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Abstract

The last century has witnessed an upsurge in literature triggered by the feminist movement. This unprecedented event has transformed the various literary genres that are being deconstructed to suit the changing times. African literature has not been spared by the universalized world order. The paper attempts a re-analysis of gender inequality from the pre-colonial to post-colonial period from the lenses of literary narratives. Male writers like Chinua Achebe, Elechi Amadi, Wole Soyinka, Ngugi Wa Thiongo, and Cyprain Ekwensi in their literary mass are accused of condoning patriarchy, are deeply entrenched in a macho conviviality and a one dimensional and minimalised presentation of women who are demoted and assume peripheral roles. Their penchant to portray an androcentric narrative is at variance with the female gender that are trivialized through practices like patriarchy, tradition, culture, gender socialization process, marriage and domestic enslavement. The paper concludes with some contemporary showcases and meta-narratives by both male and female writers like Buchi Emecheta, Mariama Bâ, Ama Ata Aidoo, Flora Nwapa, Sembene Ousmane and Leopold Sedar Senghor who attempt to bridge the gender rifts in the African literary landscape.

Note on the Author

Charles C. Fonchingong lectures in the Department of Women and Gender Studies, University of Buea, Cameroon and is currently a Doctoral candidate in Social Policy at the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, University of Kent at Canterbury, United Kingdom.

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