Nigerian human rights activist and feminist Dorothy Akenova shares her personal story about growing up and reasons why she has been advocating for the social inclusion and acceptance of LGBT people in Nigeria.
I was a victim of differential treatment as a child. I fought my way through it to get the same educational opportunities as my male siblings. I fought my way over dress codes within the family. I was always defending myself and got physical beatings regularly for asserting myself.
I grew up with the capability of spotting the difference in how people were treated. I analysed the socio-political contexts that I lived in and was always aware of inequality, particularly between men and women. Working with a women’s health organisation helped me to organise my thoughts and contextualize my response. It also helped me to institutionalise my response and helped me to expand my analysis and scope of engagement beyond me and my friends to the broader society.
I call myself a feminist because I am able to challenge situations of inequality, design and implement interventions to bring about change. Integrity, diversityand choice are the values that I hold dear. I have been part of the group of feminists and human rights activists who have worked to shift the paradigm of “sexual reproductive health rights”; two separate but related focuses on sexual health and rights and reproductive health and rights. I have advocated over the years for attention to and respect for sexual rights, especially for sexual minorities. I have also been part of the movement to shift a focus from pathology in dealing with sexual health, to a focus on rights. Read more via No Stings Podcast