A PROJECT PROPOSAL ON THE FEMINIST STUDY OF FLORA NWAPA’S ONE IS ENOUGH AND AKACHI EZEIGBO’S TRAFFICKED
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INTRODUCTION AND THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
1.1 Background to the Study
The patriarchy which is the system of male dominance in the aspect of leadership and governance has been the order of the world’s system of leadership in almost all the nations of the world. And this trend of power have continued to be demonstrated unabated, being used most a times to determine the fate of women in the society; as to what to wear, what to say, how to act, where to go, eligibility among other things; and it even determine how women should be treated and even defined as well as regarded in the society. It is against this assertion that the feminist study became quite expedient for the liberation of women the cold and brooding claws of the male counterpart which provoked the first radical movement in which women played a pivotal role came to limelight with the publication of Wollstonecraft’s: A vindication for the right of women in (1792). In this publication, Wollstonecraft described the state of ignorance in which the society keeps women and pleads for better education opportunities. Among well know feminist writers were Virginia Woolf, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker among other feminist advocates, these scholars demanded for equal right to progress and rise to any level or height that their qualification could allow them just as their counterpart could rise to.
The rehabilitation and creation of female characters from the perspective of the male writers to what she seemingly considers a fair and objective presentation, started with Flora Nwapa, referred to as the “The Novelist of the lake” with the publication of her work: Efuru in (1966). Thus she opens encourages other African Feminist writers like: Ama Ata Aidoo, Zaynab Akali, Buchi Emecheta, Ifeoma Okoye, etc. Nigeria and by extension.
African literature was seen as a male-created, male-oriented as well as male devouted owing to the patriarchal disparity that sees the female gender as “The second sex”, who are weak and vulnerable and as such, in capable of artistic creativity. Women were hitherto defined as “echoes of men” (Chukwuma, 30). Such patriarchal bias prevented male writers and critics to tell the woman’s story correctly, truthfully and convincingly.
In the social sphere, especially in the Arab society, women are not allowed full participation in the work force. They are degraded and denied opportunities in such institutions as government, politics, economic and educational systems, early men are allowed in special professions. Nawal El Saadawi in the hidden face of Eve corroborates thus when she asserts:
The woman remains the source of free labour and of numerous services that would have to be compensated and paid for if other institutional arrangements were to take over her functions in the home (xiii).
This is because men are considered to be skilled imaginative and strong while women are solely confined to domestic chores being conceived to be unskilled, unimaginative and weak by men. In their novels, Nwapa and Saadawi portrays emancipated women as being capable of ending physical and emotional traumas, just as their male counterpart does. Nwapa’s commitment to the feminist ideology manifest in her novel One is Enough with her sister feminist activist, Akachi Admora Ezeigbo in the book Trafficked under study.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
In the African society, women are subjected to maltreatment and are circumscribed. They are only recognized if they are fortunate to marry and have children and especially the male child or children, but in an event where they fail to marry even as at when due, or marry childless or even with female children, then she is not regarded as unsuccessfully married and unfulfilled and this mentally sometimes in some women evoke bitterness and unfulfilled as branded, though this vary a bit in some part of the world like in the Western society. Therefore, this research is aimed at bringing out of women as well as the impact of African culture and the effect of disparity on women in the texts under study.
1.3 Objective of the Study
The objectives of the study include the theory of feminism.
- To examine the portraiture of the women especially the African woman
- To highlight the demeaning role assigned by the society to the African woman.
- To examine this ideological concept as reflected in the two texts under study.
- The effect of women exploitations on the lives of the victims as portrayed in the two texts.
The method that I intend to use in my research work will be the library as well as the internet services.
1.5 Significant of the Study
This research work will beneficial to the students, and other research students, the teachers or lecturers as well as the general public, who consider feminism as a marginization, disparity, deprivation and a complete wearing away of women’s self esteem and integrity and therefore, seek for a way of tackling the menace in the society through any viable means of communication.
This research seeks to address the afore mentioned challenges in the texts and the objectives of the study above in Flora Nwapa’s One is Enough and Akachi Ezeigbo’s Trafficked, with exclusive attention to what is really the idea of feminism, effect, causes and seeking gender quality without further straying as identified in the objectives of the study.
I would have desired in the course of research to go further and obtain more facts and information from the both authors themselves, as to what informed their vision when writing the book, but owning to time constraint and of course economic incapacity, I will be restrained from further enquiry.
1.8 Theoretical Framework
Of course in considering the two texts under research, the main idea that is so conspicuous is the female oppression, exploitation, colonization and of course enslavement; and the theoretical framework that addresses these issues in these texts will be feminism, what is feminism? Feminism is a range of political movements, ideologies and social movement that share a common goal; to define, establish and achieve political, economic personal and social right for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. Feminist movement have campaigned and continue to campaigned for women’s rights, including the right to vote, to hold public office, to earn fair wages or equal pay, to own property, to receive education, to enter contract, to have equal right within marriage, and to have maternity learn. Feminist have also worked to promote bodily autonomy and integrity, and to protect women and girls from rape, sexual harassment and domestic violence. Feminist campaigns are generally considered to be the force behind major historical, societal changes for women’s right, particularly in the West, were they are near universally credited with achieving women’s suffrage, gender neutrality in English, reproductive right for women (including access to contraceptives and abortion), and the right to enter into contract and own property. Although feminist advocacy is, and has been, mainly focused an women’s right, some feminists, including bell hooks, argued for the inclusion of men’s libration within its aims because men are also harmed by traditional gender roles.
Feminist theory, which emerged from feminist movement, aims to understand the nature of gender inequality by examining women’s social roles and lived experience; it has developed theories in a variety of disciplines in other to respond to issues concerning gender. Numerous feminist movements and ideologies have developed over the years and represent different viewpoints and aims. Some forms of feminisms have been criticized for taking into account only white, middle class, and educated perspectives. This criticism led to the creation of ethnically specific or multicultural forms of feminism, including black feminism and intersectional feminism.
Historically, Charles Fourier, an Utopian Socialist and French Philosopher, is credited with having coined the word “Feminism in 1837. The word “feminisme” (Feminism) and “feminist” (feminist) first appeared in France and Netherlands in 1872, Great Britain in the 1890s, and the United States in 1910, and the Oxford English Dictionary lists 1852 as the year of the first appearance of “feminist” and 1875 for “feminism”. Depending on the historical moment, culture and country, feminist around the world have had different causes and goals. Most Western feminist historians accepts that all movement working, even when they did not (do not) apply the term to themselves. Other historians assert that the term should be limited to the modern feminist movements and its descendants. Those historians assert that the term should be limited to the modern feminist, movements and its descendants. Those historians used the label “protofeminist” to describe earlier movement. The history of the modern western feminist movement is divided into three waves. Each wares dealt with different aspect of the same feminist issues. The first were comprise women’s suffrage movement of the 19th and early 20th centuries, promoting women’s right to vote. The second wave was associated with the ideas and actions of the women’s liberation movement beginning is the 1960s. The second wave campaigned for legal and social equality for women. The third wave is a continuation of, and a reaction to, the perceived failure of second wave feminisms, beginning in the 1990s.
1.9 Chapter Breakdown
Chapter one: Introduction/background of the study, statement of the problem, aim and objectives of the study, significance of the study, limitations, delimitation and Author’s Bio data.
Chapter two: Literature Review, scholars view on the theory of feminism and female victimization in relation to Nwapa’s One is Enough and Ezeigbo’s Trafficked.
Chapter three: The relationship between slavery enslavement and feminism and the general overview of the both ideologies.
Chapter four: Comparative analysis of both works.
Chapter five: Conclusion, summary and recommendation for further study.
1.10 Bio-Data of the Writers
Flora Nwapa: Florence Nwanzuruahn (13 January 1931-16 October 1993) was a Nigerian author best known as Flora Nwapa, who has been called the mother of modern African literature. The fore runner to a generation of African women writers, she is acknowledge as the first African woman novelist to be published in the English Language in Britain and achieved international recognition, with her first novel, Efuru being published in 1966 and Heinemann Educational book London. While never considering herself a feminist, she is best known for recreating life and traditions from an Igbo woman’s viewpoint. Nwapa also known for her government work in reconstruction after the Biafran war. In particular, she worked with orphans and refugees who were displaced during the war. Further she worked as a publisher of African literature and promoted women in African society. She was one the first African women publishes when she founded Tana press in the 1970s. Nwapa’s first book Efuru, was published in 1966, a pioneering work as an English Language novel by an African women writer. It was followed by the novel Idu (1967), Never Again (1975), One is Enough (1981) and Women are Different (1986). She published two collections of stories – This is Lagos (1917) and wives at war (1980) – and the volume of poems Cassava song and Rice song (1986). She was also the author of several books for children. In the 1974 she founded Tana press and in 1977 the Flora Nwapa Company, publishing her own adults and children’s literature as well as works by a other writers. She gave as one of her objectives: “to inform and educate women all over the world, especially feminist (both with Capital F and small f) about the role of women in Nigeria, their economic independence, their traditional believes and their status in the communities as a whole.
Akachi Ezeigbo is a multi-talented novelist, speaker, essayist, critic and academic who has been a trailblazer for female writers in Nigeria and the wider African continent. Born and brought up in Uga, Anambra State, Ackachi Adimora Ezeigbo was raised partly in a rural environment and partly in an urban setting. In later years, she would adopt these mixed settings as the background of her books. After attending Queen’s school in Enugu, Ezeigbo gained her first and second degrees from the University of Lagos and subsequently obtained her doctorate at the University of Ibadan. Since 1981 she has worked at the University of Lagos, teaching a range of courses in the field of English literature including: critical writing, the contemporary African Novel, Drama and Poetry. She was integral to the development of two significant courses at the University of Lagos – Feminism and contemporary literature, and introduction to gender studies. She has also served on the editorial board of two leading Nigerian papers – The Independent and The Post Express. She is a writer of both adult and children’s fiction, Professor Ezeigbo was a joint winner of the 2007 NLNG-Sponsored Nigerian prize for literature for her children’s Novel House of Symbols was selected as one of Nigeria’s Best 25 Books in the past 25 years by Spectrum Books Ltd. Ezeigbo resides in Lagos and continues to reach at the University of Lagos.
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