Nigerian Women’s Blunt Talk Makes the Point

Brenau students heard firsthand how continuing the fight for women’s rights is paying off – at least in one country. Twenty-six delegates of the Nigerian Quintessential Business Women Association visited the Gainesville campus to share their stories and answer questions. The social business enterprise comprises women who overcame gender prejudices in Nigeria to create businesses of their own.

Association president and founder Shimite Katung explained that women in the association had to overcome a variety of obstacles – foremost the prevailing cultural tenet that Nigerian women must be completely obedient to males in their lives. Hassaana Jummai Adamu, the association’s commissioner for women’s affairs, elaborated: “Nigerian men are like gods. They are the heads of the family, and nothing can be done without their permission. With the coming of education, women are now educated, and they can do whatever anybody else can do.”

Katung put the idea bluntly to the students – capturing the essence of what the first-year seminar teaches. “You all should be thinking about tomorrow,” she said. “This world is so much tougher than yesterday that you do not have a choice. You need to understand what is going on in the world around you, because there is only so much they can teach you here.”

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