Over the years, the major challenge facing the female folk is
discrimination and unfair treatment in the society. This work discusses
cultural practices that discriminate against women. This research work
is a critical analysis of two African novels: Buchi Emecheta’s The Joy of motherhood, and Chimamanda Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus.
For secondary sources, materials were got from the internet and
library. It is discovered that several cultural practices discriminate
and oppress the female folks. Such practices are identified in the
selected texts for this work and critically examined. It is hoped that
an awareness of such practices will eventually eradicate the social
inequalities that are engendered by such practice in the African
TABLE OF CONTENTS
BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
1.1 Purpose of Study.
1.2 Scope and Limitation.
1.3 Research Problems.
1.4 Research Methodology
2.1 Origin of Feminism.
2.1.1 Definition of Feminism
2.1.2 Aims of Feminism.
2.1.3 Types of Feminism.
2.1.4 Feminists in Africa
2.2.1 Type of Discrimination.
2.2.2 Discrimination against Women
2.3.0 Cultural Against Women
2.3.1 Subordination of Women.
2.3.2 Female Oppression in Widowhood Practices
2.3.3 Female Genital Cutting/Female Circumcision.
2.3.4 Polygamous Practices
2.3.5 Female Sacrifice
Background Information on Buchi Emecheta and a Synopsis of the Joys of
Chimamanda Adichie (Purple Hibiscus)
3.1 Practices against Women
3.1.1 Preference of Male over Female Child
3.1.2 Polygamous Practices
126.96.36.199 Acquisition of Concubine
188.8.131.52 Disrespect to Legal Wives
184.108.40.206 Multiple Wives
3.1.3 Maltreatment of Wives by Husbands
220.127.116.11 Wife Battering
18.104.22.168 Denial of Marital Rights
22.214.171.124 Dereliction of Duties
3.1.4 Marriage and Bride Price
3.1.5 Female Sacrifice
126.96.36.199 Sacrifice of Life/salve Murder
188.8.131.52 Sacrifice to Gods
184.108.40.206 Sacrifice to Marriage
3.1.6 Widowhood Practices
220.127.116.11 Marriage to Deceased’s Brother
18.104.22.168 Maltreatment of Widows
22.214.171.124 Effect of Widowhood Practices on Families
3.2 Cultural Beliefs about Motherhood
3.2.1. Child Bearing (Male)
3.3.2 Ensure Peace and Order
3.2.3 Valuing Children
3.2.4 Being a Prisoner
3.3 Survival of Women without Men
ANALYSIS OF PURPLE HIBISCUS
4.1 Discrimination against women in Purple Hibiscus
4.1.1 Violence against women
126.96.36.199 Wife Battering
188.8.131.52 Wife Enslavery
184.108.40.206 Wife Desertion
4.1.2 Preference of male to female child
4.1.3 Maltreatment of women by men
4.1.4 Interference in families
4.2 Child Upbringing
4.3 Effect of Parentage on Children
4.4 Effects of Discrimination on Women
4.5 Survival of women without men
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
Throughout history women generally have had fewer legal rights and
career opportunities than men, wifehood and womanhood were considered as
women’s most significant professions, and they were long considered
naturally weaker than men. Their rights and being were taken for
granted. Silence became the virtue of women but with education, the
silence was broken. Chambers 21st.century dictionary (2004, p. 327) says:
Culture is the custom, ideas, values etc of a particular
civilization, society or social group, especially at a particular time,
and the appreciation of art, music, literature etc. improvement and
development through care and training.
Reuters .T. (2011, p.1) reports that; “Discrimination is to
distinguish, single out, or make a distinction in everyday life, when
faced with more than one option.” For the purpose of this research, the
definition of women in chambers 21st century dictionary
(2004, p.1631) will be used “women generally: the female sex.” Wikipedia
(2010) assert that; “discrimination against women is the attitude and
beliefs in relation to the female gender that they are less important,
such beliefs and attitudes are of social nature and do not normally
carry any legal consequences.”
With these definitions, we can therefore define culture and
discrimination against women as the cultural practices against the
female folks that support men. Discrimination against women has become
customs passed from generations to generations. In African, many
cultural practices are against women. Women are beaten by husbands and
are always blamed for not been able to produce children. Even when it is
not confirmed that they are responsible for the marital problems, they
suffer for those problems. Married woman could be replaced at anytime by
their husbands because culture supports that men could marry many
Female children are not always given the best upbringing; they are
trained in the kitchen, instead of school. Male children are brought up
well because they are known to be the people who will take their family
from generations to generation. Therefore, with the use of Buchi
Emecheta’s work, The Joys of Motherhood, many discriminatory acts
against woman will be analyzed; to signify the cultural practices
discriminating against women. Also, through the works of Chimamanda
Adichie; Purple Hibiscus, discrimination against women will be
identified. Cultural practices discriminating against women have been on
for long and needs to stop.
PURPOSE OF STUDY
The study intends to examine culture and discrimination against
women, using two carefully selected novels as primary data, Buchi
Emecheta’s The Joys of Motherhood and chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus.
Using radical Feminism to show that women should be treated equally as
men and that gender differences is no excuse for discrimination. This
research work aim at bringing out how cultural practices affect women,
the pain it brings and the survival of women.
Researchers over the year have worked on how to stop gender
inequality, especially discrimination against women. However it is
important we know that some cultural practices affect women.
This study is therefore embarked on to discuss the aspects of culture
discriminating against women. Two aspects will be studied in this
research the cultural aspect representing the old using The Joys of Motherhood and the religion aspect representing the modern period using Purple Hibiscus.
It is hoped that the proper analysis of this work will ginger writers
to the awareness that much needs to be done on gender inequality in the
society. This work will also contribute to the body of knowledge, and
the society in general especially to the feminist and female folks.
SCOPE AND LIMITATION
The researcher finds it difficult to bring out so many cultural
practices discriminating against women, as a result of limited time
coupled with financial constrain available for the study.
As such this work will analyse culture and discrimination against
women only in two selected novels. The research will also limit its
scope on some materials from the library, internet and the two selected
novels: Buchi Emecheta and Chimamanda The Joys of Motherhood and Purple Hibiscus respectively.
1.4 RESEARCH PROBLEMS
Women have for long been discriminated against, oppressed and not
given equal rights in life and in literary works, also we cannot but
obey the customs and traditions of our land, however some cultural
practices affect women.
Thus, this study will investigate how some cultural practices
discriminate against women, what women go through because of traditional
beliefs and their survival.
1.5 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
This research work intends to carry out an investigation on culture
and discrimination against women, through the proper analysis of the two
carefully selected novels Buchi Emecheta and Chimamande Adichie: The Joys of Motherhood and Purple Hibiscus respectively. In analyzing these books radical feminism will be used. Sotunsa (2008, p.11) reports that:
Radical Feminism argues that, women’s oppression storms from being
categorized as inferior to men on the basis of gender. Therefore radical
Feminism aim to destroy the sex classed system.
The researcher uses radical Feminism to challenge male control. This
work will present radical female protagonists, desperate to achieve
their aim, not minding the consequences of their action. Through the
female characters in the two selected novels, proper analysis of how
cultural practices discriminate against women will be identified.