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Feminism or the question of women empowerment and gender equality is a global issue. No one understands that better than Chimamanda Adichie who, in recent years, has taken on the role as feminist intellectual. We Should All Be Feminists—her TED talk turned chapbook—is a bestselling platform she’s used to enrich global conversations around the complexities of gender equality.

During her visit to Paris a couple of weeks ago to speak at the Le Monde sponsored event on woman and the future of Africa, she shared her views on a host of hot-button issues ranging from Hilary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the urgent need for women in to be admitted into the catholic priesthood.

The interview begins with a journalist asking Adichie what advice she’d give a Nigerian father, brother, a Nigerian woman, even the Pope on the question of gender equality.

Here are her responses. Scroll down to watch the video.

***

To a Nigerian father, Adichie’s advice is:

“Raise your daughter and your son the same way. Either you keep both of them home so that they can’t go out late or you allow both of them to go out late. Raise them not thinking about gender. Don’t thinks she’s a girl therefore she should do this. I think we should just think this is a bright child, therefore…”

To a Brother:

“Don’t think of your sister as your property. Don’t think of your sister as a person whose life you can control. To a brother I would say think of your sister as having equal rights to you.”

To a young Nigerian woman:

“Never ever apologies for being who you are.”

To The President of a western country:

“Stop thinking that gender problems only exist in Africa. It exists in your own country too.”

To The Pope:

“First I would say I love you and then I would say please try and give women more roles. I think that women priests should be allowed in the catholic church. There are women who are full of faith and who want to serve god as priests.”

To Hillary Clinton:

“Go Hillary! I think she’s going to be the next president of the United States.”

To Simone de Beauvoir:

“What happened with you and Sartre again? I would say love is a feminist issue.”

To a teacher who insists that feminism is not African

“You have a lot to learn.”

To Women:

“Buy very good lipstick. [laughs] If you like lipstick. More seriously I’d say it’s not just about lipstick but to love yourself. Do what feels like you.”

To Herself:

“Do better. I do want to be better. As I become older there are things I want to be better at. I want to be better at forgiving people.”

 

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Post image by Howard County Library System via Flickr

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Ainehi Edoro is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches African literature. She received her doctorate at Duke University. She is the founder and editor of Brittle Paper and series editor of Ohio University Press’s Modern African Writer’s imprint.

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