chapter  8
14 Pages

Gender equality, gender inequality, and gender complementary

Insights from Igbo traditional culture
WithDorothy Oluwagbemi-Jacob, Chima Eni Uduma

This chapter examines some theories of gender equality/inequality, relating them to gender practice in Igbo traditional culture to show which theory of gender is corroborated or refuted therein. It argues that gender relations in traditional Igbo African culture were complementary, contrary to the unequal, superior, and inferior relationship generally believed to be the case between men and women. The Igbo form one of the largest ethnic groups in Nigeria, with a population of over thirty million, and have featured prominently in Nigerian politics both as individuals and as a group. Contrary to the views expressed by J. M. Bardwick and Elizabeth Douvan, the traditional Igbo culture had a reward system that accommodated both the female and male. The traditional Igbo society practiced a flexible gender system in the midst of sexual polarization. The traditional Igbo culture was mindful of the biological differences between men and women. The political administration of the Igbo people of Southeast Nigeria is republican in nature.