Download African Feminism: The Politics of Survival in Sub-Saharan by Gwendolyn Mikell PDF

By Gwendolyn Mikell

African feminism, this landmark quantity demonstrates, differs appreciably from the Western varieties of feminism with which we now have familiarize yourself because the Nineteen Sixties. African feminists are usually not, more commonly, all for matters akin to girl regulate over replica or edition and selection inside of human sexuality, nor with debates approximately essentialism, the feminine physique, or the discourse of patriarchy. The feminism that's slowly rising in Africa is noticeably heterosexual, pronatal, and anxious with "bread, butter, and gear" issues.

Contributors current case stories of ten African states, demonstrating that—as they struggle for entry to land, for the precise to possess estate, for regulate of nutrients distribution, for dwelling wages and secure operating stipulations, for future health care, and for election reform—African girls are making a robust and in particular African feminism.

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Additional info for African Feminism: The Politics of Survival in Sub-Saharan Africa

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106 All of these cases demonstrate that women's traditional religious roles can be evoked as crisis situations de- Introduction 27 mand, although today they may serve as a barometer of local-national conflict as much as a conflict-resolution mechanism. Modern Challenges and Women's Mobilization The revocation of the societal promises made to women during the nationalist and liberation struggles has created tensions between women and men that have grown during the economic and political difficulties of the 1970s and 1980s.

Drastic fluctuations in the terms of trade during the 1970s and 1980s and authoritarian tendencies of political leaders combined to shift the political focus from equity issues and to remove the economic wherewithal to address them. In the struggle to retain the trappings of the state, leaders diverted national revenues towards sustaining the bureaucracy. They placed artificial restrictions on salaries and prices in the market, limited public involvement in decision making, and attempted to silence women in civil service and in nongovernmental organizations and associations.

This was true except in selected countries and for brief political moments. This restriction of fe- 24 Gwendolyn Mikell males from the center of the party was common, with minor variations, throughout Anglophone and Francophone West Africa in the 1950s and 1960s. In Cote d'lvoire, personal connections between elite women and party leaders allowed some women to rise to leadership positions within a women's organization that functioned as a female wing of the national party, the PDCI. In Ghana, Nkrumah's Convention Peoples' Party relied on market women as well as commoner "young men" to organize rallies and to campaign for the party and the government, but few were integrated into the national political organization.

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