African Journal of
History and Culture

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Hist. Cult.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6672
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJHC
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 171

Gender and power interrelationship: A review of the Jola indigenous socio-political organization of The Gambia

Cajetan Ifeanyi Nnaocha
Department of History, University of Gambia.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 03 September 2013
  •  Published: 30 November 2013



Matters relating to the rights of men and women in our contemporary African society have been a major concern to academia. Thus, this article examines the indigenous Jola society with the aim of identifying the issues involved in gender and power relationship in their socio-political space. It locates the position of men and women in their socio-political system and identifies how power is distributed in the inter-personal relationships that exist among them. This study argues that power in indigenous Jola society is multifaceted, elusive and hence notes the different forms it possesses and the application it assumes in the Jola socio-political space. Hence, power is not concentrated on an individual or group but diffused within the system. Space in this regard, epitomizes the setting and means of negotiating and accessing power on a one-on -one basis for men and women. Thus he observes that teamwork and gender symbiosis characterize the indigenous Jola ethnic group of The Gambia. The author feels that the gender balance or mainstreaming as depicted in the traditional Jola society is a worthy practice which enhances checks and balances in any given polity. The complementary role of women in this ethnic group should be emulated by other ethnic groups which disparage the women folk.           


Key words: Socio-political organization, indigenous Jola society, relationships, The Gambia