In the UK women are reclaiming domestic spaces but are still trying to make their men do more housework and its causing marital dissatisfaction.
In Nigeria its taken for granted. Women do house work.. No conflict. However an increasing number of men are willingly involving themselves. Progress comes in small steps.
Also problematic is the assumption that at home child care support is a privilege. In Nigeria every homestead has domestic helpers.
Call them househelp or maids or stewards or butlers or just family that lives in and helps out. Housework means vastly different things for Nigerian and UK women.
Ironic that African women are always portrayed as doing ‘hard labor’. In truth rural communities live a labour intensive existence but even they have lots of help.
Most urban households have ‘help’ increasingly associated with modern slavery. It used to be a coveted way out of rural life to the bright lights, development and opportunities of the town.
The African women I grew up with knew their centre of power and guarded it jealously. They didn’t let the men in. They took over the kitchen, they controlled access to their bedrooms they monopolised access to young children nurturing their maternal bonds.
We need to ask more professional African women how they do it today. And how they avoid the modern pitfalls!