Bondage of being born female in selected African literary texts

Iwabi Abraham Modahunsi and Ademola Michael
Keywords: Underage marriage, forced marriage, levirate marriage, male child preference
Tropical Journal of Arts and Humanities 2022 4(2), 83-92. Published: December 30, 2022


Abstract

Many women have been victims of underage marriage, forced marriage, proxy marriage, levirate marriage, denial of education and the ignominy of male-child favouritism. These unwholesome practices have hampered the utilisation of the intellectual endowment of women, and have subjected them to untold trauma and deprivation. These plights are reflected in some female-authored works, and works by men who empathise with women. This study is an exegesis of selected African literary texts discountenancing the highlighted antiquated practices, within the ambit of feminist literary theory, with a view to explicating how the practices can be jettisoned. It is rendered in the course of the exegesis that under-age marriage, forced marriage and levirate marriage are still rampant in Africa; and also that male-child preference remains a phenomenon in the continent. The conclusion arrived at in the study is that no gender is superior to another. Marriage is a matter of choice, preference and mutual agreement between would-be spouses. It should not be imposed on anyone nor should anyone be forced into it. Rather than putting women in bondage, cultural practices which unburden their plights should be encouraged.