Role of Women
Even before Europeans arrived during the colonial period, Achebe’s native Nigeria was a maledominated society. Ikem explains to Beatrice that their culture initially regarded women as lowly and unworthy of respect and then elevated them to a pedestal, where they could remain beautiful and admired but inconsequential. Similarly, the worship of goddesses was an important part of a village’s spiritual life but had little to do with decisions regarding power structures. The colonial period widened the gender equality gap by providing African men with educational opportunities while African women received schooling in utilitarian skills to prepare them for domestic work. Anthills of the Savannah, published in 1987, came at a time when women around the world had made great strides in asserting their relevance in and value to society.