Although research on the roles and status of women and children in Africa has expanded over the past two decades, there is still a lack of comprehensive, reality-based and sophisticated analyses and documentation of the important issues and debates in this area. This collection of original and thought-provoking essays remedies these shortcomings by providing an eclectic, informed, and contextualized account of the nature and consequences of the oppression and abuse of women and children in Africa. In addition, it provides a critical review of a broad range of policies and interventions that are being pursued by statutory and non-governmental organizations to improve the quality of life of these two groups. Based on survey data, case studies, literature reviews, and firsthand accounts, this collection brings together some of the most significant new contributions to our understanding of how and why African women and children are oppressed by society.
The contributors to this volume consist of a well-known team of scholars from the social sciences and humanities who are mostly citizens of several sub-Saharan countries. Together, their lively contributions cover a wide range of topics including a comparative critique of females and gender status, traditional institutions and violation of women's human rights, and unequal access to power. In addition, the contributors examine constraints upon women's participation in politics, the feminization of poverty, prostitution, patriarchy and marriage, the inadequacy of gender neutral policies in housing delivery systems, the impact of parental separation and divorce on children, child abuse, and child streetism.