African Feminism: The Politics of Survival in Sub-Saharan Africa / Edition 1

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African feminism, this landmark volume demonstrates, differs radically from the Western forms of feminism with which we have become familiar since the 1960s. African feminists are not, by and large, concerned with issues such as female control over reproduction or variation and choice within human sexuality, nor with debates about essentialism, the female body, or the discourse of patriarchy. The feminism that is slowly emerging in Africa is distinctly heterosexual, pronatal, and concerned with "bread, butter, and power" issues.

Contributors present case studies of ten African states, demonstrating that—as they fight for access to land, for the right to own property, for control of food distribution, for living wages and safe working conditions, for health care, and for election reform—African women are creating a powerful and specifically African feminism.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book is the best thing I've seen on the question—not only of 'feminism' in its African articulation but also, more generally, on the question of how feminism emerges and what it means to those who espouse it."—Joan Scott, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton

"This book is the best thing I've seen on the question—not only of 'feminism' in its African articulation but also, more generally, on the question of how feminism emerges and what it means to those who espouse it."—Joan Scott, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812215809
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/28/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 392
  • Product dimensions: 6.13 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Contributors include Tsehai Berhane-Selassie, Carlene H. Dei, Shawn Riva Donaldson, Ilsa M. Glazer, Enid Gort, Betty J. Harris, Dolores Koenig, Takyiwaa Manuh, Gwendolyn Mikell, Maria Nzomo, Brooke Grundfest Schoepf, D. J. Shehu, and Jeanne Maddox Toungara. Gwendolyn Mikell is Professor of Anthropology at Georgetown University.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Tables
Introduction 1
1 Changing the Meaning of Marriage: Women and Family Law in Cote d'Ivoire 53
2 Wives, Children, and Intestate Succession in Ghana 77
3 Pleas for Domestic Relief: Akan Women and Family Courts 96
4 Swazi Women Workers in Cottage Industries and Factories 127
5 Alcohol and Politics in Urban Zambia: The Intersection of Gender and Class 142
6 Women's Roles in Settlement and Resettlement in Mali 159
7 Ethiopian Rural Women and the State 182
8 Women and Grassroots Politics in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire 206
9 Kenyan Women in Politics and Public Decision Making 232
10 "Our Women Keep Our Skies from Falling": Women's Networks and Survival Imperatives in Tshunyane, South Africa 257
11 Technology and the Fuel Crisis: Adjustment among Women in Northern Nigeria 276
12 Swazi Traditional Healers, Role Transformation, and Gender 298
13 AIDS, Gender, and Sexuality during Africa's Economic Crisis 310
Conclusions: Theorizing and Strategizing about African Women and State Crisis 333
Table A.1. Sub-Saharan Africa: Male-Female Data 347
Table A.2. Economic Activity by Sector and Sex 348
Table A.3. Sub-Saharan Africa Socioeconomic Data 348
List of Contributors 349
Name Index 353
Subject Index 355
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