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OSOFISAN'S FEMINIST VISION IN TEGONNI AND YUNGBA YUNGBA AND THE DANCE CONTEST

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OSOFISAN’S FEMINIST VISION IN TEGONNI AND YUNGBA YUNGBA AND THE DANCE CONTEST

3,000.00 2,000.00

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OSOFISAN’S FEMINIST VISION IN TEGONNI AND YUNGBA YUNGBA AND THE DANCE CONTEST

INTRODUCTION

The struggle for women’ right began in the 18th century during the period of intense intellectual activity known as the Age of Enlightenment.

In traditional Africa the woman is an object of constant scorn, degradation and physical torture. In the past, women did not exist as individuals with personalities to defend. They rather existed as mere docile and exotic accompaniments to the males. Throughout that period, women lacked a voice to articulate their dilemma and their points of view. They, thus, accepted their fate without resistance. Such passive stance results from societal conditioning through questionable cultural practices. From birth, through childhood and adolescence, to adulthood, Africans receive from society and others around the messages and feedbacks which launch them into roles and behaviors considered appropriate for males and females respectively. Most often, female are accorded inferior roles and such long years of cultural suppression and intimidation, unfortunately, misled the women into an underestimation of their capabilities and self worth. Encased in such a cultural mystique, the African women were particularly driven by a community sense since culture obviates individualism. In those days, these women, in addition to experiencing the same oppressive social condition as their male counterparts in a developing world, were subjected to extra repressive burdens arising from the socio-cultural structures of patriarchy and gender hierarchy. These years of subjugation have, however, produced in today’s women relentless questioning of the status quo. They protest against dehumanization, political enslavement and social oppression. They rationalize that the running of the Africa world is not the preserve for males and thus there should be absolute equality of both sexes in all spheres of life. Such a reaction is termed feminism, which is an ideology that urges, in simple terms, recognition of the claims of women for equal rights with men.

In literature this has translated into feminism, womanhood, motherhood   and womanism. Women treatment notwithstanding, women have played prominent roles in Nigeria. From the tender role of a mother who feeds, cradles and nurtures the child including the man of the house to the powerful role of a warrior, saviour and rescuer and the delicate life threatening political champions. Names like Moremi, Queen Amina , Madam Tinubu , Madam Atinuke and others  may come to mind and many more too numerous to mention. It should be noted that nowhere else have women role in society been projected and brought into sharp focus as in literature, especially in drama. Although there are women dramatists like Zulu Sofola, Efua T. Southerland and others, men dramatists seem to blaze the trail in the promotion of women. Among the leading figures in recent times has been Femi Osofisan.


 

Socio political Status of Woman

The modern global conversation around women‟s rights and societal and political participation has been taking place for almost 40 years. Recently many countries started to adopt new working programs in which they included both man and woman workers. In that period, people started to think differently and they begin to delete all forms of discrimination against woman. According to Maurice Duverger:

“The equality of men and women in the matter of societal rights is established by a large number of constitutions, codes and laws. Few indeed are the modem countries that have not proclaimed it…Many nations, which have adopted the system of representative government at a later juncture, and whose customs and traditions maintain women in a secondary and subordinate position”( Maurice 2010)

Those new activities and programs of woman participation in the political field allowed her to play variety of roles: as voter, political party member, candidate and office holder…; more importantly, woman nowadays is more involved in politics in comparison with her involvement years before.

Equality between women and men in politics in many countries in the world has grown substantially in the past fifty years. More women were elected in national parliaments than ever before and a record number of women hold executive positions within their nations‟ government (Loven, 2005).

However, there is still a huge gender gap in societal representation in many countries and woman is still struggling to find a place in her country especially in politics. Some researchers argue that women engage, overall, less than men in politics and social activity, others argue that woman effectiveness in society is noticeable and can be classified among the first ranges of leaders in any country in the world.

In any institution in the world nowadays, we find that women have the right to join a political party and seek elected office in their own right. Where data are collected, the number of women candidates for national office seems to be increasing. In USA for example, there is a noticeable number of women who ran for Congress in 2012. The same thing happened in the United Kingdom and some European countries in which the number of women seeking for democratic position is increasing in comparison with years before.

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