Emerging from the Margins

Emerging from the Margins

Tayo’s e-book Emerging from the Margins: Women’s Experiences in Colonial and Contemporary Nigerian History is a narration of historical events, through the perspective of gender. 

It covers a period of almost one hundred years -from 1922 to 2020- detailing women’s experiences during colonial and modern-day Nigeria.  

Each chapter is written within the context of important periods in the country’s political history such as nationalist agitations for independence from Britain; the early post-Independence years of the First Republic from 1960 to 1966; the various constitution drafting and review processes, as well as multiple layers of political transition programmes that ushered in Nigeria’s Second, Third and Fourth Republics in 1979, 1992 and 1999 respectively.

 In the narration of women’s socio-political experiences, she identifies a historical trend of patriarchy and male domination of state institutions, electoral processes and decision-making positions dating back to 1922, when the principle of elective representation was first introduced to Nigeria. 

From then on, the procedures for constitution building and drafting, political party management and electoral politics; the composition of the legislative and executive councils and governance in general, became the exclusive domains of Nigeria’s men and marginalised women.

The book simultaneously chronicles the stories and activities of a handful of women who participated in Nigeria’s public affairs and whose voices were sporadically heard in decision in regional and national legislatures.    The details outlined in each chapter aims to bring to the reading public, the political activism of some of Nigeria’s earliest  and latter-day feminists such as Oyinkan Abayomi, Olufunmilayo Ransome-Kuti, Elizabeth Adekogbe, Wuraola Esan, Bernice Kerry, Margaret Ekpo, Janet Mokelu,  Ekpo A. Young, Malama Ladi Shehu, Gambo Sawaba, Fola Akintunde-Ighodalo etc. 

Their socio-political causes included the fight for women’s voting rights, education; participation and representation in electoral politics, constitution drafting and governance, all of which have been compiled in the book to document women’s voices and rescue them from exclusion in the chronicling of Nigeria’s historical literature. Through advocacy, protests, marches, legislative submissions and articles etc., they fought for women’s rights and political freedoms and deserve to have their stories documented.  Some of the women encountered gunfire, arrest, fines, imprisonment, acts of violence, verbal abuse from some sections of the nationalist press, as well as side-lining from political party formations and national constitutional conferences. 

The fourteen narrations essentially retrieve women’s experiences from the margins, project their voices and give them their rightful place in history.

 The book cover was designed by Diana Mora and the online-publisher is Adachukwu Onwudiwe.

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