In 2014, ‘The Wedding Party’ director Kemi Adetiba was denied entry into a popular night hangout spot.
She was apparently not allowed into the establishment because she was a woman who was not accompanied by a man. As ridiculous as this sounds, there are several establishments in the city of Lagos that don’t welcome single women unless they are with a man.
This Lagos unofficial policy is a snapshot of how single women are treated in Nigeria. The fairer sex is still the fairer sex in this country and with this comes pressure that society places on women.
When a young Nigerian lady graduates from University, the next step is to get married and have kids. The longer the wait for a knight in shining armour to sweep her off her feet, the more the pressure from her folks, her relatives and the society.
God help if you are a single mum, the pressure increases, in short, that is class topic on it’s own!
According to Pulse Survey, 25% of the women who participated said there is ‘intense’ pressure from the society on single women and mums to get married quickly.
Although, 40% said the pressure was moderate. It, however, must be stated that majority (47.4%) of the women who took the survey were between the ages of 25-29. Women between the ages of 30-35 made up 36.8% of the survey. Maybe if the ladies in their 30s were the majority in the survey, societal pressure would have more intense than moderate.
The older a woman gets (especially in Nigeria) the more the pressure increases. We don’t need data for that.
Apart from the pressure of getting married, a lot of landlords prefer not to rent their flats or apartments to single women. They fear that they might be giving their home to a prostitute or ‘runs girl’. This points to a Nigerian way of thinking- a woman without man must be a whore or commercial sex worker.
Going back to our survey, 15% of women said they have been denied accommodation because they are single. 35% were unsure and 50% stated that they have not been denied accommodation because of their single status. Still, 15% is a significant number.
Many single women prefer to stay in their parents’ homes till they get married. It’s even a norm for some.
Women are not expected to be independent and enjoy life on their own terms. They are expected to marry early or be with a man at some public places. Men, on the other hand, are given a free reign to do what they want to do.
Boys will be boys at the end of the day, so why can’t girls be girls at the end of the day too…?
This attitude has held back the women folk in the country. In the Pulse survey, 85% women believe the Nigerian society treats single women and single mums unfairly.
Let the single women breathe. We shouldn’t hound them with outdated expectations. Single women shouldn’t be treated unfairly or discriminated against. Let the single ladies b
Jephthah Idogbo For Unbrokenchords