Gender, Sex and Ancestor Worship in Yoruba Culture


  • Omotade Adegbindin, PhD Department of Philosophy, University of Ibadan


Gender, Male domination, Ancestorship, Marriage, Yoruba


In terms of structure, gender is imbued with notions of difference between males and females; at other times, it translates into the oppression and domination of one gender over the other. This paper, therefore, engages the popular belief in the universal subordination of women which is implied in the assumption that women cannot become ancestors. The paper shows that the perceived denial of ancestorship for women among the Yoruba is not necessarily as a result of male domination, but as a result of the premium the people put on the significance of marriage. The paper draws largely from the Yoruba mythico religious space to show how the logic of the marital relationships among Yoruba deities sharply demonstrates a dismantling of male supremacy, fosters male-female interdependence and empowers the advocacy for gender balance towards a harmonious social order and the sustenance of the human community.


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