Gender Issues in Zaynab Alkali’s the Virtuous Woman and Akachi Ezeigbo’s Trafficked

Gender Issues in Zaynab Alkali’s the Virtuous Woman and Akachi Ezeigbo’s Trafficked
Gender Issues in Zaynab Alkali’s the Virtuous Woman and Akachi Ezeigbo’s Trafficked

Abstract: The study examined Gender Issues in Zaynab Alkali’s the Virtuous Woman and Akachi Ezeigbo’s trafficked. It has been discovered that female trafficking has been in existence in our Nigerian society. It is also been revealed that this trafficking is as a result of gender discrimination and violence imposed on the female children. The study also showed that persistent inequality between men and women in the Nigerian society which Alkali and Alkachi’s works portrayed the general empowerment of women.  Their writings therefore projects womanhood in a positive mode to uphold female potentialities which the patriarchal structure has not represented. As feminists, their views aim at the equality of women in the society.

Zaynab Alkali and Akachi Ezegbo have therefore, presents education as the most essential weapon for challenging one aspect of gender inequality and to allay this issue of female trafficking in our Nigerian society. The study therefore concluded that The Government should intervene in these issues of trafficking and how it affects the girls negatively. In other words, the Government should find a solution to these issues of trafficking for the betterment of the society.

Gender Issues in Zaynab Alkali’s the Virtuous Woman and Akachi Ezeigbo’s Trafficked




1.1     Background to the Study

The contemporary female writers have made giant studies in an attempt to redefine and concentrate on the gender issues affecting the women in the society. These female writers, Akachi Ezeigbo and Zaynab Alkali have the privilege of being members of the traditional society and the new society that emerge in the post-colonial period. This therefore means that, Akachi and Alkali are among the female writers whose works of art sea for the equality of men and women and how the women pass through various emotional trauma from their male counterpart in the patriarchal society.

For instance, Alkali’s The Virtuous Woman portrays issues like cultural domination, humiliation and gender bias affecting the women in African communities dominated by Islamic doctrines in the northern part of Nigeria. Alkalis recognize the significant gender biase that exists in the culture and express them through the development of her female characters.

On the other hand, Ama Ata Aidoo is one of the famous African female writers who also laments in her novels about the issues affecting the female folks in the society. She further posited that:

Women writers write about the women because… according to her… when we wake up in the morning and look in the mirror, we see women. She went further to say, many women writers try to bring into focus how their femaleness femininity and personal experiences in their work of art …So I am not exempted (45).


Based on Ama’s quote, Ogundipe – Leslie Moran and Emenyonu Ernest opined that African female writers are rarely discussed and seldom accorded space in cannon formation this making much of the African literature appeared male-centered (26). In the same vein, literary scholars like Lindsay and Miescher posits that:

It is not surprising that African writers have now begun to include the concepts of sex, gender and violence in gender studies in order to understand how they play out in gender relations (1). Consequently this researcher works focuses on the gender issues in the writings of Akachi Ezeigbo’s Trafficked and Zaynab Alkali’s The Virtuous woman.

1.2     Statement of the Problem

The statement of the problem is based on the problems affecting women in the two plays that make the women to suffer psychological trauma, frustration, and disappointment in African society. 

1.3     Purpose of the study

The purpose of this work is to investigate gender discrimination in the writing of Akachi’s Trafficked and Alkali’s The Virtuous Woman.


1.4     Significance of the study

This research work is significant to African female writers and the female readers of this work to enable them produce more works that will eradicate the socio-cultural problems affecting the female folks in the society. The study will also be of immense benefits to students of English and researchers who would love to research more on the works of Akachi and Alkali.

1.5     Research Methodology

The research method that is used in this work is library studies research.  The primary method is the use of Akachi Ezeigbo Trafficked and Zaynab Alkal’s The Virtuous Woman.


Gender Issues in Zaynab Alkali’s the Virtuous Woman and Akachi Ezeigbo’s Trafficked

1.6     Scope and limitation of the study

The scope of this study is limited to the writing of Ezeigbo’s Trafficked and Alkali’s The Virtuous Woman.

1.7     Objectives of the study

          The study intends to examine the following objectives:

(i)      to analyse gender issues in the works of Akachi Ezeigbo and Zaynab Alkali under investigation.

(ii)      to investigate if the characters in the novels under investigation are victims of gender issues

(iii)     to provide a reliable solution to the issues of gender crises in African societies.

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