Esther's Attempted Suicide: Mirrowing the 'Liberation' Role of Nigerian First Ladies

Esther's Attempted Suicide: Mirrowing the 'Liberation' Role of Nigerian First Ladies

Author by Dr. Theodore Uchechkwu Dickson

Journal/Publisher: Ibadan: Nigeria Association For Biblical Studies, Western Zone, University Of Ibadan

Volume/Edition: 3

Language: English

Pages: 263 - 282


The quest for women’s liberation has no doubt become a global agenda. Most of all, the United Nations’ sponsored meetings since the 1980s have given women the impetus to identify, tackle and dismantle patriarchal and male chauvinistic tendencies as embedded in culture, religion and politics. Since then several cultural, religious, social and political critique of long-term status quo ensued and without doubt, the last two decades have witnessed a tremendous shift in the way African women are perceived, adjudged, and involved in the day to day runs of the society. In Nigeria, for instance, noticeable advancements have been made in sensitizing the society on the need to reverse negative attitudes toward widows, women’s right to education, involvement in politics and decision makings among others. However, a major gulf still exists in that it takes the right platform; motivation and courage to achieve the desired change that womanhood deserves. This platform the paper argues lies in the office of the First Lady. Beginning with the time of Gen. Ibrahim Babangida in 1986, the office of the First Lady in Nigeria has received unprecedented recognition with so much powers, portfolios and civic responsibilities attached. Using the liberation role of Queen Esther, whose ingenuity resulted in a ‘palace coup’ that overturned Haman’s chauvinistic mastermind targeted at extinguishing the entire Jewish race as benchmark, the paper evaluates the roles of Nigerian First Ladies in the quest for women’s liberation from a male-dominated society. Rather than being satisfied with mere portfolio or ‘pet projects’, the paper advocates the repositioning of the office of the First Lady as a platform for engendering radical change and transformation for the sake of womanhood and the society.


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