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Effects of colonialism
== History ==
There were multiple reasons a man could be subjected to the practice of "sitting on a man". If a man was found mistreating his wife, allowing his cows to eat the women's crops, breaking the rules of the market, or causing marital disputes, women would collectively consult with the mikiri (a forum which which gave women the opportunity to gather for political, kinship, and market regulation issues) in support of the women making the grievance, and employ the practice.<ref name="CJAS">{{cite journal|date=1972|title="Sitting on a Man": Colonialism and the Lost Political Institutions of Igbo Women|url=http://www.artsrn.ualberta.ca/amcdouga/Hist247/winter%202010/additional%20rdgs/sitting_on_man.pdf|journal=Canadian Journal of African Studies|volume=6|issue=2|pages=165–181|last1=Van Allen|first1=Judith}}</ref> Women would wear ferns on their heads and don loincloths. They would paint their faces with charcoal and carry sticks wreathed with palm fronds.<ref>{{cite book|last1=French|first1=Marilyn|title=From Eve to Dawn: Revolutions and the struggles for justice in the 20th century|date=2008|publisher=Feminist Press at CUNY|location=New York|isbn=978-1-55861-628-8|page=287|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=Hyr9pwbqeqoC&lpg=PA287&dq=%22sitting%20on%20a%20man%22&pg=PA287#v=onepage&q&f=false}}</ref> Such a display of solidarity among women reinforced their influential role in society, offered access to autonomy throughout precolonial times, and lent itself as an effective measure to enact change.<ref name=":0">{{Cite book|title="Sitting On A Man":Colonialism and the Lost Political Institutions of Igbo Women|last=Judith|first=Allen|publisher=Canadian Association of African Studies|year=|isbn=|location=|pages=171|quote=|via=}}</ref>
== Colonialism ==
==== Resistance ====
In the early twentieth century, women in [[British Nigeria]] organized an anti-colonial protests in response to political reforms regarding the Native Administration."Sitting" on [[Eze|Warrant Chiefs]] was a prominent method of resistance. The [[Women's War]] was a significant demonstration of the employment of the adaptation of "sitting on a man" in efforts of resistance from imposed indirect colonial rule in British Nigeria.<ref>{{cite book|last1=Sheldon|first1=Kathleen|title=Historical Dictionary of Women in Sub-Saharan Africa|date=2005|publisher=Scarecrow Press|location=Lanham (Maryland)|isbn=978-0-8108-5331-7|page=228|url=https://books.google.com/books?id=36BViNOAu3sC&lpg=PA228&dq=%22sitting%20on%20a%20man%22%20igbo&pg=PA228#v=onepage&q&f=false|chapter=Sitting on a Man}}</ref> Protests would often consist of singing and dancing around homes and offices, invading personal spaces, and other actions which demanded the attention of the [[Indirect rule|Warrant Chiefs]]. Wives of the local colonial representatives were often disturbed by this form of protest and aided in encouraging Warrant Chiefs to adhere to the requests and demands of the women. "Sitting on the Warrants," became a widespread colonial resistance tactic utilized by women in Nigeria.
==== Effects ====
Igbo women held significant and influential social and political standings (while still second to men), colonial imposition excluded women from political settings and activities, despite resistance, this alteration in social institutions negatively affected women’s rights and status in society by de-legitimizing their power of influence. This was done through the outlawing of the practice of “sitting on a man” in the new [[Southern Nigeria Protectorate|British Administration]] design. The criminalization of the tactic was not necessarily deliberate, as colonists were naïve of the functions and implications of the practice, nevertheless through disturbing women’s means of balancing power, colonialism detrimentally effected Igbo gender relations and societal structures.<ref name=":0" />
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