Ikwuano Women in 1929 Women’s Protest: A Recipe from Women War in Ancient Israel (Judges 4:4-24)
This paper focused on the uniqueness of Ikwuano women in terms of their contributions towards economic and political development, particularly around 1929 events. It aimed at accentuating the valiant role of Ikwuano Women in their gallant protest to claim their rights against household taxation by the British Colonial rule through the Warrant Chiefs. The research adopted a historical method to trace the role of women in the Ancient Israeli war in Judges 4:4-24 which applies to the Aba Women Protest. A historical examination shows that the 1929 so-called 'Aba Women Riot' was an Igbo women's traditional demonstration that allowed women to express their disapproval of any policy that infringes their human rights at that time. Foreign publishers used derogatory dictions such as riot, revolt, and war and later termed it “Aba Riot”, excluding women, probably because they were oblivious of the aforementioned protest in Igbo tradition or that they denied political fault of household taxation policy and assault to women as colonialists. The findings unveiled that the contributions of Ikwuano women to the political and economic development of Nigeria cannot be overemphasized, just as Deborah's and Jael’s exploits in Ancient Israel cannot be underestimated. The paper also investigated that the so-called Aba Women Riot of 1929 emanated from a clan called Oloko, in Ikwuano under Old Aba Province, as a protest which spread to Aba, Owerri, Calabar, and other Eastern Region of Nigeria. It gained international attention that resulted in the cancellation of Women's Taxation, the improvement of the national economy, and abrogation of the Warrant Chief System. The paper recommended the empowerment of Ikwuano Women, adequate support of the Government in revitalizing the production of cash crops in Ikwuano through mechanization and mass employment of indigenous youth in the aforementioned Institutes to alleviate poverty in the area. Lessons should be learned from women's war in ancient Israel contained in Judges 4:4-24, which reveals the inherent ability of women to promote national economy, peace, politics, and defense against external aggressions.