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Complementary personhood and gender: An interrogation within African philosophy

Diana Ekor Ofana


In this paper, I argue for an Afro-communitarian account of personhood that considers the value of complementarity as a necessary part  of human existence. The reason for conceptualizing personhood as a complementary enterprise is to dispel the understanding of gender  that sustains gender inequality. I aim to explore the logic that characterizes complementary personhood as a specific kind of Afro-communitarian personhood that can account for gender complementarity. I argue that the universalized idea of patriarchy and gender,  as construed within Western feminist theorizing, cannot account for every society as these concepts differ from culture to culture. In this  paper, I use complementary personhood as a lens through which a fluid understanding of gender and gender relations can be drawn  against the backdrop of the hierarchy and binary opposition that undergird most Western interrogations of the concepts of gender and  patriarchy. To do so, I present an overview of what complementary personhood entails. The preceding elucidation would become the  basis for understanding the Afro-centric notion of gender relation. I then tease out an Afro- centric triangle of gender relations using the  Ezumezu logical system as its background logic.

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eISSN: 2788-7928