Issues in Gender Relations in History of the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria: A Case Study of Gender Roles in Traditional Political Institution of the Urhobo
The need to consider the virtue of traditional institutions in the quest for women empowerment and in addressing the complexities surrounding gender relations in the less developed countries would obviously benefit from a careful analysis of African socio-political institutions with regard to the history of women exploits and the intricacies surrounding gender relations in different African societies. It is in the light of this that the present study attempts an analysis of a neglected theme in the history of the Western Niger Delta region of Nigeria, gender roles in traditional political institution of the Urhobo. The approach is historical and the study employs both secondary and primary source materials. The theory of libertarian feminism is employed to analyse the relationship between institutionalised egalitarianism and the gender structure of the Urhobo society because the theory emphasizes gradual elimination of the barriers both men and women face due to gender differences. In its final conclusion, the study recommends the need to integrate the dynamic elements of this gender structure into modern policies for socio-economic development of the area and other communities with similar socio-political institutions.
Keywords: disparity, gender, government, institution, Urhobo