Female Subjugation In Some Female Writers; An Examination Of Mariama Ba’s So Long A Letter And Buchi Emecheta’s Second Class Citizen




1.1 Background to the Study

Traditionally, African women have experienced low status of subjugation, oppression, cultural domination and patriarchal suppression. Looking at female subjugation as portrayed by Mariama Ba and Buchi Emecheta, African women are subjected to oppression and discrimination due to some obnoxious practices that favours the male folks and discriminates the female and how they are marginalized within the patriarchal African society. These female writers also examine women’s condition in terms of family inheritance, delay of childbearing which consequently reduces their respects and positions as wives at the same time oppressed, dominated and subjugated due to some cultural norms and interventions of family members.

Moreover, Unlike Mariama Ba the Senegalese well-known female writer who examines the effects of religious and traditional practices on women not only on the basis of her commonalities with her elite contemporaries, but also in relation to the majority of her countrywomen, as well as women in other societies, she exposes the empowering and dis-empowering effects of particular types of education for women in the traditional African- Muslim context of Senegal. Muslim women are subjugated culturally and educationally as investigated and therefore write to eradicate the principles and cultural practices.

On the other hand, the Nigerian widely recognized leading female writer, Emecheta has also attracted international attention for her compelling depiction of the female experience in Nigeria and African society as a whole with relation to cultural discrimination on the bases of race and gender. Her writings also examine the roles that women, especially mothers, play in the in their marital homes when they fails to give birth to children especially male one; they always go through pains with those female children.

Consequently, the degree of suffering of the girl-child at the hands of African society is often, directly responsible for the kind of cultural practices. It is therefore towards the exposition of this otherwise hidden reality the above concern that the two female writers brings out the complexities in female subjugation in their novels under study.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Mariama Ba and Buchi Emechita are feminist writers whose writings expose the era of women deprivation, subjugation and oppression about men discrimination against and forcing them to do what they do not want to do all because of their gender in African societies. Their writings go with all areas of life which can be politically, economically, socially and domestically. Their literary works advocates for the eradication of female subjugation, women’s deprivation of right in the society politically, economically and socially.

Similarly, these female writers use their fictional characters to capture the lives of African women in the society as victims of cultural oppression, powerless and voiceless victims of subjugation rooted in layers of male-supremacist tradition.  Their writings therefore reveal the above mentioned issues affecting them and call on the attention by eradicating how these women go through subjugation, deprivation and victimization in the society.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this study research project is to investigate the effects of female subjugation in some female writers using Mariama Ba’s So Long a Letter and Buchi Emecheta’s Second Class Citizen. This research will also discuss the origin of female subjugation, causes of female subjugation and the effects of female subjugation in African society.

1.4     Significance of the Study

The significance of this research work will be on the benefits to the entire African society how women are suffering of subjugation. The study will also be significant to students of English and Literary studies as well as other researchers who may want to investigate more on the history of female writers and how they write on the effects of female subjugation in African societies.

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Peter Hezekiah Lawson (Sir Pee). The CEO of onlineproject.com.ng. A reputable researcher, Web Developer, ICT Instructor and a publisher of many research works in Education.