Angry Nigerians are calling for a boycott of Wema Bank over its International Women’s Day message, which many described as “insensitive.”
The bank had on Sunday posted an image with a message that reads: “Today, we celebrate the mothers who aren’t raising patriarchal sons, the women bosses supporting female subordinates and the ladies whose voices we can no longer ignore.”
However, the message triggered a backlash as angry Nigerians swiftly raised a hashtag #BoycottWemaBank.
They claimed that the bank insulted women with the message by classifying them into different categories.
They said this was one of the ills of patriarchy which women’s groups had been fighting, adding that the bank should simply have celebrated all women.
One commentator with the handle @mrsadedapo stated: “So there’s a day to lose the focus on ending patriarchy? Because maybe we should tell ourselves the truth sometimes: that women are the bigger uplifters of patriarchy. And I love your work on sexual harassment!”
One of the anchors of the undercover documentary aired last year by the British Broadcasting Corporation on sexual harrassment in Nigerian and Ghanaian universities, Kiki Morsi, was highly incensed.
In one of her reactions, she said: “Women are not the bigger upflifters of patriarchy. I’m sorry you’ve been sold this lie but it’s simply not true.”
The bank swiftly responded to the negative reactions by posting an apology: “It seems that our #IWD message has been taken to be insensitive to some of our dear women. But our true intention is simply a call for all women to do better in supporting each other, correct the men who don’t see the evils of patriarchy …keep our voices high enough as we slay and let all know that the call for gender equality is a collective fight for us all.
Once again, happy International Women’s Day.”
In response to the clarification, one of the protesters with the handle Dr. Ameenah @amkmusty wrote; “@wemabank is it possible to close an account in a different city from where it was opened? Or can it be closed online?
Some female customers feel after jumping many hurdles, they dont want to put hardearned monies where they are insulted on #IWD2020
Your quick response is awaited.”
Another respondent with the handle Opemipo @opemssss said: “This apology just has k leg. Women get killed at most and dragged every day on this app for speaking up but Wema thinks that it’s fine to use it for cheap clout. Why is it even women’s duty to change patriarchal thinking in this information age?”
However, a male commentator Unbeaten Run @labi_knows_best fought back with the words: “Please don’t even think of apology, you have said nothing wrong… I for one, I am solidly behind you. #EachforEqual let them be tweeting boycott, they don’t even have an acct with you, I have 1 wema&1 Alat….. They hate to hear the truth but we re saying it anyway.”
A commentator JezeeBell @dsixtools stated: “I!! I get the point now …but the problem here is context and I’m sure they don’t mean it that you think…but I could really de-associate from any mother who is willingly raising a patriarchal son
And I think that’s what they are doing here.”