Culture and Discrimination against Women in Buchi Emechetas the Joys of Motherhood and Chimamanda Adichies Purple Hibiscus


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This study explores culture and discrimination against women in Buchi Emecheta’s The Joys of motherhood and Chimamanda Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus. The study has shown that over the years, the major challenge facing the female folk is discrimination and unfair treatment in the society. It is also discovered that several cultural practices discriminate and oppress the female folks; such practices are identified in the selected texts for this research work and critically examined. Therefore, it is hoped that an awareness of such practices will eventually eradicate the social inequalities that are engendered by such practices in African society.


Culture and Discrimination against Women in Buchi Emechetas the Joys of Motherhood and Chimamanda Adichies Purple Hibiscus




1.1     Background of the study

Throughout the history, women generally have had fewer legal rights and career opportunities than men, wife hood and womanhood were considered as women’s most significant professions, and they were considered naturally weaker than men. Their right and being were taken for granted. Silence becomes the virtue of women but with education, the silence was broken. Champers 21st century dictionary (2004, p. 327) says.

Culture is the custom, ideas, values etc of a particular civilization, society or social group, especially at a particular fame and the appreciation of art, music, literature etc improvement and development care and framing.

Reuter T. (2011, P. 1) reports that; “Discrimination is to distinguish, single out, or make a distinction in everyday life, when faced with more than one option.” For the purpose of this research work, the definition of women in chambers 21st century dictionary (2004, P. 1631) will be used “women generally the female sex.”Wikipedia (2010) assert that; “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 to not normally carry any legal consequences.”

With these definitions, we can therefore define culture and discrimination against women as the culture and practices against the female folks that support men. Discrimination against women as becomes customs passed from generation. In Africa, many cultural practices are against women. Women are beaten by husbands and are always blamed for not been able to produce children. Even when it is not confirmed that they are responsible for the marital problems, they suffer for those problems. Married woman could be replaced at anytime by their husbands because culture support that men could marry many women.

Female children are not always given the best upbringing in they are trained in the kitchen, instead of school. Male children brought up well because they are known to be the people who will take their family from generation to generation. Therefore, with the use of Buch Emecheta’s work, the joys of motherhood, many discrimination acts against women will be analysed; to signify the cultural practices of discriminatory against women. Also, through the works of Chimamanda Adichie; Purple Hibiscus, discrimination against women will be identified. Cultural practices discriminating against women have been on for long and needs to stop.


1.2     Statement of the problem

The injustice and negative portrayal of female discrimination in the African society and African literary works by most African male writers has lead to clashes between male and female writers. The problem has made many writers to disagree in their perception and ideas about feminism in African fiction.

There is also the problem of literary representation of female in African fiction. The female character is mostly seen as a “second class citizen” who is denied of her individual rights.

In some African literary works there has been the problem discrimination of women in African fiction. The female characters are mostly discriminated and portrayed negatively as an appendage to male characters. Therefore, this research investigates the manner in which female children are discriminated in African society as a matter of culture.

The Culture and Discrimination against Women in Buchi Emechetas the Joys of Motherhood and Chimamanda Adichies Purple Hibiscus

1.3     Purpose of the study

The purpose of this study is to examine the culture and discrimination against women, using two carefully selected novels as primary data , Buchi Emecheta’s The Joy of Motherhood and Chimamanda Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus. Using radical feminism to show that women should be treated equally as men and that gender differences is no excuse for discrimination. This research work aim at bringing out how cultural practices affect women, the pain it brings and the survival of women.

1.4     Objectives of the Study

  1. The objectives of this research work is intended specifically to ascertain why women are being discriminated in African society using Emecheta’s The Joy of Motherhood and Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus.
  2. To examine and investigate how culture affect women in African fiction.
  3. To also examine the effects of culture and discrimination against women.


Culture and Discrimination against Women in Buchi Emechetas the Joys of Motherhood and Chimamanda Adichies Purple Hibiscus

1.5     Scope and Limitation of the Study

This research work centers on culture and discrimination in The Joys of Motherhood and Purple Hibiscus respectively. It also limits its scope on some materials from the library, internet and the two selected novels.

1.6     Research Methodology

This research work intends to carry out an investigation on culture and discrimination against women, through the proper analysis of the two carefully selected novels Buchi Emecheta and Chimamanda Adichie The Joys of motherhood and Purple Hibiscus respectively.

Finally, the researcher will use textbook as primary sources of information write others sources like internet will be used for more collection of data.

1.7     Definition of Terms

Culture: the beliefs, values, behavior and material object that constitute a people’s way of life.

Discrimination: is the treatment or consideration of or making a distinction in favour of or against a person or thing based on the group, class or category to which that person or thing is perceived to belong to, rather than on individual’s right.

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