Gender and Power in Sierra Leone

Women Chiefs of the Last Two Centuries

Authors: Day, L.

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About this book

This book addresses the gendered political authority in Sierra Leone, a relatively unknown topic, and looks at the part it plays in women's history, political history, political transformation in Africa, and global women's political leadership.

Reviews

'Using interviews, observation, archival sources, and photos, Day carefully constructs an historical study of female chieftaincies in the southern and eastern provinces of Sierra Leone. Strong ethnographic and historical background sets the stage for understanding the resilience of women paramount chiefs in Mende society. Excellent case studies of individual women paramount chiefs appear throughout. Recommended.' - CHOICE

'Professor Day has demonstrated convincingly in this book that far from being political aberrations or colonial creations, female chiefs in Sierra Leone have many historical antecedents and that they emerged from indigenous principles embedded in lineage dynamics, cultural associations, and gendered roles. The lives, challenges, and triumphs of prominent female leaders in colonial and postcolonial Sierra Leone are recounted eloquently and critically but also with empathy and sensitivity to local cultural nuances. The work offers a refreshingly female- and African-centered perspective of understanding power and authority in an African setting. This illuminating and richly textured interdisciplinary analysis of an alternate model of power and authority in West Africa should interest students and scholars of African History, Feminism, and Cultural Anthropology.' Ismail Rashid, associate professor of History, Vassar College

'Lynda Day's engagingly written, provocative work combines sharp analysis of the fluidity of constructed gender with a solidly grounded historical account of the gendered strategies of Mende women chiefs from the pre-colonial period through the civil war and post-war reconstruction. Day reclaims the literature celebrating African queens and transforms it into a subtle analysis of gendered political and social power, revealing the 'traditional' authority of women chiefs not as a fixed form no longer appropriate for contemporary gender politics, but as a mode of political leadership that can be adapted to changing historical circumstances and opportunities, potentially creating new forms of complementary not oppositional gendered political authority.' Judith Van Allen, research fellow, Institute for African Development, Cornell University


Table of contents (8 chapters)

  • Introduction: Gender and Power

    Day, Lynda

    Pages 1-14

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  • Men’s and Women’s Cultural Associations

    Day, Lynda

    Pages 15-44

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  • Women of Authority before the Colonial Era

    Day, Lynda

    Pages 45-64

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  • Women Chiefs During the Nineteenth-Century Wars of Trade, Expansion, and State Building

    Day, Lynda

    Pages 65-94

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  • Women Leaders and the Mediation of Colonial Rule

    Day, Lynda

    Pages 95-118

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Buy this book

eBook n/a
  • ISBN 978-0-230-33792-3
  • Digitally watermarked, no DRM
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • eBooks can be used on all reading devices
Hardcover n/a
  • ISBN 978-0-230-10243-9
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
Softcover n/a
  • ISBN 978-1-349-28677-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Gender and Power in Sierra Leone
Book Subtitle
Women Chiefs of the Last Two Centuries
Authors
Copyright
2012
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright Holder
Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Nature America Inc.
eBook ISBN
978-0-230-33792-3
DOI
10.1057/9780230337923
Hardcover ISBN
978-0-230-10243-9
Softcover ISBN
978-1-349-28677-5
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIV, 229
Topics