Undressing for redress: the significance of Nigerian women’s naked protests

Social media went abuzz on July 23, 2020, when hundreds of women – mostly naked – staged a protest in the northwestern state of Kaduna, Nigeria. Wailing and rolling on the ground, they protested at the killing of people in ongoing attacks on their community.

Nigerian women have historically employed naked protests to seek redress – with success. In my book chapter contribution on this subject, I documented numerous naked protests dating back to the colonial period. I drew the conclusion that through the spectacle of such protests, women have rewritten the script on their bodies and used nakedness as an instrument of power, rather than shame, in making their voices heard.

Historically, in western and non-western worlds, women have used their bodies to protest unacceptable treatment by those in power. In Africa, the nakedness of women, especially mothers and grandmothers, is a historical and symbolic “shaming” tactic. Women’s enacting nakedness on their own terms disrupts dominant notions that depict their bodies as passive, powerless, or as sexual objects for sale.

https://theconversation.com/undressing-for-redress-the-significance-of-nigerian-womens-naked-protests-144823