Patriarchy and Other Stores (PART ONE)

Patriarchy is one of the greatest threats to our global society. Yes, we went there. For those reading who may not know, patriarchy is defined as a system of society or government where men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it. 

It manifests in different ways from the structural to interpersonal level. In this series, Patriarchy and Other Stories, we will be discussing the different harmful outcomes of existing in a patriarchal society for both women and men. In today’s post we are going to talk about gender-based violence. Gender-based violence (GBV) is violence that is directed at an individual based on his or her biological sex OR gender identity. It includes physical, sexual, verbal, emotional, and psychological abuse, threats, coercion, and economic or educational deprivation, whether occurring in public or private life.

Kiki Mordi’s groundbreaking documentary Sex for Grades, highlighted a common and often concealed form of gender-based violence. In the documentary she explores how women are often the target of sexual harassment and intimidation by their university lecturers. One thing that we took away from the documentary that these professors exploited the power they held over these women’s education. For these women being blackmailed by their lecturers, they risk not completing their education if they do not give in or sexual assault if they do. It is a double-edged sword. 

Gender-based violence is about power. Nearly 30% of Nigerian women report experiencing this form of violence by the age of 15. Despite this, these conversations are still taboo to have. This culture of silence masked as religiosity and conservatism is causing much more harm than good. More of us need to speak up and out about these atrocities going on around us. Even if you feel as though this issue does not directly affect you, so far as it affects one of us we should all be concerned.

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Sanitary Aid for Nigerian Girls is a collective of fiercely passionate women who are committed to seeing our society become more just and equitable for women. Join our fight - continue the conversation on Twitter and tag us @sanitaryaidng 


Alexa Chukwumah