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Women as gods, men as priests and girls as carriers in Razinat Mohammed’s <i>Habiba</i>


The concept of gender inequality and exploitation of the sexes has been a recurrent and ongoing issue in the literary space. The woman and the girl child are often seen as the peripheral and the exploited ‘Others‘. This paper is a deconstruction of the notion of patriarchal dominance and exploitation of the girl child and women in genral in the Northern Nigerian Muslim society. The man has often been seen in feminist discourse as the impediment for the female‘s economic, educational and political growth. Through a close reading of Mohammed‘s Habiba, the paper deconstructs the above issue by revealing that it is the man that is actually impeded. He is only a priest in the shrine of the women as gods in his life. The women are portrayed as the exploiters of the girl child. The significance of this paper lies in the fact that the general notion in feminist literary discourse is often the exploitation of the females by the men for their economic, political and educational advancement when in reality the opposite is the case as seen in this text. Through the utilization of deconstruction and content analysis research methodology, the paper comes out with the findings that the problem of the girl child is caused by women. The girl child is made a sacrifice by the gods- the older women and the man is merely a priest who executes orders given to him by the gods. The paper further finds out that any resistance by the priest in carrying out the order of the gods spells doom for him.

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eISSN: 1813-2227