This timely and expansive multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary collection dissects precolonial, colonial, and post-independence issues of male dominance, power, and control over the female body in the legal, socio-cultural, and political contexts in Africa. Contributors focus on the historical, theoretical, and empirical narratives of intersecting perspectives of gender and patriarchy in at least ten countries across the major sub-regions of the African continent. In these well-researched chapters, authors provide a deeper understanding of patriarchy and gender inequality in identifying misogyny, resisting male supremacy, reforming discriminatory laws, embracing human-centered public policies, expanding academic scholarship on the continent, and more.
Veronica Fynn Bruey is a module convenor at the University of London’s School of Advanced Study, director of Flowers School of Global Health Science, faculty affiliate at Seattle University School of Law, and research affiliate with the University of London’s Refugee Law Initiative.
Veronica Fynn Bruey
Chapter 1: The Past Before Us: Reimagining Patriarchy and Gender in Africa
L. Amede Obiora
Chapter 2: Intersectionality, Women’s Rights in Africa, and the Maputo Protocol
Johanna E. Bond
Chapter 3: Building the Patriarchy Index for sub-Saharan Africa: Perceptions and Acceptance of Violence Matter Most
Chapter 4: Patriarchy and Gender Challenges in Africa: Burdens of Wedlock Children in Cameroon
Chick Loveline Ayoh Epse Ndi
Chapter 5: Widow Inheritance in Northern Uganda: Patriarchy or Parenting?
Chapter 6: Patriarchal and Traditional Gender Roles in Pre- and Post-Independent Eritrea:
A Sociopolitical Analysis
Valentina Fusari and Venkatanarayanan S
Chapter 7: Equal Spaces or Patriarchy? Examining Women’s Participation in Tax Rulemaking
Chapter 8: Zambia’s Prison Laws and Allied Legislation: The Plight of Women Prisoners Accompanied with Children
Ellah TM Siangándu
Chapter 9: Challenging “Supernormal Patriarchy” in Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining Policies and Laws in Zambia from an Ecofeminist Perspective
Chapter 10: Football Stadiums as Patriarchal Spaces: Experiences from Harare, Zimbabwe
Manase Kudzai Chiweshe
Chapter 11: Mame Diarra: A Case Study of a Senegalese Female Saint and Sufi
Chapter 12: Misogyny, Xenophobia, and Masculinity in the Academy: An Epicenter of Violence, Abuse of Power, and Humiliation
Patriarchy and Gender in Africa is a comprehensive and holistic examination of gender relations in Africa. It analyzes the historical underpinnings of gender inequality, alerting new generations to the need for persistent advocacy as a means of dismantling old systems and structures that enable gender inequality in Africa. It is a realistic writing that resonates with every African woman in a male-dominated world. Veronica Fynn Bruey has set the stage for a journey of understanding the socio-economic status of women and girls. It is a must-read for everyone interested in transforming Africa.
Patriarchy and Gender in Africa is a timely outstanding contribution to Africa-centered scholarship on patriarchy and gender from an intersectional feminist analytic lens. This challenging book reviews the enduring entrenchment of patriarchal ideology and hegemonic masculinity across African societies which unfortunately constitutes a fundamental hindrance to gender equality and women’s access to equal rights within the family, the workforce, the legislative and executive leadership, the public and private sectors, and public spaces. This is so despite the major achievements by many African countries in dismantling inherited colonial autocratic system of governance and building democratic institutions with the support of strong African women’s social movements. Through interdisciplinary feminist scholarship and intersectional methodologies apply to the fields of law (labor rights, family law, customary law), gender and workforce, family and gender, religion and gender, sports, popular music, and gendered discourse to cite a few, Patriarchy and Gender in Africa provides powerful case studies across several African countries that examine how patriarchy and hegemonic masculinity endeavors to undermine girls and women’s agency and in the process destroy their potential for girls and women in society to reach their full potential and achieve equal citizenship in society. Rather than being a pessimistic text, Patriarchy and Gender in Africa is a long overdue advocacy intervention which offers refreshing analytical tools for assessing patriarchy index in African countries and the mechanisms for alleviating the structural patriarchal sexual and gender-based violence inflicted on girls and women’s lives within contemporary democratic African countries. Furthermore, by building on ethical foundation of both secular legal system and religious cultural ethics through each case study, Patriarchy and Gender in Africa provides an intersectional diagnostic of the transformative actions needed in African countries for constructing gender egalitarian democratic societies where girls and women enjoy their full humanity and freedom to participate and access resources in every instances of societal institutions as equal citizens. Patriarchy and Gender in Africa is a provocative and passionate book on gender equality advocacy and women’s rights in several African countries and each of its twelve chapters is written in an accessible and captivating style. Patriarchy and Gender in Africa is thematically well-organized and will represent an essential reading for scholars of human rights and women’s rights in African societies and policymakers. Patriarchy and Gender in Africa is an excellent read for graduate and upper-level undergraduate courses on gender and social justice and/ or gender and human rights courses.
One of the most challenging tasks facing an editor of a volume such as this, covering the sweep of the continent of Africa, is how to balance the grand theoretical insights with the specificity that illuminates through local knowledge and personal stories. In this bold volume the editor manages to strike that balance. Patriarchy and Gender in Africa is conceived of and organized with real clarity of purpose. The opening two chapters, broad in their historical and discursive agendas, locate the debates about both patriarchy and gender in Africa to frame the discussions which follow in their activist contemporary contexts. The case studies from across the continent from Eritrea to Zambia which follow, whether about taxation policies or child-rearing practices, can thus be read both in the immediacy of local concerns as well as against the broader continental context of slow yet insistent change. The concluding two chapters, one on a neglected historical Sufi saint and the other by and about the all too painfully present contemporary scholar and editor of the volume, remind us, in their starkly contrasting ways, of the vital need for women’s transformative agency to be urgently recognized and affirmed. The chapters of this volume are a necessary weapon in that persistent battle for change.
Author, Veronica Fynn Bruey was interviewed about her book on the Breaking Down Patriarchy podcast (https://breakingdownpatriarchy.com/episode-3-patriarchy-and-gender-in-africa-with-dr-veronica-fynn-bruey/).