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#BeingFemaleInNigeria Still Trending | International Media Like CNN & BuzzFeed Pay Attention



Florence Warmate

Florence Warmate

#BeingFemaleInNigeria has been trending for almost a day!

The trending topic on Twitter started out of Florence Warmate‘s Abuja book club discussion and Chimamanda Adichie‘s famous TED talk. It resonated with Nigerians in the diaspora too – a top 10 trending topic in the UK, and international media houses BuzzFeed, Thought Catalog and CNN picked up the story.

Below are some of the most popular tweets – ranging from dealing with sexual abuse to discrimination at work.

On the flip side, Adebola Williams of Y! Media and The Future Awards wants people to use the hashtag to talk about the positives of being a woman in the country as well.

Here are some of the most popular tweets!  Discrimination at hotel and clubs

The pressure to get married, get pregnant and give birth to boys

On being expected to work and still perform most household duties

On being called ‘ashawo/ashewo’ (prostitute)

Domestic violence is the woman’s fault

Not being able to live alone


On sexual assault


The topic is still raging on with over 40,000 tweets worldwide, and we’re happy it’s spotlighting many of the important issues Nigerian women face everyday.


  1. Mystique

    July 1, 2015 at 12:18 pm

    Enjoying the hashtag jor……being female in Nigeria get as e be. I’m glad so many people are bringing this issue to the lime light. personally, i’m fed up. The average Nigerian woman is not happy; the system works to enslave us both physically and mentally. Men have become demi-gods to be worshiped.

    • An

      July 1, 2015 at 3:11 pm

      #BeingFemaleNigerian You can’t be beautiful and Smart…because they are mutually exclusive! I suffer from this everyday of my life!

    • Ada Nnewi

      July 1, 2015 at 3:44 pm

      Join the club…all the clowns that call me sisi before we meet on different projects switch to madam after I show them how it’s done…

    • polypoly

      July 1, 2015 at 4:43 pm

      Fellow WOMEN – I call on you to also stop this trend of destroying other women. a lot of times I will be at church, naija event, etc and women will say things like “why does your husband cook?? wetin do ur hand na? is he gay?” and other foolish talk. why make the woman feel bad because her husband wants to contribute his part to maintaining the home???

      Job Ads in Nigeria – why do they always request only young females for sales, marketing, admin and secretarial jobs???? Men can and should be allowed to apply for these jobs also. we cant expect men to support the equally fight while we continue to allow such sexists trends.

      Church – ladies and gents, its not a woman’s role to be an usher or lead caretakers group. men can also lead these groups also. by default, people assume women should be ushers and singers. smh!! men please allow women to preach and be in the security committee also.

      Military/ Police – where the female officers?? women are not only good for traffic warden position okay!!!! we want to stand at check points too, we want to be on the battle field also. Dear men, please Give us an oopurtunity to be seen.

      Sports – Naija men, women love sports too oh. don’t think all we are good for is to serve beer and food. I wanna relax and watch d game too….smh!! “the other women are in the kitchen, go and join them” – cmon sharrap…lol

  2. le coco

    July 1, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    #beingfemaleinnigeria men try their luck with me nd when I turn them down it turns to “ehn….. you arent even fine sef, am I not doing you a favour. You r getting old oo, if you dont agree now I wont give you another chance”

    • EllesarisEllendil

      July 1, 2015 at 1:18 pm

      As opposed to the “acceptable” “you’re not even all that sef”, “I won’t even miss your small package”, the sex was crap and the absolutely hilarious “E No go better for you” e.t.c e.t.c.

      By Zeus its starting, time to take a long break from these streets while this Western inspired Women v Men cliche ends.

  3. Moyo

    July 1, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    #Being a woman in Nigeria, when you don”t have a job, hubby says I cant bear your responsibilities, when hubby loses job, wife takes over all responsibilities and must not complain or else you are tagged a bad wife.

    • Tkum

      July 1, 2015 at 3:23 pm


  4. cindy

    July 1, 2015 at 12:30 pm

    I’m sorry, I’m still looking for the good side but can’t find one. I still asked my mum this morning why I was born female. The only good thing I think is that you get unconditional love from your kids as a mother…….but well, I’m not a mother yet…so…….

    • Thatgidigirl

      July 1, 2015 at 2:17 pm

      Really? lots of good sides….i think. I hardly ever pay for services rendered at the car wash for starters 😀 . I think networking is easier for women in Nigeria and all over the world and this comes in very handy if you are an entrepreneur or in sales/marketing. I went to drop a proposal at an office yesterday, and while two other (male) vendors had to drop theirs at the gate house, i smiled and chatted with the security guy and he spoke to the receptionist to hook me up with the admin manager.

    • Anon

      July 1, 2015 at 2:47 pm

      Lol, nope! That doesn’t apply to everyone.ask those with horrible mothers.

  5. Future Billionaire

    July 1, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    This is soooo true! Same applies in Cameroon. Networking over here (or attempting to) is such a pain! You cannot exchange details with males here without them seeing it as an invitation to mingle more privately. Such a hindrance! Will just stop here before I go on a rant.

    • le coco

      July 1, 2015 at 2:21 pm

      @future billionaire. … I honestly think it is an african thing… what nigerian females go thru isnt different frm wht a lot of african women go through. .. I knw a lot of africans hu r just as hard on women… nd I hv met sm african men hu think any woman’s body is their property.. my ass was smacked by a random man.. nd his justification was.. “well you women like it I knw” .. women can never get a break… its a shame

  6. Ephi

    July 1, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    No Lagos landlord will rent their property to you unless you come with the man “that owns you'”

    Looool @ the man “that owns you” , we sef don become property niyen
    The life of a female in Naija, chai

    • Paloma

      July 1, 2015 at 4:19 pm

      Not all Landlords, i stay alone and i’m not being tagged as an ashewo! its all depends on how discipline you are shikena!

    • whocares

      July 1, 2015 at 6:41 pm

      @Paloma. What does a general and sexist perception have to do with discipline? Do you know how disciplined the other ladies are? This comment right here is also one of the problems with being female in Nigeria. Somehow you cannot be disciplined enough! .. That said, keep talking and tweeting ladies. Small by small there will be a change!!

    • me

      July 1, 2015 at 7:25 pm

      May be you grew up elsewhere not got to a point I thought my name was ashewo.if a man asked me out and I refuse the next thing you ll hear how u are a prostitute.

    • Bimbo

      July 1, 2015 at 7:46 pm

      Renting a house is not the same thing as living in boarding house! Enjoying a social life does not mean you have no discipline! Your landlord should not determine your level of discipline. He is not your teacher or principal. Goody twosomes like you are the problem we have. It’s ok if you are a goodytwoshoes but not everyone is you. Stop judging

  7. EllesarisEllendil

    July 1, 2015 at 1:01 pm

    Adebola Williams is the only person that made sense. They are a lot of positives and disadvantages to being Nigerian, Female or Male, we should spotlight the positives.

    Miss Florence was harassed at a hotel, big whoop, Men have had been assaulted for wearing camouflage

    On the marriage topic, absolute nonsense. My Mother has been bothering me about grandchildren since I turned 18,though to be fair being an only child is a different scenario. But both sexes are pressured to marry early here, once a Man is unmarried at 30 he starts getting Novenas and being part of family Women’s prayer requests. Though to be fair, maybe my extended family is a bit weird, disadvantages of too many GrandMothers???

    No family approves of Pre-Marital Sex not to talk of Pre-Marital pregnancy and in most cases the Boys are “forced” to marry the girls anyways

    The Kitchen thing I can’t comment on, again weird Family. My Mother has pretty much conditioned me to cook or starve, but I can concede that a little more understanding should be shown by Men who don’t have Housewives.

    Ehm??? So its probably just me and my friends that complain that Women need to be more open, say their mind and stop the coyness. Just us making jokes about how a Woman clearly interested in you will still form hard to get? We must be the anomalies.

    On Domestic violence, let’s be honest that sort of advice more often than not comes from fellow Women, maybe again its just me being weird but I know the sex of the people that told my Mother to go back to a cheating abusive Husband. Brothers just cross their arms while another Man brutalizes their sisters and Fathers watch while Men brutalize their daughters. I know I didn’t stand for it, my Uncles didn’t, My GrandFather did not. But apparently we’re very weird, the majority of Nigerian families just turn a blind eye to abuse. The commenters here on any domestic abuse case that are always ready with advice on how No Woman should take it are societal outliers. Absurd!

    Landlords discriminate with everybody in Nigeria, if its not your sex, its your tribe, religion or marriage status(Men too)

    People rarely speak up about abuse, its a worldwide phenomenon especially when the perpetrator is respected, its not a “Nigerian” thing. For an example that hits close to home, the wave of revelations against the molesters in the Catholic Church. That Woman that trended last year because the Pastor was bestoring Private Holy Ghost sessions e.t.c Its why there is a massive campaign urging people to speak up.

    In conclusion, I loathe writing epistles as comments but this required a step by step rebuttal. This trend continues this growing trend of “All Men are”……..”Its Nigerian Men’s fault” and it needs to stop, first Women need to admit that more often than not its fellow Women who discriminate more against their own gender, who perpetuate sterotypes. That is not on Men, its on you!. It may have been okay in the 20th century, but its the 21st century now, more than 50 years since Mrs Kuti drove a car, since then Women have been Professors, CEOs and achieved so much, don’t regress your development by you pointing fingers, you’ve all proven better than that. Break the chain and more importantly grow a pair(ehm figuratively speaking). Blaming Men is easy but it solves nothing.

    I am in no way, discounting or trivalizing the plight of Women, you’re my GrandMothers, My Mother, My Aunts and my cousins, got mad respect for the fairer sex. I understand perhaps more than most the challenges Women face, but please let’s stop trying to paint Nigeria as an anti-female country, Yes! Women face challenges but so does everybody. Its Life!

    A little perspective, I was just coming off “Today I Learned”, apparently, Women don’t wear a Bra as I had previously thought to prevent sagging but because unsupported Breasts flapping around are painful and awkward. So too are Men’s equipment, random boners at the most unwelcome places(E.g during Rosary, So!! embarassing), testicles occasionally getting caught in the wrong part of trousers and every Man’s nightmare an Angry Woman’s shoes seeking what they shouldn’t look for(Evil). Are any of these worse than the other?? In reality probably not, but I’m sure both sides can justify how the other has it “better”. There’s no competing with childbirth though, that’s a KO.

    “Final! Final conclusion, challenges are part of life, complaining makes you one of the crowd, overcoming them makes you special”.-My Mother everytime I complained about Maths.

    Again not to trivalize but somebody(not me) needs to start a # on Nigerian only children and the pressures. You think you have it hard, only Children literally have to be perfect, nobody to share chores with and there’s that whole bearing the burden of passing on your familial genetic history with no “spare parts”.

    This was long and overly preachy and probably full of errors, please just stating my opinion don’t eviserate me. Abeg, Biko?

    • T

      July 1, 2015 at 2:18 pm

      Do you have a vagina?

    • Thatgidigirl

      July 1, 2015 at 2:20 pm

      You vex o!

    • cindy

      July 1, 2015 at 2:28 pm

      I disagree with your first statement. Adebola Williams is right but she is not the only one that made sense there. Don’t undermine the challenges women go through just to prove a point. State your own challenges too and let us see how we all can find a middle ground and be happy.

    • polypoly

      July 1, 2015 at 3:49 pm

      @Cindy – Adebola Williams is a guy oh, remember the guy that Amaechi sponsored his bday and flew Toke Makinwa, etc on the private jet. he is dating a girl that owns a fashion biz I think.

      anywho, Adebola Williams is not one to talk biko. even with his Y! Naija and future awards, its a man’s world all day errday in this naija. typical response from a chauvinistic man, “talk about the good things” while we act like naija women are not treated like crap errday. smh

    • guest

      July 1, 2015 at 2:31 pm

      What a long epistle, this topic must have hit a nerve.

    • tunmi

      July 1, 2015 at 2:49 pm

      You didn’t mean to undermine, but you did. Only hit dogs holler, oya take panadol

    • SaneThought

      July 1, 2015 at 2:59 pm

      I see the point you are trying to make here – that every group has advantages and disadvantages it bestoles on its members. Still despite knowing – via your claims that “maybe my family is the only weird one” – you somehow miss certain points:

      1). Most families in Nigeria do not value their female children the same way they value male offsprings

      2). This devaluing of the female sex is something that ought to be stopped. Yes, male and female are different sexes but being different should not equate to preferential treatment for one. For example, if we must shame pre-martial see then boys should be shamed as much as girls.

      3). I am not for forced marriages – i.e you must marry my daughter because the child she is carrying is yours – because I think it leads to unhappy marriages (most times). Unfortunately I am yet to hear a man who has a child out of wedlock being discussed disparagingly – in almost all cases I know of it is the female who bears the blunt of the bad talk. I could go on but I think the hashtag already covers most of what there is to be said.

      For me the basic TRUTH is that we, as a society , should not have one set of moral principles for one group of people and a different set of another. If adultery is wrong and to be shamed then SHAME MEN AND WOMEN. If living outside of your parents home is to be shamed (unless married) then SHAME BOTH MEN AND WOMEN. If the inability to cook is to be shamed then SHAME BOTH MEN AND WOMEN.

      And if we continue to insist that a woman’s value lies solely in her ability to snag a husband, run a home, birth and raise children successfully the we should reinforce this by ensuring that our females don’t waste their time furthering their education – they simlply need a standard three (jss 3) education. The next 3 -5 years can be spent in finishing school – they learn home economics, sewing, cooking and the fundamentals of setting up a small business (in case they chose to open up a business at some point after the business of raising babies is done with). All this hypocrisy and confussion over gender roles will be done with.

      PS: No one is stopping males from starting and contributing to their own #DisadvantagesOfBeingMaleInNigeria. Same for only children. We don’t know what your particular pain points are – if you don’t shine a light on it, we will never know. People might mock you (as they did when women started talking about their own problems) but as long as you continue to fight we will hear you.

    • Abby

      July 1, 2015 at 3:05 pm

      Talk about an EPISTLE!

    • molarah

      July 1, 2015 at 5:59 pm

      Abeg you have made sense. Its just the bandwagon effect- one person starts with a negative tweet and all the other “hashtaggers” believe they are supposed to follow in similar style. There are benefits to being female in Nigeria: chivalry is not totally dead and it comes in handy e.g. the free helpers that have ALWAYS come my way everytime I had a car issue on the road, the male friends that look out for me. Also, we working class women have a much better lease than our male counterparts as per our cash – we can spend on cars and personal vacations while they have to be strict and sacrificial with money because society expects them to have a house and a million in the bank before they get married. Let me end here. My summary? Sometimes, its good to think outside the herd box. And see the positive side of life at times.

    • Tosin

      July 2, 2015 at 7:05 am

      i agree. being a kid in Nigeria. being poor in Nigeria. i might be more expressive then.

    • Angela

      July 3, 2015 at 11:45 am

      Chai…we only children ehn…the disadvantages are Endless.

  8. cindy

    July 1, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    And instead of the men to actually take account of these things and work on themselves, they start crying that we are always bashing them and are trying to take over blah blah blah………this is not about feminism, it is just common sense. All we ask is to be loved and treated right.

    • ogamadam

      July 1, 2015 at 4:09 pm

      Which “the men”? All of them or the ones you know? I can’t stand lazy generalisations- start with the actual men you know.If we each did that, the entire male population would be covered. I agree with the-only-child -epistle-writing- gentleman. And I be female o.

  9. Tosin

    July 1, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    being female in Nigeria is wonderful, to be honest. alhamdulillah.

  10. Anon

    July 1, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    I’m glad this issue is coming to light, however, this affects almost all African countries! #BeingfemaleinAfrica sucks unless you are mrs someone smdh!!!

    • MC

      July 1, 2015 at 5:50 pm

      (By the sounds of things) Even being a Mrs in Africa sucks

  11. Yebo

    July 1, 2015 at 2:22 pm

    I tnink before a man marries, he needs to know whether he wants a stay-at-home wife or a working class woman. And if he marries the latter, he shouldn’t force her to quit her career and become a housewife against her wishes. It should be a mutual agreement.
    Then for women, you need to understand the values of the man you want to marry and ensure that it is quite compatible with yours. If the man you want to marry is the type that is not an exposed as you, and reasons in a very parochial African way which you know you cannot change nor tolerate in the long run, you mustn’t go into marriage with him, or else lack ofbabies or even male can push him to have extramarital affairs and children outside the marriage with impunity.
    Basically, it’s important to know who you are as a person and what you stand for in terms of value system, and ensure that who you’re marrying is reasonably compatible with ur value system and religious beliefs, or else you will be having unnecessary problems in the home, problems that could’ve been avoided. Cos in matters of values and beliefs, love doesn’t always conquer all oo.

  12. natu

    July 1, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    I endorse this message. It’s about time African women realise their worth. I am not Nigerian but these issues are the same across Africa. #timeforchange .

  13. tunmi

    July 1, 2015 at 2:47 pm

    And of course it would be a man to ask “but what about the positives”. If there were, they would have been listed. Rather than to listen and be an ally, you inject yourself into the space and attempt to hijack it, boy bye!

  14. Person

    July 1, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    Adebola Williams needs to have ALL the seats in a stadium!!! \__\__ Who asked him for his opinion? Why is his opinion more valid than the women speaking? Is he a woman? Women are saying this is what #beingfemaleinNigeria means, but no, Debola Williams is trying to placate us like kids who need direction, saying why don’t you talk about this instead? Miss me with all that BS! I am surprised nobody read him for filth on Twitter. Of all the tweets, BN chose THAT one to be the first tweet. smdh! Misogyny, sexism and patriarchy have so eaten deep into our psyche that even BN is a covert supporter. All other news agencies and blogs in the West that shared this story STARTED with the valid opinion which is that of women, not those of men that have no idea what it means to be female in Nigeria! And yes, it IS that deep!!!

    • Confuzzled

      July 1, 2015 at 3:39 pm

      Bless you

    • [email protected]

      July 2, 2015 at 4:43 pm

      Bless you for this comment. Where does he get off telling us to tweet about the positives instead???? And why is his tweet even featured here?! Had a similar convo with a male friend of mine and had to go in on him! He said we were just man-bashing and being negative. Girrrrl I went hard on him and told him to have a stadium full of seats. He was forced to lean back.

  15. miss peace

    July 1, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    #beinga woman in Nigeria ur married nd u work all day to help ur husband get on his feet,instead of encouragement he gets angry nd beats u up 4 not coming home early when he knows the traffic nd the type of work u do,but he wouldn’t want 2 stand up to work always in a beer parlour not doing anytin to provide always believing it wlD come like manner nd ur mother says endure all in d name of marriage.

  16. Babym

    July 1, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    I completely and totally agree with you. @ellesariellendil. There r definitely positives and negatives to everything in life. But topics like these for some reason u only tend to hear the bad. Like u, my family is apparently very weird, i never grew up with this “im a woman woe is me” syndrome my parents and siblings (all boys) made me feel like i was some kind of untouchable warrior princess lol. I guess ppls different upbringings and circumstances largely affect discourse like this. Im a very liberal person anyway so i tend to role with the punches and take the good and the bad as oppose to oohh it because im a woman blah blah. Life is too shoort and too sweet to be feeling disadvantaged, but hey thats just me.

    • tunmi

      July 1, 2015 at 7:00 pm

      Then, my dear, you were lucky. I did not grow up with it either, but I will be damned to diminish the many other voices

  17. Paloma

    July 1, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    Not all Landlords, i stay alone and i’m not being tagged as an ashewo! its all depends on how discipline you are shikena!

    • [email protected]

      July 2, 2015 at 4:45 pm

      You are part of the problem. Why should it ‘depend on how disciplined’ you are. GTFOH with this holier than thou attitude.

  18. TINY

    July 1, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    we tell our women, dress like this so you will find husband, learn how to cook so you will find husband, be smart but not too smart, be domesticated, look like this, why are you getting so dark, we have so many rules from when you are young (most perpetuated by other women, but they don’t know any better), and we tell the boys, just dont kill anybody thats all.

    even dating, a mother asks her son jokingly at 15, ah ah where is your girlfriend, and tells her daughter also at 15, boys cant call this house! wait oh excuse, so whose daughter should your son be dating.

    heard someone telling his niece, dont grow too tall or you wont see husband, let me not even start counting everything wrong with that statement, yeah like her heights is in her control,


    • Bruness

      July 2, 2015 at 12:52 am

      @ TINY # WE MUST RAISE BETTER SONS # caught my attention. Hear! Hear!

  19. cryingneversolvedanything

    July 1, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    I can’t with all these women and their respectability politics. Haven’t you heard of Muslim women in hijabs raped. The only flesh you get to see are their ankles, so what is that excuse? Is it that her ankle was so tempting or they lacked self respect?
    Why is there the constant need by men to police women even when their body count is running into three digits?
    Men are privileged, they are the standard for everything and in Nigeria a black man has both gender and racial privilege which makes him seem like some sort of a demi-god like his white counterparts in the west as well as better than his black counterparts in the west.
    Also just because you live alone doesn’t change anything because you are just an EXCEPTION and NOT the rule.
    Men, putting their mouth into this conversation need to go research or mind their business because their uninformed opinion is inconsequential.

  20. Deborah

    July 1, 2015 at 11:55 pm

    When it comes to feminism and women’s rights, I only have a problem with two setts of people 1) women who demand for equality but are unwilling to step up to prove themselves as equals, and 2) women who have had a positive experience and cannot see beyond their noses to the fact that a large percentage of Nigerian women are not so fortunate. Talking about “Both sexes have struggles, maybe my family is different, y’all are just jumping on the bandwagon”…seriously?? So, by your argument there is nothing to complain about despite the fact that girls are married off at very young ages in the North to men whoo are old enough to be their fathers? And the fact that under Nigerian law, marital rape is impossible? That under the same laws, a victim of rape must prove that she was forcefully penetrated, in spite of the trauma she may have gone through, and the fact that the required evidence can be washed off in a day or 2? Don’t get me started on the social stigma and the “what were you wearing? What were you doing there?” That is a part of collective Nigerian mindset. What about the fact that upon divorce, the law gives custody to the father? The fact that many married rural women have little say in the number of children they have? The fact that a woman is said to adopt her husbands indegine state after marriage, but can claim no rights in that state? The fact that women cannot be convicted of cartain crimes/ taxed in some states because they law does not recognise them as persons? Or the fact that some men believe that they have a sexual right to a woman’s body, no matter what? I could go on, the instances are many.
    What I have a problem with, is women who believe that their positive experiences are true for all women, usually to sound “different”, and appealing to some men. It’s not fair to deny or downplay the struggles other women face daily. Saying you don’t have struggles because some men grant you favours because of the physical attributes you possess…it’s 2015 you aren’t fooling anyone. It’s not an accomplishment., and their attention is a means to an end.
    #beingAwomanInNigeria isn’t just an avenue to rant. It’s a call to attention to see the plight of fellow women in sitauations that need to be changed. If you can’t relate, try to empathise. That’s a better venue than trying to negate other people’s experiences. It’s called compassion. More importantly, it’s what it means to be human.

  21. laslas

    July 2, 2015 at 1:31 am

    Most of these are true, depending on your family and who you marry. My husband came to grad school in the US, I joined him a year after. I ended up finishing my PhD six months before he finished his. I made more money than him until last year. BUT he was never intimidated. We share the same account; he supported me all through; he does house chores without me asking; wakes up on Saturdays and makes akara or moimoin; I can’t even say all he does because it is not the norm for most Naija men. Don’t think it is because we live abroad, he cooked even when we were in Naija.. He is a tenure track professor in a science area in a university but he is still very helpful at home. His mom came to help with our 1st child and will get mad whenever hubby helped around the house (bear in mind, we were both grad students but mother in-law, who would not help wanted me to do it all). But hubby made it clear that I could not do it alone. By 2nd child, mother in law was helping to do dishes and apologized for not helping during 1st child. I believe I am blessed.

    • Fashionista

      July 2, 2015 at 3:40 pm

      You are, very much so. I pray you continue to remain blessed, Amen! God bless your home.

  22. Ola

    July 7, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    Sucks being young, female and Nigerian in Nigeria. Just saying #beingfemaleinnigeria

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