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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:British colonialism and women's welfare in the Gold Coast colony
Authors:Ayesu, EbenezerISNI
Gbormittah, Francis
Adum-Kyeremeh, Kwame
Year:2016
Periodical:Africa Today (ISSN 1527-1978)
Volume:63
Issue:2
Pages:3-30
Language:English
Geographic term:Ghana
Subjects:colonial history
women's rights
children's rights
colonial policy
Link:https://muse.jhu.edu/article/646136/pdf
Abstract:Historical studies since the 1970s have emphasized the impact of colonialism on African women, but surprisingly little attention has been paid to colonial endeavors to improve women's conditions in the colonized countries. Since the 1970s, especially following Ester Boserup's perception that women's development during the colonial era was more about 'training for the home,' historians have redirected their conclusions about the causes of change in African women's economic lives. Studies of colonial policies and their generally positive implications for women under colonialism have been largely neglected. Colonialism has frequently been regarded as an arbitrary force, a system imposed on indigenous societies, though in practice it was not completely authoritarian, one-sided, or all-imposing. It involved a wide range of policies, including policies on women in the colonizer's home country and the colonized country. The colonial experience involved social, economic, and cultural transformation, not necessarily exploitation of resources and oppression. Against this background, this article examines the policies employed by the British colonial administration to improve women's welfare in the Gold Coast colony to ascertain how these policies affected postcolonial decision making on women in the Gold Coast. The article interrogates the ways in which power and authority were exercised in improving women's general living conditions in the Gold Coast and the reasons for colonial authorities' seemingly small achievements in educational, health, and welfare issues involving women. The article makes a case that, though standards of education and traditional beliefs affected the British colonial administration's policies on women's development, the colonizers through sheer determination succeeded in improving the welfare of women and children. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]
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