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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Mau Mau Rebellion, Kikuyu Women, and Social Change
Author:Presley, Cora A.
Periodical:Canadian Journal of African Studies
Geographic term:Kenya
Mau Mau
Women's Issues
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
History and Exploration
Ethnic and Race Relations
Cultural Roles
Sex Roles
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/485952
Abstract:This article argues that women's role in the Mau Mau rebellion has not been sufficiently appreciated by male historians, either European or African. The author views female Mau Mau supporters as both heroes and victims, stressing their contributions to the revolt as well as the special handicaps they suffered. These included building some of their own prison facilities because of the unanticipated influx of female detainees. In order to defeat Mau Mau militarily, it was crucial for the British to isolate the guerrilla fighters from their supplies. Mere isolation, however, was not sufficient. The noncombatant force, led to a large degree by women, had to be engaged with force and persuasion. Thus, women were jailed in increasing numbers from 1954 to 1957. The increase occurred at the same time that the British victory over Mau Mau was assured. The author contends that this was not mere coincidence, but that the success in the war against women was a necessary ingredient in the war against Mau Mau. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in French.