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Tabitha M Kanogo

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If colonial rule was such a dominant factor, this raises the question that Kanogo, unlike Lynn Thomas, leaves unanswered: what happens to concepts of womanhood in the post-colonial era? A constant thread throughout the book is that the examination of individual life cases reveals the complex and multifaceted nature of Kenyan women’s mobility and self-assertion. This book is a massive undertaking and will be of interest to scholars in the fields of women, gender and colonialism, Kenyan history, East African history, and colonialism in Africa.

Kanogo's biography could empower a new generation of environmental activists to follow in the footsteps of Maathai—seeing just how intertwined the fights for both environmental protection and gender equality truly are. When she joined her department, she was the only female faculty member, meaning she had to cope with a male-dominated culture. The pertinent institutions and practices include the legal and cultural status of women, clitoridectomy, dowry, marriage, maternity and motherhood, and formal education.

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In continuation with the work of other scholars of colonial and customary law, Kanogo argues the colonial state’s interventions in inventing customary law and creating an embryonic colonial legal system opened up spaces in which women seeking to leave undesirable marriages could successfully petition for dissolution. Those seeking a comprehensive introduction to the subject should look no further, although the work of Luise White and Lynn Thomas is more innovative. The emergence of individualism amongst Kenyan women and girls, Kanogo argues, involved “normative and geographical migration” (p. Her relentless efforts empowered, and continue to inspire, many women and girls, environmental activists, and marginalized groups across Kenya. As Kanogo demonstrates in discussing runaways and converts to Islam, women asserted agency in the space between customary and statutory law.

However, her pursuit of these issues, for the public good, challenged political interest groups and elicited extensive opposition from the government. Squatters and the Roots of Mau Mau (James Currey London; Heinemann, Kenya: Ohio University Press, U. It is hoped to depict the prevailing male stereotypes of women; how men manipulated these; and the way in which women conformed to — and in some cases overcame — such stereotypes by creating new female images and by adopting new roles during the struggle. Continuing her fight for social justice, Maathai joined the pro-democracy movement and focused on overthrowing Moi's authoritarian regime.

In 1943, her family relocated from their reservation into the White Highlands where her father found work on a settler farm. Meanwhile, the urban poor are an expanding population with little wiggle room in their crowded cities. Kanogo shows how "the intervention of the formal procedures of colonial law influenced the cultural status of women and allowed them to find new avenues for self assertion and agency within the confines of [culture] and customary law" (p. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account.

They are at least reading copies, complete and in reasonable condition, but usually secondhand; frequently they are superior examples. Kanogo conveys the interconnectedness between Maathai's quest for environmental justice and her efforts to achieve gender equality in Kenya. Yet trouble at home did not stop Maathai from becoming one of Kenya’s most influential environmental activists. The chapter argues that Kenyan male political leaders sought to determine how and which women would give birth in maternities as a mean to establish power and authority over women’s bodies. I am also grateful to the anonymous readers whose candid comments I found useful in the later stages of preparing the book.

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