Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, award-winning Nigerian writer, says domestic work is still seen as women’s primary duty in the world, despite the success of the #MeToo campaign.
The novelist disclose this to Reuters on the sidelines of a conference in Santiago, capital of Chile, where she lamented that the campaign has not addressed the issues surrounding inequality — stating it only gave women a voice.
#MeToo movement, a global campaign against sexual harassment and gender inequality, first came into public domain in 2006 through Tarana Burke, a sexual harassment survivor and activist, on social media.
The movement consequently attracted international attention, becoming a major movement for tackling deeply ingrained cultural and religious issues relating to gender, particularly women.
While Adichie, also a #MeToo advocate, believes the movement has largely given women a voice, it is still taking “two steps forward, and one step backwards.”
This, she pointed out, is because domestic chores are still largely seen as women’s sole responsibility, adding many children are still being groomed with “ingrained gender roles.”
“The #MeToo movement in many parts of the world made it possible for women to start talking about things that women couldn’t talk about, so for me that’s progress of sorts,” she said.
“Often, it feels as though it’s two steps forward and one step backwards. We are talking about it but we haven’t quite found the solutions yet.
“The idea of domestic work, for example, who does it, is it something people should be paid for?” In many countries across the world, it’s still thought of as something that women should do.
“Because of that, women are doing domestic work at home and also working outside the home. Women are now doubly burdened and so what can seem like equality really isn’t. In the future, we have to address that; otherwise, it will take women back even more.”
She went on to call out the immigration policies of Donald Trump, US president, stating such represented “cruelty for the sake of cruelty.”
“This administration has criminalised immigration in a way that I think is immoral,” she said.
“Many people want to come to the U.S. not because they are criminals or bad people but because they want better for themselves.
“I don’t think all countries should have open borders but what’s happening in the U.S., where children are being treated in the most horrendous way, is quite unnecessary. It’s cruelty for the sake of cruelty.”
Adichie, widely known for her literary prowess and voice of issues bordering on gender, has authored several award-winning projects including ‘Americanah’, ‘Purple Hibiscus’ and ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’.
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