UJAH: Unizik Journal of Arts and Humanities

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Religion and Gender Roles in Africa: A Case Study of Religion and Gender Roles in Africa: A Case Study of Agricultural Patterns in Nike Primal CommunityAgricultural Patterns in Nike Primal Community

Uchechukwu Monica Ejim


Gender roles are the apportioning of certain roles to a particular sex by society. This is quite different from gender disparity which promotes the ideology that one sex is better than the other. They are gender ideologies which can be deconstructed. In some primal cultures however, they were imbued with religious undertones and up scaled to divine mandate in order to give them legitimacy and ensure adherence to them. In this regard, African primal cultures were not left out. The problem then, is that these two ideologies are most times mixed up. And at other times, gender role has been understood as one of the tools of gender disparity. This research is poised to find out if the apportioning of certain roles to a particular sex by society has always been a product of patriarchal tendencies and of negative consequence to the society. Using historical methods, this paper tried to answer the above question by reviewing a cultural practice in Nike primal community that consisted in the allocation of certain farm crops to a specific gender. The result of the review showed that gender roles have biological basis to an extent, they can be comforting; they guided the members of the society through the tricky business of living. It was productive and beneficial to individual affirmation and the survival and progress of society and will also serve the present society in the same vein if the element of rigidity is removed. But it also existed side by side with gender disparity and other patriarchal tendencies that were detrimental to the survival and progress of society. The theoretical frame work operative here is feminism, and the key words are religion, gender roles, patriarchy, culture and primal communities.

AJOL African Journals Online