Women Are Sharing The Discrimination They Face #BeingFemaleInNigeria

Nigerians are using the hashtag to share their experiences of being discriminated against, in places ranging from hotel lobbies to inside their own cars.

At around midday in Nigeria on Tuesday, a tiny book group started calling on people to tweet about some of the discrimination that women routinely face. They used the hashtag #BeingFemaleInNigeria.

Join the conversation #beingfemaleinnigeria .. share your stories .@quincywar @Maaakks @Aitadi @MsAkuns @yew1e @bubusn

Within a few hours, and at the time we published this story, it was the top trending topic in the country. While most of the tweets were by women, they were also being shared and retweeted by men.

The Abuja book group who started the hashtag comprises only around 15 people, Florence Warmate, one member of the group, told BuzzFeed News.

The book club of 10 women and 5–6 men had met on Sunday night to discuss their book of the month, but ended up sharing stories about how the women had been discriminated against, Warmate told BuzzFeed News in a phone interview.

"We all started discussing our experiences, and then we thought, 'This should go to a wider group,'" she said, adding that the group then agreed to start tweeting with the hashtag #BeingFemaleInNigeria at midday on Tuesday. "If no one talks about it, it just escalates, and it becomes a normal thing that happens to everyone. So we wanted to spread this fire."

The conversation was sparked by their chosen book, the Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's essay "Everyone Should Be a Feminist," an adaptation of her famous TED Talk, which was sampled by Beyoncé.

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The tweets touched on experiences that women in Nigeria say are common, such as male waiters treating male and female customers very differently.

#beingfemaleinnigeria is tipping the restaurant worker with YOUR money from YOUR bag but the worker thanking your male companion instead.

And staff at upscale hotels assuming that young women who turn up or leave alone are escorts.

#beingfemaleinnigeria leaving Radisson Blu, on a Tuesday morning, i was held back asked to call who I came to visit before they let me go .

Many of the tweets referred to relationships and the pressure to get married, including complaints that landlords are wary of renting to single women because they worry about the men they might bring home.

#beingfemaleinNigeria when you leave a bad relationship and people tell you: 'why didn't you endure?'

#beingfemaleinnigeria my friend couldnt rent a 3bedroom house untill she presented her fake husband to her landlady.

Others talked about being discriminated against at work.

#beingfemaleinnigeria you should be domesticated. Help your male colleagues wash their plate or buy lunch from mama iyabo.

I hate this phrase from men in meetings "what she's trying to say is..." just shut up and let me say it goddamn it! #beingfemaleinNigeria

Or even on the way to work, for example when dealing with the hawkers who sell newspapers and magazines to passengers stuck in traffic.

#BeingfemaleinNigeria The vendor in traffic will put the Forbes Magazine behind and automatically offer you Fashion and City People.

#BeingFemaleInNigeria if you own an SUV, it's your sugar daddy/ married lover that bought it for you.

Men, including these two from the book club, added in their observations too.

The culture of not seeing females as equals results in men with fragile egos. Always at risk of being 'emasculated' #beingfemaleinNigeria

#beingfemaleinnigeria don't get too successful else men will run from you.

Meanwhile, some people denounced the tweets as man-bashing, or said the women were focusing only on the negative.

@FlorenceWarmate @jarumamagazine @quincywar @Maaakks @Aitadi @MsAkuns @yew1e @bubusn Ladies stop feeling sorry for being female

Warmate said such people had misunderstood the point of the campaign, which wasn’t about criticizing men, but just about trying to help men and women be equals.

"Some people are saying we are trying to be negative ... but we are just trying to open people's minds," she told BuzzFeed News.

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