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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Women, Power and Society in Pre-Colonial Africa
Author:Ogbomo, Onaiwu W.
Periodical:Lagos Historical Review
Geographic terms:Subsaharan Africa
Subjects:gender relations
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Women's Issues
History and Exploration
Cultural Roles
Sex Roles
Status of Women
Abstract:Surveying social, political and economic conditions in precolonial sub-Saharan Africa, this paper argues that contemporary gender relations are not a reflection of women's exercise of power on the continent in the past. The paper first looks at queen mothers from all over sub-Saharan Africa, and individual women whose historical position equalled that of the most prominent males. This is followed by an analysis of pastoralist societies where patriarchy has been fully established and women have become most unequal, dependent and oppressed. An exploration of the economic basis of the most successful women is followed by a discussion of the role of religion in gender relations. Pantheons with a mixture of both sexes possibly developed when a matrilocal community was taken over by patriarchs. Notes, ref., sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]