This morning, I posted a tweet about an editorial published by the Daily Service in March 1949, which ostensibly asked the British colonial rulers to grant women their voting rights. The newspaper was owned by the Nigerian Youth Movement (NYM), which had no women in its hierarchy.
One can easily detect a contradiction between the editorial and the reality of women in 1940s Nigeria and conclude that the call for female suffrage by the male political elite was a backdoor way to get women to vote for male candidates.
A few months earlier, in January of the same year the editorial was published, Oyinkan Abayomi who was connected with the NYM through her husband, Dr Kofo Abayomi was unsparring in her comments when the party invited her to give a speech at the opening of their five – day Representative Council Meeting. Her words which are quoted in my e-book, still resonate in today’s Nigeria.
Seventy years on, Nigeria’s political terrain remains firmly controlled by men.
My research which is documented in my e-book ‘Emerging from the Margins: Women’s Experiences in Colonial and Contemporary Nigerian History’, traces the pathway of Nigeria’s constitutional processes, as well as the political and legislative institutions, alongside the experiences of women.
The commentary in newspapers today, on female representation and participation in public affairs, makes interesting reading on this subject and shows that little has changed.
More on this soon…