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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:(Re)venturing into the public sphere: historical sociology of 'August Meeting' among Igbo women in Nigeria
Author:Odoemene, AkachiISNI
Year:2011
Periodical:Africa Development: A Quarterly Journal of CODESRIA (ISSN 0850-3907)
Volume:36
Issue:2
Pages:219-247
Language:English
Geographic term:Nigeria
Subjects:Igbo
women's organizations
popular participation
community development
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/24484711
Abstract:August meetings, the annual mothers' congresses held in the month of August, witness a massive home-coming of 'Igbo women' to their marital rural hometowns in southeastern Nigeria, where they unite with their rural-based colleagues for community development purposes. Recently they have delved into public sphere domains hitherto exclusive to men. This typifies the rise of women as a social force and their conscious pursuit of development. But, how truly participatory are they? To what extent have they empowered women in the public sphere? This study articulates the idea of the public sphere within the Igbo context and develops a comprehensive analysis and view of the agency of women's participation therein, by focusing on their grassroots initiatives and the crucial roles they play in societal development. It analyses the history and evolution of the 'August Meeting', throwing light on its structure, functions and operational modes. It further demonstrates this meeting's degree of autonomy from men's groups, and highlights the factors that inhibit these women in further negotiating a space in the public sphere. It concludes that the 'August Meeting' has a critical mandate in Igbo political affairs and represents the socioeconomic and cultural development initiative of women. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract]
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