception about women which have been buttresses all along both by African culture and misogynous traditions of European colonial master”. There are other African Feminist writers like Acholonu who behaves that women should not be seen as objects to decorate the homes with, but they should be regarded as major contributions to the growth of the nation without really affecting their roles as mothers and wives at home.

In her article titled, Bauchi Emecheta (1988:62). Acholonu asserts that: women should no longer be decorative accessories, object to be moved about and companion to be flattered or claimed with promises. They should see themselves as nation’s primary fundamental not from which all else grows and blossoms, women must be encouraged to take a keen interest in the destiny of the country. She tends toward the modernist theory that admonished women to reactualise themselves but not to the detriment of their homes and family. Other feminist writers who can be tagged modernists also extol the value of motherhood as they do not jettison the essence of manhood as their matrimonial role in their attempt to empower the female with good education and good jobs. Womanize perspective that portrays women as mothers and wives while at the same time agitating for gender equality helps to prepare the women for the challenges ahead.

The female characters of such writers with this perspective the therefore created with equitable dynamic attributes to make them economically independent for self revival and survival in a patriarchal society, without affecting female roles in the home. However, each variety of feminism aims at addressing the different need of women and each need of women and fends towards an accommodations principle which advocates joints affect across gender in solving human problems and in developing a solid society. This intention therefore brings the works of Africa female writers into the limelight such works of before crucial key for self —realization and self-liberation processing in the African setup where patriarchy is utilize to subjugate and reduce women to second class citizens.

This concept of subjugation in a family is an African tradition that permits the male sex to exercise unlimited authority and emphasize male supremacy over the female. This is basically to bring impediment on the path of the woman in the realization of her potentials.

Joseph (2001:10) assert that, “in order to be almost inextricably successful in that chauvinist patriarchal and authoritarian set up the society conditions and manipulates the economics and psychological being of a woman”. Thus, any vomit who dabbles into the masculines roles is regarded in the society as being destinate.

Modupe Kolawole (1998:60) percales this hold that tradition has on some African women as being so tremendous that they will place culture and tradition over the existing Law designed to facilitate women’s mobilization.

To this end, the authoritarian concepts is more pronounced in a society where Islamic induction to aid the practices on Purdon which according to Fatima Adamu (1998:40) makes women “to be dependents, submissive and dominated by their husbands”.

1.2     Statement of the Problem

Women have remained victims of cultural and traditional brutality. Exploitation and prejudice against them are deep- rooted as they are pictured and treated as inferior or as second class citizens. It is indeed, sad to note that in a 21st century society, when civilization has fully come, gender-based violence still remains in its hydra-headed form, as a magnate tumor.

Violence against women is global in reach, and takes places in all societies and culture. It affect women on matter what their race, ethnicity, social origin, birth or other status may be. Going by statistics 23 percent of women undergo some level of domestic violence. In India today, fear is a constant confront at every corner on any road or in any public place.

There are many culture and traditional practice in Nigeria that give women less important place in the society, they do not have equal opportunities with the men, they are prevent from having equal education with men and also being the right of owing landed property. Women are regarded as nobody in the society.

However, this research work aim at bringing out how culture and tradition practices affect women, the pain it brings and the survival of women in African society.


The Effect Of Culture And Tradition As It Affect Women In Buchi Emecheta The Joys Of Motherhood And Second Class Citizen

1.3     Objective of the Study

The study will focus on the following.

(i)      To investigate the culture that affect women in Nigeria society.

(ii)     To examine those culture and traditional practice that place women as a nonentity in the Nigerian society.

(iii)    To highly the effect of culture and tradition on women.

Originally posted on August 31, 2021 @ 9:30 am

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