Women protests against the Sexual harassment in Nigeria’s bustling markets. By Angel Ojukwu
I am so happy. Finally, someone/group is addressing this. As a very young girl, I remembered the harassment in the Lagos market. This made me refusing to go to the market with my mum. Male stallholders, desperate to make sales, often touch and grope young women and girls. Attempts to brush them off usually attract lewd comments and insults. They drag you, pull and call you names just to get your attention. I have seen some women cry, scream and feel really bad. But, the government is doing nothing about it.
So, In December, under the banner “market march”, women walked around Yaba to protest against harassment, groping and catcalling. It was a small group, numbering about 20, but “Yaba” trended on social media throughout the day, with tens of thousands of people sending their support. An online petition to push for better enforcement of the law has 23,000 signatories so far. Organisers are now planning similar protests at markets across Nigeria.
As they marched through the main road, some angry male traders threw out insults. “We must touch,” some traders retorted. They blamed the women for dressing “inappropriately”, and told them to stay at home if they want to avoid harassment.
This story has also made its way to the international newspaper “the Guardian“.
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