In 1835, Auguste Conte, in his treatise on The Positive Philosophy, stated that “the essence of God’s wisdom in creating Eve (woman) was not to undermine Adam (man) but to establish a balancing force between the creator and the created. It is, therefore, a truism that a woman is, by the very fact of her creation, a partner of man. It is unfortunate that the men folk have seen it fit to relegate women to an ignominious position. However, in an effort to redeem the situation, women have awakened themselves to the self-realization that they can, in the essence of their being rise up to any occasion just as their male counterparts can. Thus women in Nigeria have risen up to the protection of their rights and the advancement of their desires. Today, women in Nigeria are engaged in all endeavours of life; there are women in the academics, women in the professions and women in artisanship. Women in Nigeria, just like women in other parts of the world are re-defining their functions and, by extension, re-moulding their status. In these modern days, there are women presidents, prime minister, engineers, pilots etc. indeed, the Nigerian women have made significant advances in redefining their image.
1.0 CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
Womanhood (feminity) is not just an expression but a reality; a woman is created by Almighty Allah just as a man is; she is subject to the commands of Allah and his Prophets in the same ways as a man is. Almighty Allah declared to Adam that:
“O Adam, dwell, you and your (wife) in paradise and eat there from … (Surah 2 al Baqarah).”
It means, therefore, that women have originally been made as (mates) for men as opposed to slaves or chattels. A woman is a help mate to the man for her position is not that of an underling in the family but a participating member upon whose shoulder rests equal responsibilities as the man bears.
In years gone by, some ancient civilizations used to be of the misconceptions that women were vessels to be used and dumped at will; that a woman’s place was defined solely by her ability to keep the house, bear children and bend to her husband.
1.1STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
There is no gain saying the fact that women have been degraded to the position of inferior creatures to men. A woman’s voice is not given as much consideration as it should be; the personality of a woman is almost always taken for granted. In most situations, a woman is evaluated by her child-bearing status and/or her skills; she is not considered by being worthy of being assigned any communal or national responsibilities.
However, secularization trend and psychic mobility have promoted women (and even men) to redefine their image. Women have begun to adopt the attitudes that are changing their roles in their homes and the larger society. Communication technology has made it possible for women to imagine, see, hear or read about the activities of women in other nations. This has made women in Nigeria to sit up and re-awaken their sense of self-worth.