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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Aspects of Elite Women's Activism in the Gold Coast, 1874-1890
Author:Akurang-Parry, Kwabena O.ISNI
Periodical:International Journal of African Historical Studies
Geographic terms:Ghana
Great Britain
Subjects:female elite
History and Exploration
Women's Issues
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Cultural Roles
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/4129041
Abstract:This paper is a contribution to the literature on the agency of elite women in the Gold Coast (modern Ghana), their active participation in a colonial society in flux, and their efforts to better the conditions of women in the last decade of the 19th century. The paper focuses on piecing together the available primary sources to provide a cohesive account of elite women's political, social and educational struggles. The paper examines the contribution of the Native Ladies of Cape Coast (NLCC) to the success of the British-led armies in the course of the Anglo-Asante War of 1873-1874. These contributions point to pro-colonialism, but also enabled the elite women to gain important political concessions from the incipient colonial State. The paper also offers an assessment of the NLCC role in generating petitions against the abolition of slavery in the Gold Coast in 1874-1875. Economic self-preservation may have been involved, but their efforts show that women were part of the overall African elites' vigorous negotiations with the colonial State. Attention is also paid to a special column in 'The Western Echo', an indigenous African newspaper. Legitimating women's concerns, the column served as an agency of women's empowerment. Finally, the paper looks at elite women's involvement in voluntary associations and communal festivities, which enriched women's lives and facilitated networking and dissemination of ideas. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]