Efik traditional marriage rites- A gender perspective

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This paper investigated Efik marriage rites from a gender perspective. Marriage in Africa is a union between a man and a woman (monogamy) or mainly between a man and women (polygyny), or between a woman and men (polyandry), though this is very rare. In some cases it may be serial polygyny or polyandry, i.e. the case of marrying more than one wife or husband, but always after divorce. Marriage just like other institutions in Africa has rites of passage in which those who intend to enter into it must pass through. Every culture has a sense of peculiarity as to the way in which it approaches this matter. The Efik people are not an exception to this. The question that may be asked is, how gender-balanced are these rites? The Efik people claim to have gender equality, but is this reflected in her marriage rites? Rites are symbolisms of what the actual institution which those rites represent. It is in the light of this that this paper using gender theory critically looked at the Efik traditional marriage rites from gender perspective. The paper realized that, among the Efik people’s traditional marriage rites, there is gender imbalance. It proffers ways of having gender balance in Efik traditional marriage rites. Apart from adding a voice to the cry for gender equality and equity, it provides scholarship a resource material needed for Efik ethnographic study.
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Archival date: 2020-05-03
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