Full Project – Gender and political commitment in Irene Isoken Salami’s more than dancing
This study provides a comprehensive analysis of Irene Isoken Salami’s play, “More Than Dancing,” focusing on gender and political commitment within the Nigerian context. The research problem addresses the persistent gender inequalities and marginalization of women in Nigerian politics. The study aims to critically examine themes, challenges, and strategies portrayed in the play, offering insights into women’s roles in promoting gender equality. The theoretical framework draws from Simone de Beauvoir’s “The Second Sex” and suffrage movement literature, providing a historical context. Employing a qualitative research design, the study utilizes thematic analysis on textual evidence to reveal the play’s key messages. Findings underscore the urgent need for a reevaluation of societal expectations towards women in politics. The study concludes by recommending advocacy, education, and increased support for women in leadership roles to foster gender equality in Nigerian politics.
Irene Isoken Salami’s play, More Than Dancing, presents a compelling narrative that revolves around gender and political commitment in the context of Nigerian society. The play delves into the intricate dynamics of gender roles and expectations within the political arena, shedding light on the challenges faced by women in their pursuit of active political involvement. Set against the backdrop of Nigeria’s evolving political landscape, the play underscores the need for women to assert themselves politically and confront the socio-political hurdles that have persisted for generations.
The play opens with a poignant depiction of women performing traditional dances during political gatherings. This initial scene vividly illustrates the traditional roles assigned to women in Nigerian politics, where they are primarily expected to entertain and dance during political events. This traditional gender role sets the stage for the broader exploration of gender dynamics within the play.
In Nigerian politics, women have often been relegated to the sidelines, expected to perform ceremonial roles that involve singing and dancing to entertain their male counterparts. These roles have been deeply ingrained in the political culture and have contributed to the marginalization of women in decision-making processes. Salami’s portrayal of these traditional roles highlights the need for a reevaluation of societal expectations and norms regarding women’s participation in politics.
The play serves as a powerful advocacy tool for gender equality and equity in Nigerian politics. The play’s central character, Nona, articulates this theme when she emphatically states, “… Nigeria is a country made up of men and women. Our reason for desiring to rule is not because we want to install a government that is anti-men. No! We believe in equality and equity” (Salami 9). Nona’s declaration underscores the importance of creating a political landscape where gender is not a barrier to political participation.
The play challenges the prevailing notion that women’s desire to participate in politics is rooted in being anti-men. Instead, it emphasizes that women seek fairness, justice, and equal opportunities in the political arena. This perspective aligns with the global movement for gender inclusivity in politics, advocating for a level playing field where women can actively participate in shaping the future of their country.
The play promotes the idea that women and men should cooperate and complement each other in politics rather than engage in competition. Jeta, one of the characters in the play, encapsulates this perspective when he states, “The women have always said that they are not in competition with us but that men and women should complement one another” (Salami 41). This perspective reflects a collaborative approach to politics, where both genders can work together for the betterment of society.
The concept of gender complementarity challenges the traditional binary view of gender roles in politics and underscores the value of diverse perspectives and contributions. It encourages a more inclusive and cooperative political environment where the strengths of both men and women can be harnessed for the benefit of the nation. The play underscores the importance of women’s political engagement and activism. The play encourages women to move beyond their traditional roles as entertainers during political events and actively participate in the political process. Women are portrayed as capable of contributing significantly to national development through their involvement in politics.
The play advocates for women to assert themselves in the political arena and take on leadership roles. It challenges the status quo, where women have often been relegated to the background in political decision-making. Through the character of Nona, the play illustrates the potential for women to rise to positions of leadership and influence, contributing to the progress of their nation.
Irene Isoken Salami’s play, More Than Dancing, offers a thought-provoking exploration of gender and political commitment within the Nigerian context. The play challenges traditional gender roles, advocates for gender equality and equity, and promotes collaboration between men and women in politics. Through its compelling narrative, the play calls for a reevaluation of societal attitudes and expectations regarding women’s roles in politics. It serves as a powerful advocacy tool for a more inclusive and equitable political landscape, where women’s voices and contributions are valued and respected.
Salami’s work resonates with the broader discourse on gender and politics, both within Nigeria and globally. It contributes to the ongoing dialogue on the importance of gender equality in political participation and the need for women to actively engage in shaping the political future of their country. More Than Dancing stands as a testament to the power of literature and the arts in advocating for social change and gender equality.
Gender inequality and the marginalization of women in politics are persistent issues in many societies, including Nigeria. Despite progress in democratic governance, women continue to face numerous barriers and prejudices that limit their participation and representation in political leadership roles. The problem at hand is the underrepresentation of women in Nigerian politics and the challenges they encounter in asserting their political commitment and influence (Nwabueze 52).
Nigerian politics has historically been characterized by patriarchal structures and traditional norms that often exclude or marginalize women from active participation. This exclusion is evident in the traditional roles assigned to women, where they are primarily expected to serve as entertainers and dancers during political events, as depicted in Irene Isoken Salami’s play, More Than Dancing (Salami 23).
Furthermore, the lack of gender-sensitive policies and affirmative action measures within political parties and electoral systems exacerbates the problem (Indyer and Fanyam 337). This dearth of support and opportunities hinders women’s ability to assert their political commitment and influence within the political arena.
The underrepresentation of women in Nigerian politics also perpetuates a cycle of gender inequality, where decisions and policies are often made without considering the perspectives and interests of half the population (Ezeajugh 140). This lack of diverse representation limits the effectiveness of governance and hinders progress toward gender-responsive policies and legislation (Ezeajugh 142).
Moreover, the problem extends to societal attitudes and stereotypes that undermine women’s credibility and leadership potential in politics. Women who choose to enter politics often face discrimination, harassment, and scrutiny that their male counterparts do not (Salami 86). This discrimination can deter many qualified women from pursuing political careers, further perpetuating their underrepresentation.
The problem of gender inequality and the underrepresentation of women in Nigerian politics is a complex and multifaceted issue. It involves systemic barriers within political structures, a lack of supportive policies, and deeply entrenched societal attitudes. Addressing this problem is crucial not only for achieving gender equality but also for enhancing the overall effectiveness and inclusivity of Nigerian politics.
To address the issues surrounding gender and political commitment in Irene Isoken Salami’s More Than Dancing, the following research questions will guide this study:
- What are the key themes and messages related to gender and political commitment portrayed in the play More Than Dancing?
- How does the play depict the challenges that women face in the Nigerian political landscape?
- What strategies do the female characters in the play employ to assert their political commitment and overcome gender-related hurdles?
- What insights can be gleaned from the play regarding the role of women in promoting gender equality and political engagement in Nigeria?
The aim of this study is to analyze the portrayal of gender and political commitment in Irene Isoken Salami’s More Than Dancing and to draw meaningful insights from the play that can contribute to the discourse on gender equality and political involvement in Nigeria. To achieve this aim, the following objectives will guide the research:
- To critically examine the themes and messages related to gender and political commitment in the play.
- To analyze the challenges faced by women in the Nigerian political context, as depicted in the play.
- To explore the strategies employed by female characters in the play to assert their political commitment and overcome gender-related hurdles.
- To provide insights based on the play’s portrayal of women’s roles in promoting gender equality and political engagement in Nigeria.
This study holds significant importance for several reasons: it contributes to the ongoing discourse on gender equality and women’s political participation in Nigeria by offering insights from a literary work that can inform policy discussions and advocacy efforts. Additionally, it provides a deeper understanding of the challenges women face in the political sphere and explores the strategies they employ to navigate these obstacles, offering valuable lessons for aspiring female politicians. Furthermore, it highlights the role of literature and the arts in addressing socio-political issues, demonstrating how creative works like More Than Dancing can serve as powerful tools for social commentary and change. Lastly, it contributes to the body of literature on Irene Isoken Salami’s works, further enhancing our understanding of her contributions to Nigerian and African literature.
This study will focus primarily on the analysis of Irene Isoken Salami’s play, More Than Dancing, with an emphasis on the portrayal of gender and political commitment within the context of Nigerian politics. The scope of the study will encompass an examination of key themes, characters, and messages related to gender, political engagement, and women’s roles in the play. While the study will draw insights from the text, it will not delve extensively into external factors affecting gender and politics in Nigeria but will remain centered on the literary analysis of the play itself.
The research methodology for analyzing Irene Isoken Salami’s play, More Than Dancing, focusing on gender and political commitment in Nigerian politics is qualitative research design. The qualitative research design will enable an in-depth exploration of these themes through detailed analysis of the play’s text, character interactions, and conveyed messages. Data collection will involves scrutinizing the play itself and consulting secondary sources like scholarly articles and critical analyses. Thematic analysis and content analysis will be the chosen techniques for examining identified passages. Ethical considerations prioritize copyright adherence, intellectual property rights, and sensitivity to gender-related issues. The study will acknowledge limitations, emphasizing its focus on Salami’s play and the subjective nature of literary analysis.
Irene Isoken Salami is a Nigerian playwright, poet, and academic. She is a Professor of Theatre Arts at the University of Abuja, Nigeria. Salami is known for her plays that explore the experiences of women in Nigerian society. Her plays are often characterized by their strong female characters and their critical engagement with social issues such as gender inequality, domestic violence, and poverty.
She was born in Auchi, Edo State, Nigeria. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in 1986. She then went on to receive her Master of Arts degree in Theatre Arts from the University of Ibadan in 1988 and her Doctor of Philosophy degree in Theatre Arts from the University of Abuja in 2003.
Irene Isoken Salami’s globally performed plays address powerful themes. The Festering Wound (1998) exposes issues of domestic violence and gender inequality. In The Waiting Room (2002), women cope with loss and adversity during wartime. The Wailing Wombs (2005) explores infertility and societal pressures on motherhood. The Silent Screams (2009) tackles domestic violence, trauma, and healing. Her plays have been praised for their social relevance, their strong female characters, and their insightful exploration of complex issues.
She is one of the most important and influential playwrights working in Nigeria today. In addition to her work as a playwright, Salami is also a prolific scholar. She has published numerous articles on African theatre and drama, and she is the author of the book Gender and Performance in African Theatre. Salami is also a respected teacher and mentor, and she has trained and inspired many generations of Nigerian theatre artists.
Salami is a recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Nigerian National Merit Award (2010), the highest award for academic achievement in Nigeria. She is also a Fellow of the Nigerian Academy of Letters. She is a role model for women and girls around the world. She has shown that it is possible to achieve success in a male-dominated field, and she has used her platform to advocate for women’s rights and empowerment. Salami is a true pioneer, and her work is making a significant impact on Nigerian society and the global theatre world.
Irene Isoken Salami is a prominent Nigerian playwright and author known for her contributions to literature and theater. Her works often tackle issues of gender, politics, and societal transformation. More Than Dancing is one of her notable plays that explores the role of women in Nigerian politics and their journey to assert their political commitment.
Irene Isoken Salami is a prominent Nigerian playwright and author known for her contributions to literature and theater (Ezeajugh 140). Her works often tackle issues of gender, politics, and societal transformation. More Than Dancing is one of her notable plays that explores the role of women in Nigerian politics and their journey to assert their political commitment (Salami).
More Than Dancing, a thought-provoking play by Salami, serves as a compelling platform for examining the multifaceted issues surrounding gender and political engagement in Nigeria (Indyer and Fanyam 337). Salami skillfully weaves a narrative that sheds light on the traditional roles imposed on women within the political landscape (Salami). The play’s opening scenes depict women engaging in traditional dances during political gatherings, showcasing the conventional expectations that limit women to the role of entertainers during such events.
Salami’s More Than Dancing also champions the idea of collaboration and cooperation between men and women in politics (Ezeajugh140). The play articulates that women are not in competition with men but seek to complement them in the political arena (Salami). This perspective fosters a vision of politics where individuals, regardless of their gender, can work together harmoniously to achieve shared goals.
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Full Project – Gender and political commitment in Irene Isoken Salami’s more than dancing