Although women have long been active residents in African cities, explorations of their contributions have been marginal. This volume brings women into the center of the urban landscape, using case studies to illustrate their contributions to family, community, work, and political life. The book begins with a rich introduction that discusses how women's work in trade and agriculture has been the foundation of African urbanization. The contributors then focus on patterns of migration and urbanization, with an emphasis on the personal and social issues that influence the decision to migrate from rural areas; women's employment in varied activities from selling crafts to managing small businesses; the sometimes unavoidable practice of prostitution when options are limited; the emergence of complex new family formations deriving from access to courts and the continued strength of polygyny; and women's participation in community and political activities. The volume includes material from all regions of sub-Saharan Africa and brings together scholars from all the social sciences.
Table of Contents
Preface -- Introduction -- Urban African Women: Courtyards, Markets, City Streets -- Migration and Urbanization -- South African Women and Migration in Umtata, Transkei, 1880–1935 -- Transitions in Kenyan Patriarchy: Attempts to Control Nairobi Area Traders, 1920–1963 -- Three Generations of Hausa Women in Kaduna, Nigeria, 1925–1985 -- Courtyards: Marriage, Family, and Housing -- Washing Dirty Laundry in Public: Local Courts, Custom, and Gender Relations in Postcolonial Lusaka -- Can Polygyny Be Avoided in Dakar? -- Health, Gender Relations, and Poverty in the AIDS Era -- Moving and Coping: Women Tenants in Gweru, Zimbabwe -- Markets: Work and Survival -- Women in Business: Class and Nairobi’s Small and Medium-Sized Producers -- Beyond Simple Survival: Women Microentrepreneurs in Harare and Bulawayo, Zimbabwe -- Prostitution, a Petit-métier During Economic Crisis: A Road to Women's Liberation? The Case of Cameroo -- City Streets: Politics and Community -- "I Am with You as Never Before": Women in Urban Protest Movements, Alexandra Township, South Africa, 1912–1945 -- Urban Women's Movements and Political Liberalization in East Africa