How can we seen women's rights as a human right in Mariama Ba's 'So Long a Letter.'

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that you could make the case that Ba's work argues women's rights as a human right.  One of the most striking elements of the work is how women, even those steeped in modernity, find themselves subjected to antiquated traditions that empower those in control and disempower those who seek to establish their own voice and narrative.  Ramatoulaye articulates a condition where all women are placed in a stratified condition that benefits men and their family.  Her letters reflect this, and demonstrate how a woman wishes to live her life free of the restraints and the predicament that takes away her freedom.  This can be seen as a human right, as it demonstrates a voice being oppressed by an external force and striving to be free from intrusion.

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