Gender and Occupation in Traditional African Setting: A Study of Ikot Effanga Mkpa Community Nigeria.
Bassey, Antigha Okon; Ojua, T. Asu; Archibong, Esther P.; Bassey, Umo A.

Abstract
This study considers gender situation in Africa before the onset of contemporary occupational practices. It examines gender and occupation in African setting with particular reference to Ikot Effanga Mkpa Community in Nigeria. It was an ex-post factor review relying mainly on qualitative research method using Focus Group Discussion and Indepth Interview. The findings revealed predominant occupation in traditional Africa to include: farming, fishing, trading, hunting, brace work, etc. It shows that women participated in some of these occupations only under the guidance of men. The gains derived from women participation goes to the household head and women only benefited as members of household, and men were culturally accorded headship of household. Exception only occurred in religious vocation where women served as priest of goddesses in which they were not under men. Thus, the study reveals relative deprivation, male dominance, and subordination of female gender in African traditional occupational practices. The existence of cultural practices like “Iban Isong” help to prevent male verbal and other forms of violence against women. The study recommended among others public enlightenment and mass education on women right of access to occupation as a means of empowerment and emancipation in order to ensure development.

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