Some Nigerian women made a peaceful march on Saturday against sexual harassment in markets, drawing attention to unspoken incidents of bullying, groping and name calling of their gender by menfolk.
The march in Lagos took off from Ojuelegba and streamed to Yaba, where demonstrators to their surprise were still confronted, despite police presence, with the same abuse by male chauvinists, according to tweets by some of the marchers.
“Yaba boys threw water and stones at us.It was as if we unleashed the beast in them and today I saw the physical demonstration of misogyny. They got aggressive and resorted to physical abuse”, reported Moromoke on Twitter.
“They made derogatory remarks about our person, they called us jobless and said we are prostitutes ,they boo’ed us and sang shaming songs after us just because we made our stand known and said we won’t take the harassment no more. I’m still shook, like the entitlement!
“How aggressive can one get over someone else’s body! Those guys were not remorseful, in fact they believe that they have the right to our bodies and they made that quite clear even though we held placards saying “Don’t touch me” they still tried to touch us”, she wrote.
“They threw water at us, called us prostitutes, sluts…ashawo.. They said it was our fault that we got harassed. They claimed it was because of our clothing & asked us to stay home if we didn’t want to be harassed. They tried to shame us because they were ashamed”, Marketmatch tweeted.
The women were rallied for the march under the hashtag #marketmatchYaba.
In another tweet, the organisers believed the demonstration “was a BIG success”.
“Big ups and huge thank yous to everyone who showed up. We had expectations, some were met, others were superseded. We stood firmly with one voice and it was clear. We have learnt a lot and can’t wait to do more with what we know”.
The women have vowed to stage yet another demonstration very soon.
#Marketmatch appears to have all Lagos markets in its purview as it defines its agenda as “Walking & working together to end the normalised sexual harassment & bullying of women in markets”.