Celebrating Nigerian Women
Celebrated Nigerian Women in Development
The messgae is that more books such as this is needed to give us much needed documentation on Nigerian women who have arrived. The challenge to every female reader of this book is to celebrate the proud, resilient and forever hopeful Nigerian women.
The intensity patterns may vary, but the problems are always there. Problems relating to the social worth of the woman, her ability to contribute to social development, the political, economic and social roles she is allowed to play, her pains and travails are issues that haunt all societies.
These problems usually arise from the way society sees the woman and the way the woman sees herself through a prosess of socialisation. These problems often result in complacency on the side of the women, however there is historical evidence that some women did break the barriers of gender to self actualisation. Some became business tycoons like Madam Tinubu of Lagos, others were political leaders like the Umu's of Onitsha and Queen Amina of Zazzau. Despite these past monumental achievements of Nigerian Women, the number of prominent Nigerian women remains negligible compared to that of men.
When Professor Jadesola asked 'Where are the women?' she directly threw the challenge to women who refused to come out and play prominent political, economic and social roles. What Ayona Aguella-Trimnell is saying here is that many women who are actually playing laudable roles in society remain uncelebrated. One of the reasons for this lack of recognition is that our women seem to be singing for the deaf and dancing for the blind. The fact is that until very recently, the Nigerian Government refused to recognize that what a man can do, some women can do better. The evidence is in Doctors Okonjo-Iweala, Obiageli Ezekwesili and Professor Dora Akunyili who have performed as well as any, and better than their male predecessors.
This is the sense in which this book becomes important. We need to celebrate Nigerian women not for aggrandizement but in line with the Youruba saying; You show your worth to someone who asks, what can you do? The profiles of the 25 women celebrated in this well thought-out and ably presented volume can be multiplied several times over if the limelight is directed at women in the business of traditional herbal medicine, women who produce garri, pepper, vegetable oil, garden eggs and women who sell them; and women who are dress makers, hair dressers, nurses, primary and secondary school teachers, religious and community leaders.
This book provides an immediate answer to the question, 'Where are the women?' by giving a tentative answer 'Here are some of them.'
Ayona graduated with a double major in English and Sociology from Howard University Washington DC, USE, where she also earned a Masters’ Degree in International Education Development. She currently works as a Brand Marketing Manager in Lagos where she lives with her husband and children.