Ola Uduku (Manchester School of Architecture )
- Series F: Indigenous Knowledge and Religion
- GR 276
- Start time:
- 11 September, 2008 at 14:00 (UTC+0)
- Session slots:
Author:Adeyemi Adegoju (Obafemi Awolowo University)
Paper long abstract:
Besides the economic predicament that has attracted for most countries in Africa the negative label ‘Third World’, Africa has been characterized as a continent enmeshed in conflicts, be it political, religious, ethnic or communal. Worse still, resolving conflicts in Africa seems rather intractable so much so that the continent has been portrayed as one that is incapable of handling challenging situations in a most responsive manner. This paper argues that the missing link lies in the low premium placed on African cultural values which underpin African ways of life and would, therefore, help to situate and explain the social conflicts within African milieus. To buttress this stance, this paper attempts to explore the place of African (Yoruba) proverbs in the management of social conflicts. Drawing on twenty proverbs that touch on conflict situation and modes of conflict resolution, the study posits that if Africans would look inwards to exploit their cultural dynamics, social problems in Africa could be solved without necessarily degenerating into precarious situations.
Author:Akinola Ibidapo-Obe (UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS, NIGERIA)
Paper long abstract:
We begin the introduction by defining key concepts – ‘human rights’, and “Yoruba” we then proceed to put the discussion within the framework of international human rights jurisprudence by briefly tracing its evolution.
International Human Rights Jurisprudence has come to terms (3) with the reality of an ‘African Jurisprudence’ of human rights. Despite the University of the notion of human rights, culture, religion and social realities of the African people has thrown up
its peculiar interpretations and application of these universal notions.
This study of Yoruba jurisprudence of human rights is a case – study in African jurisprudence of rights.
The work is divided into four sections (excluding the introduction and conclusion).
The introduction also briefly traces the evolution of human rights in its contemporary manifestation – the European medieval absolutism giving way to the age of enlightenment and the emergence of liberal government based on the separation of powers, the rule of law and constitutionalism.
The challenges to individual liberty in the Nazi era catapulted human rights into an international concern leading to multilateral treaties on human rights – the Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPRS) and several others on group rights – women, children, minorities, refugees disabled persons etc.
Due to the existence of peculiar regional human rights concerns and sensitivity to cultural differences, regional treaties on human rights began to feature – the European, (South) American, African, Arab and Asian Conventions/Charters all came into being in the decades following the Universal Declaration. The African Charter, applicable in Africa attracts a larger portion of air interest and consequently forms the basis of our analysis.
The introduction ends with a consideration of the sources of Yoruba jurisprudence of rights – proverbs, Oriki; ethnographic studies, Ifa corpus, traditional festivals, ritual practices, etc.
It has become customary to divide human rights into five “generations” of rights – civil and political rights; economic; social and cultural (ecosoc); rights the right to development, the right to a sustainable environment and the right to democracy/good governance. We have broadly adopted this classification in our outline, with some slight modifications.
Section One deals with a consideration of civil and political rights – the rights to life, human dignity, liberty fair hearing, privacy, association, religion etc.
In addition, we have included discussion of the right to democracy and good governance, which has gained its separate recognition as a fifth generation rights but which essentially is interconnected with civil and political rights. Our analysis of all these issues is done against the background of paralleled ideas in Yoruba jurisprudence.
Section Two is concerned with the second-generation economic, social and cultural rights the rights to work; education; health and culture and how these issues are tackled in Yoruba philosophy.
In Section Three, we examine the international environmental rights regime animal and plant life exploitation of the earth’s resources and its effects on the environment against the background of Yoruba traditional precepts.
In Section Four, we discuss group rights, specifically the rights of children, women disabled/sick persons and ethnic minorities. The prospects for Yoruba self-determination as a distinct nation are considered, against the backdrop of relevant Yoruba legal philosophy and international human rights law.
Our Conclusion posits the existence of an articulate philosophy of the Yoruba on all aspects of human rights. Such philosophy rather than being outdated or irrelevant is a vital force which continues to resonate with modern ideas in such significant respects that universality is achieved.
Author:Arinpe Adejumo (Ibadan University)
Paper long abstract:
Gender studies have greatly gained academic attention among scholars across the globe, and the Yoruba society is not an exception. From the inception of the written literary tradition in the society, the portrait of women has preoccupied the works of Yoruba literary artists. The virtues, denials and roles of women are thematically presented. The portrayal of women in the Yoruba oral narratives and poetic genres, the forms of literature that existed before the inception of western education, had shown that patriarchal voices undertone the presentation of women. Trends in the portrayal of women, even in the contemporary time, attest to the fact that there are divergent views on gender issues among the Yoruba writers and critics.
This paper, therefore, attempts a diachronic survey of gender consciousness in written literary works of Yoruba expressions. It intends to foreground the various images of the woman/ girl child in time and space from the inception of Yoruba written literature. For the purpose of this paper, the Yoruba written literature is classified into three using the period of publication as the yardstick: the earliest writings, (1930-1980), middle course (1980-2000) writing and the contemporary writings (2000 to date). Three texts are randomly and purposively sampled from each group. However, the works of some female writers are sampled in order to evaluate the perception of female on female and to make a comparative analysis of the male writers’ and female writers’ perception on gender consciousness. The selected texts are subjected to analysis using the feminist and ‘’African womanist’’ approaches.
Findings reveal that writers in the earliest group consciously present the patriarchal ideology by subjecting the female characters through the thematic, linguistic and imagistic preoccupation of women writings. It is also revealed that the women liberation movement and female emancipation influenced some writers in the middle course and contemporary time. However, some writers respond positively to the global view on gender balance and female empowerment. The perception of some female writers about their female counterpart also reveal that the Yoruba female writers though fulfilled their social commitment of creature of awareness on female emancipations are still objective, they do not spare erring female characters in their literary works.
In conclusion, the paper submits that cultural value has a great impact on the perception of feminism in the Yoruba society and African at language. Thus, gender issue is a dynamic field in African, and this is reflected in the participation of female writers in the production of written literary works in the society.