Child-Marriage Custom as Gender Oppression in Julie Okoh's Itohan

AKSU Journal of English, Volume 5, Issue 1


  • Nkiruka Jacinta Akaenyi  Department of Performing Arts,  Akwa Ibom State University Author



Patriarchy, Cultural practices, Women's rights, Gender inequality, Child betrothal


This study examines the practice of girl-child betrothal with its implications on women's rights and gender equity as portrayed in Julie Okoh's play, Itohan. The norm of child betrothal where young girls are given out in marriage without consent has deep-rooted socio-cultural and historical significance in many African societies. The study uses qualitative approach in which Julie Okoh's play is read critically and purposefully examined towards highlighting the multifaceted impact of child betrothal on the lives of women and adopts womanist theoretical conceptualization to interrogate the cultural norms that inhibit the rights and equality of women. Through the analysis of the heroines' struggles and triumphs within the play, this study underscores the need for the empowerment of the female humanity in the face of entrenched oppressive traditions. It advocates a re-evaluation of cultural norms, policies, and legal frameworks that protect the rights and the dignity of the girl-child and women in general in society. The study concludes that increased dialogue, awareness creation and intentional action need to be intensified towards breaking the shackles of child betrothal and gender disparity in African society. 


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Author Biography

  • Nkiruka Jacinta Akaenyi , Department of Performing Arts,  Akwa Ibom State University


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How to Cite

Akaenyi , N. J. (2024). Child-Marriage Custom as Gender Oppression in Julie Okoh’s Itohan: AKSU Journal of English, Volume 5, Issue 1. Afrischolar Discovery Repository (Annex), 71-84.

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