Journal of Religion and Human Relations

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A moral evaluation of the intercultural approach to gender relation: a case study of the Igbo-African-culture

Chidiebere Obi


Intercultural approach to gender is a process through which different cultures interact on gender related matters. The reason for this interaction is to learn and exchange ideas on how gender has shaped each other's society in terms of distribution of duties and even the understanding of morality. Experience has shown that this interaction has been marred by the tendency of a 'superior culture' always wanting to act as the yardstick for measuring other cultures. Since gender is culture-based, using a particular culture's understanding of gender as the basis for measuring others will be counterproductive. The Igbo-African-culture has been a victim of this intercultural interaction and therefore calls for some questions: what qualifies an action to be gender marginalizing? If gender roles vary as cultures vary, would the attempt to use a culture's gender understanding as the standard for measuring others not be guilty of  chauvinism? This paper attempts to answer these questions amongst others thereby submitting that the best solution to the perceived gender inequalities in any given culture (Igbo-African-Culture as a case study) is the one obtained from a thorough moral evaluation of the traces of inequalities in a people's culture in line with the peculiarity and uniqueness of culture and not the solution obtained through the lens of a 'superior culture'. This is because, what obtains in a culture may not be the case in another. This does not mean that the paper is against the exchange of ideas between cultures but on the contrary, it is another way of saying that a culture should not borrow what may destabilize the foundation of its existence.

Keywords: gender, culture, intercultural, Igbo-Africanculture

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