By Japhet Alakam
The issue of gender equality has been the focus of scholarship in contemporary times and the general contention is that women are oppressed and marginalized in many areas of life because of the patriarchal construction of the society which disadvantages them. There is no doubt that responsibilities and limitations of being a woman in a male dominated society are glaring realities in Nigerian society because the society has preserved attitudes towards women.
In a bid to correct the anomally, several efforts have been made, they include seminars, symposia and the greatest being the 4th World Conference of Women Beijing, 1995. And as part of her own contribution to the crusade, renowned playwright, author and lecturer at National Open University, Victoria Island, Lagos Onyeka Iwuchukwu came up with a new book that brings to the fore, different instances of marginalisation against women entitled Enough is Enough.
The 82 page drama book set in the eastern part of Nigeria, where the absence of a male child is tantamount to not having a child comes with a lot of questions that requires urgent answers for the harmonious relationship of the man and woman. Some of the questions include, what becomes the fate of a wife who gives birth to only female children in a culture that abhors such? What happens when the husband of such wife is a pastor and only son? What happens when hapless women are subjected to ceaseless harassment and extortion from touts in the market, despite the fact that they pay the stipulated levies regularly to the appropriate agencies.
In the play, which is divided into three sections called movement with seven parts in all, the seasoned author who has written many other plays about women liberation brings to the fore the challenges faced by women in the male dominated world. In the first movement, the author highlights the attitude of some men towards their wives especially when the wife produces only female children. In it the major characters, Obiechine Gideon (the husband), despite being an aclaimed man of God (Pastor) and his earlier promises to his wife’s (Buchi) parents of taking care of her university education still did not bring his religious point into focus but rather followed the ordinary folks in abandoning the promise and even throwing the wife away and bringing in a new wife.
In the second movement , the author narrates how Buchi was rehabilitated and introduced to the second hand clothes business by her friends after being thrown out by the husband.
Finally, in the movement brings another area of women margiinalisation as the author draws attention to the issue of women empowerment and some forms of legalized brutality, culture of fear and oppression that exists in some markets in Nigeria. The play also highlights the second chance education opportunity offered to all through the flexibility and accessibility of open and distance education.
Here, the women were molested and their wares carted away by touts even when they pay the legalized fees with receipts. But through the window of education offered by NOUN which Buchi harnessed she was able to organise the market women to resist the unwarranted assault on them by the touts. After an extensive battle , that even took them to the police station, the women won .
Enough is Enough underscores the importance of women empowerment, which is one of the ways that will make women stand on their own. The author is of the view that women, despite their husband’s standing are supposed to embark on some money yielding ventures to help themselves to stand in their homes.
Apart from the storyline which is good, the simple English language used for easy comprehension, Dr. Iwuchukwu has demonstrated the qualities of a good writer. The book is a work of art that has all that it takes to bring the desired change in the society, it is recommended for all especially movie producers, as it is a well written script begging for adaptation into a film.