Gender inequality and discrimination

In her commencement address at Wellesley College, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie looks at gender roles and inequality through her own experience growing up in Nigeria, but also by mentioning aspects related to the US.

Her speech suggests that men usually grow up with more privileges than women: “the world does not extend to women the many small courtesies that it extends to men” (ll. 69-71). Adichie implies that these privileges often seem to be small things and may even go unnoticed, but that they add up to an easier path through life.

Adichie uses a story about the man who rejected her argument about a society based on merit because she was a young woman to further illustrate how gender is used to discriminate against women: “I wanted him to disagree with the substance of my argument, but by looking at me, young and female, it was easy for him to dismiss what I said.” (ll. 44-47)

In her speech, Adichie mentions that she has experienced gender inequality since childhood: “It's not about my discovering gender injustice because of course I had discovered years before then. From child...

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