Demonstrates how women in West, East, Central, and South Africa use their economic power from entrepreneurial market activities to build their social and political status.
An interdisciplinary study of market women from all parts of Africa shows how, from historical times to the present, African women have used the economic power they have derived from market activities and commercial enterprises to improve their social and political status in a man's world. They used their wealth in pre-colonial times to obtain titles and even chieftainship. Because of their involvement in trade, many women acquired considerable property, especially real estate. The authors stress the positive aspect of women's economic activities, but also point out the prevalent sexual division of labor in Africa as a limiting factor. They illustrate the concomitant struggle between men and women over certain market items traditionally associated with one or the other sex. They analyze the cultural, social, and economic barriers that restrict female involvement in some economic activities. Nevertheless, the overwhelming conclusion by all of the writers, who are Africans and Americans, is that women play a major role in the economic sector of all the regions of the continent.
Acknowledgments Introduction by Bessie House-Midamba and Felix K. Ekechi Esan Women Traders and Pre-Colonial Economic Power by Onaiwu W. Ogbomo Gender, Business, and Space Control: Yoruba Market Women and Power by Toyin Falola Gender and Economic Power: The Case of Igbo Market Women of Eastern Nigeria by Felix K. Ekechi Muslim Women Traders of Northern Nigeria: Perspectives from the City of Yola by Catherine VerEecke Kikuyu Market Women Traders and the Struggle for Economic Empowerment in Kenya by Bessie House-Midamba Comparative Advantage: Women in Trade in Accra, Ghana, and Nairobi, Kenya by Claire Robertson Baganda Women's Night Market Activities by Nakanyike B. Musisi Women's Fresh Produce Marketing in Harare, Zimbabwe: Motivations for Women's Participation and Implications for Development by Nancy E. Horn Trade, Economy and Family in Urban Zimbabwe by Mary Johnson Osirim The Growth and Dynamics of Women Entrepreneurs in Southern Africa by Jeanne Downing Bibliography Index