FEMINISM – The Impact Of Religion And Colonialism

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Feminism, Long before the arrival of the first missionary on the shores of Africa and even before the first woman was ever allowed to vote or hold office in Europe and the Arabia, women were leading countries, communities and armies in Africa.

Women Soldiers

History and legends tell how great women such as Yaa Asantewaa, Yennega, Nyehanda Nakasikana, Teytu Betul, The women soldiers of Dahomey amongst many others, led their people in diverse ways. Even when slavery and colonialism appeared to have broken the fabric of the African culture, women like Queen Nanny, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Luiza Mahin etc stood tall across the Atlantic.

Yaa Asantewaa
Yaa Asantewaa

However, 700 years of colonial subjugation and forced religious indoctrination; particularly Christianity and Islam, birthed the culture of suppression of women in the African society. These religions still encourage the suppression of women today. The following few bible verses evidently buttress my point….

Deuteronomy 22:23-24 If there is a young woman, a virgin already engaged to be married, and a man meets her in the town and lies with her, you shall…stone them to death, the young woman because she did not cry for help…and the man because he violated his neighbor’s wife.” [If the woman is not engaged] “the man who lay with her shall give 50 shekels of silver to the young woman’s father, and she shall become his wife.”

Submission Of women

Ephesians 5:22-24 …wives should submit to their husbands etc.

1 Timothy 2:11-15 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent etc.

1 Corinthians 14:33-35 …women should remain silent in the churches (and following).

1 Corinthians 11:3-16 Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man (and following).

21st Century Feminism
21st Century Feminism

Colossians 3:18 Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.Peter 3:1-6 Wives in the same way be submissive to your husbands (and following).

Titus 2: 4-5 Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands so that no one will malign the word of Go

Bible Don’t Favor Women

Deuteronomy 25:11-1: If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts, you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity.

Exodus 22:18 Do not allow a sorceress to live.

Bet you didn’t know that all these and many like it are in your Holy Bible, did you?

Also…

Now, fast forward to the modern day African feminism who is educated, eloquent, self-sufficient, independent with a huge social media following and who hops from one radio/TV station to the other. This feminists usually seeks to be the only centre of attention and prefers to be the only mouthpiece for all women; especially the less educated.

They attend various conferences and seminars about women, but never remember to invite the real women under suppression (ie village women, uneducated market women etc) along. Many of these women in positions of influence will do everything to prevent other women climbing up the ladder. Some even go as far as physically and emotionally abusing their maid servants and house helps.

It is also important to note that countries like Ghana, Ethiopia, Liberia etc are head and shoulders above countries like the USA, China, The Arab States, Russia etc in the empowerment of women. The worst being the USA and Saudi Arabia where women cannot even decide what to do with their own bodies.

In conclusion, women make majority of global population and thus if women vie for positions of power and are supported by fellow women as well as men, there will be many women in leadership and the world will be a much better place. This is because women are proven to be better leaders, better managers and generally better than men in everything.

Let’s support women in our actions and not just in rhetorics!

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E. Africa

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