Book Review: Women in Twentieth-Century Africa
The problematic dialectic of tradition and modernization has recently become a central topic in the study of African history, culture and contemporaneity. Historian Iris Berger adds to these discussions through a particular focus on the experience of women throughout the continent. Particularly in Women in Twentieth-Century Africa, Berger provides a detailed exploration of the way women experience(d) the tensions of the intersections of tradition and modernization, colonialism and post-independence, throughout the twentieth century. The study is reminiscent of more region-specific works, such as Signe Arnfred’s Sexuality and Gender Politics in Mozambique. Rather than focus solely on specific European colonies and their colonial and postindependence experiences, Berger presents an overview of the varied yet similar experiences of women in Africa contending with male dominance both during the colonial period and beyond.
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