The ‘Female Husband’ and Same-sex Marriage in Igbo Culture: Queer and Gender Analyses of Some Selected Oral and Written Texts


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


Department of Languagues/Linguistics/Literary Studies/Theatre Arts


Same-sex marriage among the females had been part of Igbo culture despite the fact that Nigeria is among the countries that have vehemently resisted all attempts by the Western governments to legalize same-sex marriage. In most parts of the Igboland, women in the form of 'female husbands' are permitted by Igbo custom and laws to marry fellow women either to raise children for their fathers, husbands or dead/infertile sons for continuity of linage or posterity. By using the queer theory and gender studies approach, this study critically explores the existence of the ‘female husband’ or ‘female man’ and incidences of same-sex marriages in Igbo culture. It analyses selected oral and written texts and in-depth interviews in order to reveal the nature/form of such marriages and the interconnection/interrelatedness of the ‘female husband’ and Igbo worldview as well as discuss the implications of same-sex marriage in the Igbo culture.