IAAJAH - IGWEBUIKE: An African Journal of Arts and Humanities
Vol. 9 No. 4, 2023
Evaristus Emeka Isife, PhD


Bachofen and other evolutionary theorists gave an elaborate narration on how matriarchy began, rose, fell and was replaced by patriarchy. The conclusion is that patriarchy is superior to matriarchy and thus, is the culmination of human development. This position justifies male supremacy and the exploitive and domineering character of patriarchy. Feminism arose to fight for the equality of men and women in society. This research examines matriarchy in the traditional African worldview. Using the method of hermeneutics, the research attempts to interpret available data on the subject matter in accordance with the present reality. The research tries to address these issues: what is the meaning of matriarchy in traditional Africa? In traditional Africa, is matriarchy inferior and in opposition to patriarchy as seen in the Western world? Would feminism have risen in traditional Africa? And how can matriarchy in traditional Africa enrich contemporary feminism? The research finds out that in traditional Africa both patriarchy and matriarchy are like two sides of a coin: they interacted, intersected and checked and balanced each other in their different but related spheres of power and influence through the principle of complementarity. The research finds out that contemporary feminism is being entrapped in the same flaws it accuses patriarchy of- flaws of exclusion. The research concludes that contemporary feminism needs to understand and apply the principle of complementarity in its approach for it to succeed in its fight for the equality of men and women in contemporary society.

Keywords: Traditional, African, Matriarchy, Relevance, Contemporary, Feminism

Our Motto: "United in Research for Positive Change", summarizes the objectives of this great institution. IRI is an international organization that is registered (RC1621015) under the Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Contact Info


© 2024 Igwebuike Research Institute