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WOMANIST NOT FEMINIST

Rukayya Ibrahim IYAYI* Womanist promotes universalism, rather than separatism and is committed to the survival and wholeness of all people, including men. Womanist is not a new idea by any means; in fact, there is evidence of its origins in the texts of ancient Africa, especially the sacred wisdom of the Husia of ancient Egypt and the Odu Ifa of ancient Yorubaland. Concepts from the Husia, such as the divine inclusiveness of male and female principles, woman and man as the image of God and the concept of human customarily written with male and female characters in hieroglyphs, indicate the belief that women and men were equal by nature and divinity and must operate as such. Womanists acknowledge the concept that by nature, man and woman are not the same; both have separate roles in the society and one cannot successfully take over the other’s role, but they complement each other; religiously as beings they are equal in the eyes of the creator and where any atom of deed is recorded good or bad, a man is not better than a woman in the eyes of the God. Womanism is centered on commitment to the survival and wholeness of an entire people thus it focuses more on equity, because gender equity is justice. In many traditional African societies, politics is enshrined in kingship which is not only masculine as kings and queens ruled. In the South and West of the African continent, kingship is powerful and the rulers command great authority, but queens are also leaders of power in their right. In many cases, they exercise absolute veto in matters relating to kingship. For example, among the Akan people of West Africa, kings are installed by the approval of the queen mother. Without her consent, no one rules as a king and this also applies to the removal of the king. The queen advises the king on matters of kingship. History records several African queen warriors: Queen Amina of Zaria in Nigeria helped to expand and solidify the Zazzau kingdom; Candace of Ethiopia was a powerful military queen; Yaa Asantewaa of the Ashante people of Ghana led the Ashante army against the colonial British military. In today’s Africa, many women continue to influence socio-economic and political policies; there are countless independent women who created wealth from their own pursuits in life. Credits no doubt go to the effect of female education. In Africa today, there are women entrepreneurs, professionals and even politicians from diverse educational fields either striving to survive on their own or in their marital homes. Finally, the womanist appreciates self, culture, attitude, emotions and love others unconditionally irrespective of societal inhibitions that view feminine traits as signs of weakness and inferiority. The womanist insists that far from being inferior, woman’s traits are not only laudable but fundamental to the survival of human race, and ensuring dignity and empowerment makes the whole woman and person, at peace with the world and self. Rukayya Ibrahim IYAYI* is a Student Affairs Manager 39

Profile for Baze University

BAZE FOCUS MAGAZINE (2018 EDITION)  

This is a publication that creates awareness on events in the University, while also serving as a platform for Staff and Students to show th...

BAZE FOCUS MAGAZINE (2018 EDITION)  

This is a publication that creates awareness on events in the University, while also serving as a platform for Staff and Students to show th...