Gender Roles In Precolonial and Postcolonial Nigeria

"The elders, or ndichie, met to hear a report of Okonkwo’s mission. At the end they decided, as everybody knew they would, that the girl should go to Ogbuefi Udo to replace his murdered wife. As for the boy, he belonged to the clan as a whole, and there was no hurry to decide his fate." (Achebe 12)
"Okonkwo ruled his household with a heavy hand. His wives, especially the youngest, lived in perpetual fear of his fiery temper, and so did his little children." (Achebe 13)

In the book "Things Fall Apart" gender roles play a big part of their lives. How their society works is based on how men and women "work" together, their system. Women stay home clean, birth children, cook, they're free maids. Men are strong and plant yams, the king of crops. Men are dominant and feel superior than women, it shows throughout the story.

In the Tribal Culture, there is no gender equality. Males are viewed as a whole person meaning that they have more rights and full control over their lives, future, and decisions. They also have full power and control of their females and think they have the right to mistreat them and do whatever they want with them. Therefore, women are viewed as objects. They are easily replaceable and passed around and abused like objects. It signifies that in the Ibo community, there is a male dominance over women.

Precolonial Nigeria


- Controlled food processing, pottery making, mat weaving, and cooking

- Older women had control of the labour of younger family members

- Central to trade

- Full authority over their children

- No education


- Superior to women

- Control of women

- Ruled the house

- Provides for his family

- Social and economic activities

(Gender Roles.)

Postcolonial Nigeria


- Access to education

- Economic rights

- Employment rights

- Men can't beat them the same anymore


- Men and women are equal

- Less dominant

- Beat women for making more money than them

- Don't have their own Obi

- Women talk back to men

Gender roles have drastically changed from precolonial to postcolonial Nigeria. Women and men have become more equal. Men have become less dominant and women have gained more rights.

(Gender Roles.)

Work Cited

"Women in Pre-Colonial Nigeria." Women in Pre-Colonial Nigeria. Web. 24 Mar. 2017.

Falola, Toyin O. "The Role of Nigerian Women." Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc., 20 Nov. 2007. Web. 24 Mar. 2017.

"Gender Roles - Things Fall Apart P3." Google Sites. Web. 24 Mar. 2017.

Pic 1: Zachary Stieber, Epoch Times

Pic 2: Adobe Page

Pic 3: Jack Doyle, Home Affairs Correspondent

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Aylin Villaseñor, Divella Ojeda, Silvia Velazquez, and Jenny Zeledon

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