Recently, I had a conversation with a friend and I slightly argued that a lot of these writing contests, especially the ones organized by Nigerian literary or publishing organizations are biased. Most of the winners for these contests are usually men and it is highly discouraging to the female writers.
His response was that, it is not the problem of those who organize the contests, it is the female writers that have refused to submit their works. Males are more likely to submit to contest than females. Upon hearing this, I went to check the contest that Sprinng Literary Movement organized last year, and to my surprise, more than 70% of those who submitted to the contest were males. Although it is not a gender based contest, it ultimately increases the chances of a male winning.
Similar to this, one time that I did research to prepare for a presentation about why feminism matters, I found out that part of the reason wage inequality still exists is because men are more likely to bargain for a higher pay with persistence and confidence than women. So, in short, the so-called 'feminists' have more work to do other than chanting and parading the street. They need to train and equip women individually. I wish to see more women demanding for positions that they are qualified for and taking risks where there are opportunities.
In a Ted talk that I watched about two years ago, the speaker mentioned that men are more likely to apply for positions that they are under-qualified for or even unprepared for than women who are over-qualified for such positions. Females tend to underestimate themselves and they need to break out of that socialization or feeling of not being good enough.
I think that asides from asking for this equality from an 'unknown' individual, women really need to work on themselves and improve their confidence in setting their foots for opportunities. We need more female writers to evade this Nigerian Literary world. Also reflecting on the historical Nigerian writers, I can barely count women in the crowd of Wole Soyinka and Chinua Achebe, among others whose works excelled. And it is a little bit funny because I know quite a lot of female writers on social media who write excellently but are yet to be publicly discovered because of this passiveness. Even if as a female writer, you have no interest in contests, submit to blogs and literary websites to have your works published and let people enjoy your craft.
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