Women in Nigeria

A deeper look at general and power roles with women in the Yoruba culture. 

Woman are seen as extremely important and in traditional Yoruba culture they are worshipped. When creating the foundations of Yoruba religion and fundamental structure, woman played a central role. Religion, for the Yoruba, dictates everything from government to medicine and economics.

The traditional Yoruba woman then would be a person who upholds the underlining principles of the people’s philosophy, including mutual gender and power relations and harmonious relations. The Idea of a harmonious relationship is very important in every aspect of the Yoruba life.

A time when a women is seen as more powerful then a male is during the process of child bearing months and delivery. Motherhood is an avenue of power due to women being the only ones to experience this. It is thought that women are all derived from a witch and that is why they menstruate and produce another human.å

“The two concepts and ideas refer to the ontological dimension of women’s power. The first (ikunle Abiyamo) is derived from the position of kneeling during childbirth, signifying that women’s experiences of pain and labor could be in- voked as a potent force for action. The second (Omu Iya) refers to the nourishment and sustenance a child derives from the mother’s breast. This experience of giving the child the sacred milk of life is invoked as an equally potent force for action.” (Olajubu, Oyeronke. Women in the Yoruba Religious Sphere. Albany: State U of New York, 2003. Print.)

The idea of Childbirth comes as a threat to men and their power within the Yoruba.


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