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African Women Opposing Gender Inequality in So Long A Letter by Mariama Ba

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African Women Opposing Gender Inequality In the novel ?So Long A Letter? by Mariama Ba, is written in the form of a few short letters and pieced together in the form of a novel. It talks about a woman that experiences gender inequality, because of her culture, and how she struggles to escape the bonds that are tying her to be a victim of this. The novel begins with Ramatoulaye, a Senegalese woman who shares her troubles with her childhood best friend Aissatou through letters. First, she reminds her friend Aissatou of how long they?ve met. Then she recounts what has happened, and tells the tragic news that her husband (Modou) ...read more.


For example, when Ramatoulaye is mourning her husband?s death, Tamsir just approaches her without even giving so much as a hind that he wants her to be his wife. For the first time, she promises herself that ?This time [she] shall speak out.? (Ba 60) For a long time, she hasn?t opposed anything or anyone, so this time she chooses to not hold back her emotions any longer. Her voice must be heard because ?[her] voice has known thirty years of silence, thirty years of harassment. It bursts out, violent, sometimes sarcastic, sometimes contemptuous.? (Ba 60) After turning down Tamsir?s offer of being his wife, she tries to smooth things over between her former lover, Daouda Dieng who is a politician and is married with children. ...read more.


Also, in the novel, education is another example of gender inequality. If the females go to school and study, the ?school turns our girls into devils who lure our men away from the right path? (Ba 17) they will be seen through society?s eyes as an outcast. For Aissatou, she couldn?t be a goldsmith because ?Each profession has its code, known only the initiated and transmitted from father to son!? (Ba 18) Almost all of the females that want a job, can?t have one, because their job will be affected bythe simple reason, that they are females. In conclusion, throughout the novel, there are many examples of gender inequality ,and sometimes Senegal isn?t the only place that experiences gender inequality. Throughout the world gender inequality is still happening, and it should be stopped. ...read more.

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