Filosofia Theoretica: Journal of African Philosophy, Culture and Religions

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The philosophy of affirmative action as a constraint to gender equality: an introduction to Ukém philosophy

Aribiah David Attoe


In this paper, I attempt to show in clear terms what I believe to be the inconsistencies inherent in adopting affirmative action as a proper philosophy for remedying the gender imbalance in contemporary African societies. I have also gestured towards the fact that apart from the issues involved in adopting affirmative action as a principle, the concept quite ironically further widens the gap it is meant to seal. In the spirit of the conversational tradition of African philosophy, I excavate and interrogate a theory of equality that speaks to an indigenous Efik concept of equality. Thus, as a conversational response to the inadequacies of Affirmative Action, I have in this paper adopted ukém philosophy along with its principles of ówó and ikíkè, as an alternative model or tool for combating the ills of gender inequality.

Keywords: Affirmative Action, African Philosophy, Discrimination, Gender, Ikíkè, Ukém

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