Week 4, Sheroes and Villains: Conceptualizing Colonial and Contemporary Violence Against Women in Africa, Amina Mama, (Castle)

October 22, 2007

Investigating the patriarchal practices common in colonial Europe, Mama asserts that the subjection of women in this context generalized to African colonies and “exploited pre-existing social divisions within African culture” (253). Mama’s research presents evidence that there was increased violence against African women during the colonial period in Africa. One point that was particularly striking to me was the comparison of gender relations in socialist and capitalist governments in postcolonial Africa. Here Mama suggests that socialist run governments tended to be more progressive in their approach women’s issues. Mama goes so far as to say, “the legal and constitutional situation for women…is ahead of many Western countries” (261).

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