“Nego-Feminism” is the way to go: – Omenugha Charges Worldwide Organization for Women (WOW) Africa.

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By
Dr. Harrison Madubueze

In recent years, feminist movements have gained momentum worldwide, advocating for gender equality and challenging traditional gender roles. However, it is important to recognize that not all women experience discrimination in the same way. Women from different ethnic, racial, and socio-economic backgrounds face unique challenges that are often overlooked in mainstream feminism. In response to this, a new movement known as Nego-Feminism has emerged, aiming to address the intersectional discrimination faced by women the world over.

The Ag. Vice-Chancellor, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Anambra State, Prof. Kate Azuka Omenugha, an advocate of “Nego-Feminism” addressed a group known as Worldwide Organization for Women (WOW) Africa at Hilton Leisure Hotel, Awka the Capital City of Anambra State, Nigeria in a programme tagged the “WOW Conversation”.

Defining Nego-Feminism, Omenugha explained that Nego-Feminism was coined from ‘Negotiation’ and ‘Feminism,’ also known as “Negotiated-feminism” which refers to a feminist theory and movement that seeks to negotiate a balance between cultural heritage and gender equality through the power of peaceful negotiations. It recognizes that women from different backgrounds may face additional barriers due to their race, ethnicity, religion, socio-economic status, or other intersecting identities but, “negotiation(s)” remains the way forward, regardless.

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Omenugha acknowledged that central to Nego-Feminism is the challenge of stereotypes that perpetuate the marginalization of women from minority and marginalized communities. These stereotypes to her, often reinforce negative perceptions and hinder their progress in various spheres of life, including education, employment, social inclusion and leadership positions. However, she insisted that through negotiations, there is nothing the African Woman cannot achieve. She advised Women that as long as they maintain their role of being the “neck” that moves/turns the “head”, there is nothing they cannot achieve in a contemporary male-dominated society.

She informed that “Nego-Feminism” highlights the importance of breaking free from these stereotypes and recognizing the diverse talents and contributions of women from all backgrounds. It actively promotes a more inclusive narrative, which celebrates the achievements of women who have defied societal expectations and achieved success against all odds while sustaining the challenging task of being a mother and staying married which many radical feminist fails to imbibe.

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“…at the core of Nego-Feminism is the belief in empowering women from marginalized communities to become agents of change in their own right. As Nego-Feminist, we recognize that women possess valuable insights and perspectives, which, when included in decision-making processes, can lead to more equitable outcomes. Through allyship and collaboration, Nego-Feminism aims to challenge systems of oppression and create a more just society for all and while doing all these, we must take the education of the girl-child seriously as we cannot underestimate the huge impact of an educated mind. I have used my personal experiences while growing to engage us and how negotiations brought me this far with the hope that as we deepen the conversations, we must learn to be diligent, respectful and most importantly, be proud of who we are as women…” she concluded.

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WOW Africa, is an African branch of the Worldwide Organization for Women, the Organization has participated in numerous United Nations activities since its inception over 30 years ago, with active engagements in the UN Commission on the Status of Women, New York, USA; 1st World Congress of Families in Prague, the Czech Republic; Agenda 21 (Conference on the Environment and Development—Earth Summit), New York, UN building; UN Conference on the Protection of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities in New York, etc.

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