Gender-based Violence and Women’s Emancipation in Modern African Fiction
Fatou N' Dour
Department of English, Laboratory of African and Postcolonial Studies, Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar, Senegal
Fatou N' Dour
Abstract: Women have always played a major role in the cultural and social development of any nation. Given their social status as child bearers and educators, women were often victims of illiteracy, violence, exploitation and oppression mainly in patriarchal African society. In this respect, colonialism was one of the main factors which undermined women’s role, and responsibilities and deprived them of land own ship for several centuries back. However during postcolonial period, with the emergence of feminist voices such as female writers, female subjugation gave rise to women’s empowerment and emancipation. African writers especially intellectuals like Chinua ACHEBE has demonstrated in his works women’s suffering and subordination in African patriarchal societies. In his novel Anthills of Savannah, women are given a lesser role in their surroundings. This work tries to demonstrate how colonization was the main source of women’s subordination, exploitation and oppression and how they were relegated to the margins despite their valuable position in their communities as mothers. It also evidences the emergence of feminist voices which successfully strive to promote women’s rights and empowerment in African postcolonial societies.
Keywords: Colonial, women, violence, postcolonial, emancipation, empowerment