Fictional stories have played a huge role of demeaning women in the society and the narrative has to change because the negative roles in which women are portrayed have instilled deleterious perception about women in readers, especially children.
These were the words of speakers on “Fictional Content and Perceptions of Women in Leadership” in the ongoing second edition of African Women in Media in Ibadan, Oyo State Capital.
Hadiza El-Rufai, First lady of Kaduna State and writer expressed that writers should always portray women as warriors and not mediocre like the current trend.
Hadiza, who mentioned that writers are ascribing gender roles to women through their writings, noted that male characters should be domesticated to create a gender balance of fictional writings.
On her part, Lola Shoneyin, Author and Poet urged writers to write about a society where women can make choices as opposed to where women are oppressed and victimized.
She further buttressed that women should revisit the way they raise their male children and instill the respect of women in culture and male child upbringing.
“We need to rethink the way we talk about women especially to our children, it is not enough to tell our sons not to beat women, we need to explain how to respect women and their opinions.”
Nollywood actor and filmmaker, Kunle Afolayan who was also at the conference stressed the need to show respect to women. He also maintained that the portrayal of women in good light cannot be overemphasized as he mentioned that most of his works have centred around promoting women.
Afolayan explained that stories about women are not necessarily to portray them in a negative light but to address the situations in the society. He remarked that despite an approach to be more female-centric in fictional stories, every filmmaker is particular about making the profit.