PEN Nigeria celebrates IWD, laments women’s unfair representation

The women writers committee of PEN Nigeria in collaboration with the executive council of Nigerian centre of PEN International has decried the unfair representation of women in many key areas of the polity, especially in politics.

This was revealed by Dr Wunmi Oni-Buraimoh, a lecturer of the department of English, Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos, at an interactive session to mark the International Women’s Day (IWD). In her presentation titled, Women and the Burden Of Existence, she talked about the several burdens women are faced with in their lifetime, urging everyone to take women’s issues more seriously, which in turn would effect the necessary changes, especially on the part of the government.

Urging the media to shed more light on women’s issues she added that the broader society needs to show more sensitivity to women and treat them better. Urging a system change, she reiterated the need for women to continually talk about other women’s issues at every opportunity.

Renowned scholar, Prof Karen King Aribisala opined that the only way to change women’s situation was to enter the minds of men. Reading excerpts from T.S. Elliot, Shakespeare and even the book of Ruth in the bible, she showed how men reveal time and time again the ways subjugate themselves and other women.

Dr Lola Akande of the department of English, University of Lagos, reading from her novel, “Where are you from?” she pointed out that it has become second nature to men to abuse and deride women, even though sometimes, they are done unconsciously and without malice but because some of these actions have been accepted as cultural norms, they go unchallenged most times.

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