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date: 11 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Women in precolonial Nigeria had a rich associational history, which provided a mobilizational platform for making and securing their demands during colonial rule. While patriarchal cultural practices and hierarchies imposed certain limitations on women relative to men, women nevertheless reached high political power and wielded significant influence in society. Relegated, however, by the subsequent colonial restructuring of indigenous social order and economically exploited by the pursuit of its economic imperative of benefit maximization, women protested their subjection using traditional associations and strategies of resistance and protest. This chapter argues that women’s critical role in national independence remains underappreciated and understudied until recently. Moreover, whereas women’s anticolonial protests and mobilization contributed significantly to the nationalist struggle, the gains of independence, which they jointly secured with men, continue to elude them. As such, women’s struggle for independence has continued against the postcolonial state’s instrumentalization of women’s oppression for power maintenance by rulers.

Keywords: women, gender, mobilization, protest, institutions, Nigeria, independence, agency

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