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Asian Journal of Research in Social Sciences and Humanities
Year : 2015, Volume : 5, Issue : 8
First page : ( 1) Last page : ( 11)
Online ISSN : 2249-7315.
Article DOI : 10.5958/2249-7315.2015.00188.4

Christianity and Gender Inequality: The Yakurr Experience

Mrs. Eteng Nzeyo Gabriel

Department of Religious and Cultural Studies, University of Calabar

Online published on 6 August, 2015.

Abstract

Generally, gender refers to the classification of nouns as masculine and feminine. This means gender issues are not women's issues alone, femininism is not in isolation from masculinism. Gender refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for men and women. The fact that gender roles differs significantly from one society to another is an indication that they are socially and culturally constructed. Gendering is based on, and reinforced by a patriarchal ideology, which often results to gender inequality. Therefore the concept and practices of inequality and discrimination lies at the heart of gender. Christianity teaches the equality of all people and at the same time encourages inequality in the masculine and feminine genders. This invariably means the role of Christianity in the gender question is a complex and paradoxical one. Even when the church has the institution of mechanism and justice for women, it has few of its practices that promotes gender inequality, for instance, there is no room for democratic expression of women's voices in most churches, they are denied partnership of sharing in ordained ministry and leadership in most churches. The experiences of gender inequality in the context of Yakurr manifest in the following ways: of preference for male children over female children, marital fortunes and formal education for female children. The traditional attitude of the Yakurr society towards the respective sex roles of women and men is patriarchal in nature and it has strongly permeated the entire system. Yakurr society is a microcosm of African society; we therefore see the experiences of women in this society representing a proportionate percentage of other African societies. Gender inequality has negative consequences in the family, it promotes preference for male children over female, it hinders development; In the Church, it hinders the feminine gender from exhibiting their God-given talent and hinders the growth of the Church; in the society, it hinders the participation of the feminine gender in the development of the society.

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