International Women's Day: 5 Nigerian female celebrities championing women’s rights

These women have become powerful voices for women's rights, empowerment, and equality.

International Women's Day: 5 Nigerian female celebrities championing women’s rights

Women's Month is a time to celebrate and honour women and their achievements, and Nigeria is home to some of the most talented and accomplished female celebrities in the world.

These are women who have not only made a name for themselves in the entertainment industry but have also become role models for young women all over the country. Through their work and activism, they have been able to advocate for women's rights in Nigeria and beyond.

In this article, we look at five popular female Nigerian celebrities who have been vocal in their advocacy for women's rights.

We will explore some of their personal stories, their achievements, and the initiatives they have taken to promote women's rights and gender equality in their country.

Adichie is best known for her novels, including 'Purple Hibiscus,' 'Half of a Yellow Sun,' and 'Americanah,' which have received critical acclaim and won numerous awards. Her writing often explores themes of identity, gender, and culture, and she is a vocal advocate for women's rights and gender equality.

To this effect, she has written several books that explore issues related to gender and feminism, including 'We Should All Be Feminists' and 'Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions.' In these books, she encourages women to embrace their feminism and fight for their rights.

In 2012, Adichie gave a TED talk entitled 'We Should All Be Feminists,' which has since become one of the most-watched TED talks of all time. In the talk, she argued that feminism is not only relevant to women but also to men and that we all have a role to play in creating a more equal society. The talk has been adapted into a book and has inspired a global conversation about the importance of gender equality.

She has also worked with numerous organisations to promote gender equality and empower women and girls.

Genevieve Nnaji is a veteran actress, filmmaker, and entrepreneur with over two decades of experience in the entertainment industry. Shehas also been vocal about gender equality and women's rights in Nigeria.

This accomplished actress is one of the few celebrities who, with the use of their platforms, have spoken out against gender-based violence and called for stronger laws to protect women from all sorts of abuse and sexual violence.

Speaking about how women can be better protected, In an interview with UNICEF, she said, “Let girls grow up to become women and make a choice; get them to a point where they know who they are as human beings as women, and they can be able to fight for themselves in the face of abuse.”

In 2019, she produced and starred in 'Lionheart,' a film that explores issues such as gender equality and women's empowerment in Nigeria. The film was Nigeria's first-ever submission for the Best International Feature Film category at the Academy Awards.

Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, popularly known as 'Omosexy,' is one of the most successful actresses in the Nigerian film industry, also known as Nollywood.

Ekeinde has used her platform as an actress to advocate for women's rights and empowerment in Nigeria. In 2005, she founded the 'Omotola Youth Empowerment Programme,' which aims to empower young people, especially girls, through education, skills training, and mentorship.

Ekeinde is also involved in several initiatives to promote gender equality in Nigeria. In 2013, she became a United Nations WFP Ambassador, where she supports the organization's efforts to eradicate hunger and malnutrition, especially among women and children. She has also been involved in several campaigns to raise awareness about domestic violence and sexual assault in Nigeria.

Funmi Iyanda is a Nigerian media personality, talk show host, and filmmaker who began her career as a television presenter in the 1990s. She later went on to host her talk show, 'New Dawn with Funmi,' which tackled a wide range of social and political issues in Nigeria.

Iyanda has been a vocal advocate for women's rights and gender equality in Nigeria. In 2016, she launched the 'Change-A-Life Foundation,' which aims to empower disadvantaged women and girls by providing them with education, healthcare, and economic opportunities. The foundation has since helped thousands of women and girls across Nigeria.

The former governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, honoured Iyanda for collaborating with the UN and other African women to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to raise awareness for the fight to eliminate violence against women and girls in Africa.

Iyanda has also been involved in several initiatives to promote gender equality in Nigeria. She was a part of 'Vagina Monologues' in Lagos, a series of performances that explored women's experiences of sexuality, gender, and violence. The event received widespread media attention and sparked a national conversation about women's rights and empowerment.

Aisha Yesufu is a Nigerian activist who also advocates for women's rights. She studied microbiology at Ahmadu Bello University and worked as a lecturer before becoming involved in activism.

Yesufu rose to prominence in 2014 during the 'Bring Back Our Girls' campaign, which sought to raise awareness about the abduction of over 200 schoolgirls by the terrorist group Boko Haram. Yesufu became one of the leading voices of the campaign and has since become a prominent advocate for women's rights and democracy in Nigeria.

In 2017, Yesufu founded the 'BBOG Movement,' a grassroots organisation that advocates for the rights of women and girls in Nigeria. The organisation has been involved in several campaigns and initiatives, including advocating for the release of the remaining abducted girls, promoting girls' education, and fighting gender-based violence.

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This article was originally published in 2023.

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