Cultural Discrimination Against Women In Buchi Emecheta’s Second Class Citizen And The Joys Of Motherhood

Cultural Discrimination Against Women In Buchi Emecheta’s Second Class Citizen And The Joys Of Motherhood

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This research project deals with cultural discrimination against women which is the concept of discrimination against women. Theoretically, this work identify the sociolinguistic factors such as age, gender, religion, education, occupation and cultural factors affecting the use of language in terms of what one says and how it is said concerning cultural discrimination against women. This movement redirected the change of overdue existing influence, power, authority and the cultural right given to men over women. The work reveals the theme gender inequality and discrimination, effect of discrimination against women, female sacrifice, marriage to deceased brothers is carefully handled in Buhi Emecheta’s the joys of motherhood and second class citizen.  The study has shown that as long as men wield power, women will continue to be subjugated, oppressed and suppressed. It therefore canvassed for equality and mutual respect symbiotic recognition of the roles of men and women in the society.

Cultural Discrimination Against Women In Buchi Emecheta’s Second Class Citizen And The Joys Of Motherhood


 1.1 Background to the Study

Throughout the history of women, generally women have had fewer legal right and career opportunities than the men. Womanhood and wifehood were considered as women most significant profession and they were considered naturally weaker than the men. Their rights were been taken for granted, silence became the virtue of women, but with education, their silence was broken. “Culture is the art, custom, and habit that characterize a particular society or nation. It also state that the beliefs, values, behaviors, materials and objects that constitute a people way of life”. English 21st Century Computerized Dictionary.

“Culture is the custom, idea, values etc of a particular civilized society or social group especially at a particular time, and the appreciation of art, music, literature etc. “Improvement and development through care and training”. Chambers 21st Century Dictionary 327.

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“Culture discrimination against women is an issue that needs to be treated in the past centuries even at the moment women has suffered the fate of discrimination. “Discrimination means to distinguish in everyday life, when faced with more than one option”. Reuters I.

For the purpose of this research, the definition of women in Chambers 21st century dictionary 1631 will be referred, women generally, the female sex. “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”, Wikipedia 2010. With this definition, we can therefore define discrimination against women as a practice that most be abolished.

Discrimination against women has become the order of the day in our society, it is a custom passed down from generations to generations. In our society women are generally prohibited the right to education, right to pray in the church, even in town hall meetings in the villages and communities because of the concept of subjugation and cultural practices of the society. Cultural discrimination against women is alarming, women are agitating for gender equality and not to be prospective mothers and house wives alone, women are also agitating for empowerments, good education and good jobs for the girl child.

Cultural discrimination against women has grown even in the minds of little children; the little children have no regards to their fellow female foe. As such these children grow with stigma of being inferior to the male children. However the male child is placed as more important to the female child and the girl child is deprive of good and quality education, while the male child is treated like a king with good and quality education. The women are demanding for the legal right to operate in the society economically, politically, financially, socially, culturally and otherwise without affecting their motherhood and wifehood roles in the home.

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The women quickly recognized and realize the pressure of cultural discrimination impose on them by African tradition permitting the male foes to exercise unlimited authority and emphasis the male supremacy over the female including politically, economically, martially, traditionally, culturally and otherwise. The women came up with a concept that consists of the interest in the life and style of women both in occupation, societal growth and home.  However women brought about the concept to fight for her, as well as to gain independence to herself. This bold movement by women all over the world brought the realization in the path of women of her real potentials.

Cultural Discrimination Against Women In Buchi Emecheta’s Second Class Citizen And The Joys Of Motherhood

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The women in Africa have been victimized, discriminated, assaulted by the men as a result of cultural discrimination against women in the African society. The female writers in Africa prove to the world by using the war tool- literature to unravel the right of the women to men and that the rights of women have been treated harshly through the awareness of uncountable achievement and contributions of the women towards the growth of the African society and the nation at large. Exercising unlimited power on women by men obstructs the part of the women in the actualization of her potentials.

1.3 Purpose to the Study

The study intends to examine the cultural discrimination against women, using the two carefully selected novels as primary data, “The Joys of Motherhood and Second Class Citizen” by Buchi Emecheta. Using the radical feminism to show the morally reprehensible behaviour of cultural practices towards women, the study intends to create the awareness of women right through literary works and as well fight for her right in a patriarchy society like Africa through cultural independence.

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1.4 Significance to the Study

Importantly, this research will help to unravel the right of women in the African society, and to stop gender inequality, especially cultural discrimination against women by custom and tradition of the society; however this work will serve as reference point to other researchers relating to cultural discrimination against women.

1.5 Objective to the Study

1.6 Scope and Limitation

1.7 Research Methodology


2.1 Origin of Feminism

2.1.1 Definition of Feminism

2.1.2 Aims of Feminism

2.2 Discrimination against Women

2.3 Cultural Discrimination against Women


3.1 Plot

3.2 Themes of Cultural Discrimination against women in second class citizen.

3.2.1 Preference of Male over Female Children Education

3.2.2 Effect of Parentage on Children

3.2.3 Effects of Discrimination on Women

3.2.4 Educational Value on girl child (Women)


4.1 The Plot

4.2 Thematic Analysis

4.2.1 Marriage to Deceased Brothers

4.2.2 Effect of Widowhood Practices on Families

4.2.3 Cultural Practice against Women and Frustration

4.2.4 Frustration


5.1 Summary

5.2 Conclusion

5.3 Recommendations

Works Cited



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