What does Ashawo Ashawo mean?

Learn about the derogatory term ‘Ashawo Ashawo’ used in Nigerian society to shame promiscuous women and sex workers. Explore its origin, impact, and case studies.


Ashawo Ashawo is a Nigerian slang term that is often used in a derogatory manner to refer to promiscuous women or sex workers. The term has gained popularity in Nigerian pop culture and is often used in music lyrics and social media posts.

Origin of the term

The term ‘Ashawo Ashawo’ is derived from the Hausa language spoken in Nigeria. In the Hausa language, ‘Ashawo’ means prostitute or promiscuous woman. When repeated twice as ‘Ashawo Ashawo’, it is used to emphasize the negative connotation associated with the term.

Usage in Nigerian society

The term Ashawo Ashawo is commonly used by men to shame or insult women who are perceived to be sexually liberated or engaging in casual relationships. It perpetuates the stigma faced by sex workers and contributes to the objectification of women.

Impact of the term

The use of the term Ashawo Ashawo reinforces harmful stereotypes and reinforces the notion that women who are sexually active are deserving of derogatory labels. It can lead to discrimination, harassment, and violence against women who are perceived as ‘Ashawo Ashawo’.

Case Studies

  • Case Study 1: A young woman named Tolu was called ‘Ashawo Ashawo’ by her classmates for wearing a short skirt to school. The bullying she faced led to low self-esteem and social isolation.
  • Case Study 2: A sex worker named Funmi was attacked and robbed by a group of men who called her ‘Ashawo Ashawo’ before assaulting her. The incident left her traumatized and afraid to report the crime to the police.

Changing the narrative

It is important to challenge the use of derogatory terms like Ashawo Ashawo and promote respect for all individuals regardless of their sexual choices. By changing the narrative and fostering a culture of acceptance and inclusivity, we can work towards a more equitable society.


In conclusion, the term Ashawo Ashawo is a harmful label that perpetuates discrimination and stigma against women. It is crucial to educate society about the impact of such language and strive towards a more respectful and understanding environment for all individuals.

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