Feminist Parenting, Perspectives from Africa and Beyond

1. Book Blurb

  Feminist Parenting: Perspectives from Africa and Beyond asks and considers: What is feminist parenting? Is it something for all parents? What does it mean to be a feminist parent in practice? The collection aims to fill a gap on feminist parenting in the existing literature by bringing timely post-Western perspectives. More specifically, the anthology’s main contribution is its explicit focus on feminist parenting from the margins to the global periphery: from Africa and its diaspora, from the Global South to Europe and America. The contributors from diverse backgrounds, walks of life and countries gathered in this anthology share powerful responses to the above questions by narrating their experiences of some of the challenges, dilemmas, promises and compromises of parenting with a feminist perspective. The volume is the one of the first collections published with first-person essays describing very touching, beautiful and sometimes painful stories of what it means and more importantly what it costs to become a feminist parent with an intersectional approach. In doing so, the authors of this book aim at (re)claiming parenting as a necessarily political terrain for subversion, radical transformation and resistance to patriarchal oppression and sexism    

2.Editors' Bio


Rama Salla Dieng, PhD, is a Senegalese scholar and writer. She is a Lecturer at the Centre of African Studies, University of Edinburgh, and a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships of the same university. Rama is the Programme Director for the MSc Africa and International Development and her research focuses on African feminisms, feminist political economy, agrarian studies and gender and development in Africa.  She currently serves on the Council of Development Studies Association UK, and convenes the Decolonising Development Study Group. Between 2010 and 2015, she worked at the Policy Research Division of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa's Institute for Economic Development and Planning (IDEP) in Senegal.  Rama has published a novel La Dernière Lettre with Présence Africaine in 2008. She has contributed to an Edited volume by Gender Links on Polygamy: At the heart of the Matter (2009), and an edited volume on Democracy and Development: Perspectives of Young African Researchers (2013) published by l'Harmattan. She holds a PhD and a MSc in International Development from SOAS, University of London and a Master in International Cooperation from Sciences Po Bordeaux, France.

Andrea O’Reilly, PhD, is Professor in the School of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at York University. O’Reilly is founder and director of the Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement, founder and editor-in-chief of the Journal of the Motherhood Initiative, and founder and publisher of Demeter Press. She is co-editor/editor 21 books including Feminist Perspectives on Young Mothers and Young Mothering (2019) and the Routledge Companion on Motherhood (2019) and is author of three monographs including Matricentric Feminism: Theory, Activism, and Practice (2016). She is editor of the first Encyclopedia (3 Volumes, 705 entries) on Motherhood (2010). She is a recipient of the CAUT Sarah Shorten Award for outstanding achievements in the promotion of the advancement of women in Canadian universities and colleges, is twice the recipient of York University’s “Professor of the Year Award” for teaching excellence and in 2014 was the first inductee into the Museum of Motherhood Hall of Fame.


3. Contributors and Contents:

  Introduction Rama Salla Dieng   Part I Feminist Mothering Journeys  Cheryl Hendricks and Malaika Eyoh Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah Jael Silliman Gertrude Dzifa Torvikey Neela Ghoshal Satang Nabaneh Astou Ka Kathryn Toure Rama Salla Dieng Kula Fofana   Part II Parenting Is Political: Of Feminist Mothers’ Struggles and Resistance  Masana Ndinga-Kanga Sadaf Khan Elena Damma OluTimehin Adegbeye Angelica Sorel Toucouleur Joanna Grace Farmer Danya Long Sehin Teferra Nikki Petersen Astrid Rosemary Ndagano Haas Elisabeth Elizabeth Wright Veintimilla   Part III Contributions from African Feminist Fathers and Children 307 Cheikh “Keyti” Séne Oliver Ngweno Ousmane Diop Alioune Ndione Françoise Kpeglo Moudouthe   Afterword Andrea O’Reilly   Notes on Contributors      

4. Praise for Feminist Parenting: Perspectives from Africa and Beyond

“Who and how to be a feminist parent in Africa and beyond? ". To these questions, Feminist Parenting: Perspectives from Africa and Beyond gives several answers or rather offers perspectives anchored in places and contexts, which reflect intimate, socio-cultural, religious political and personal representations. What makes this book original and rich are the confrontations and connections between analyses of family and parenting, through a feminist lens. The contributions have led the authors to reconsider the meaning of feminism in Africa, its theories and practices and make the work a very beautiful anthology.

Dr Fatou Sow, Professor of Sociology, National Center for Scientific Research (France) / Cheikh Anta Diop University (Senegal)

  “This moving and insightful collection opens up diverse visions and practices of feminist parenting, bringing together authors of different locations and generations in reflection and analysis. It’s a vivid reminder of how in interweaving the personal and political, feminist scholarship transforms our understandings of self, society and others." Professor Andrea Cornwall, Anthropologist and Pro-Director (Research & Enterprise), SOAS University of London   In this necessary book, the contributors write vividly and with care about the labour of feminist parenting. Theorising their practice, and honestly reflecting on their stumbles and missteps, the multi-located writers gathered in this collection consider what it means to be, and to do the work of, a feminist parent. Ambreena Manji, Professor of Land Law and Development, Cardiff University President, African Studies Association UK (ASA-UK)   With this moving collection, Rama Salla Dieng and Andrea O’Reilly manage to assemble diverse voices in a stirring, necessary and powerful feminist reclamation of the historically invisibilised labour of mothering and parenting. The essays cut across racial, gender, queer, and geographical difference, raising difficult questions regarding what it means to parent as a feminist, and how feminism shapes our experiences and aspirations of parenting. The narratives are beautifully told and deeply personal, and the questions they raise, myriad. The realizations of longing, sacrifice, solidarity, love, compromise, intimacy, guilt, despondency, triumph and joy that these stories reveal will be familiar to every feminist. Lyn Ossome Senior Research Fellow, Makerere Institute of Social Research   “Whilst there is no blueprint for becoming a parent – neither is there one for being a feminist parent. However, the theory of feminism, its values, politics, methodologies and vision are forged in an everyday lived praxis of parenthood and reflected on by a range of women and men in these incisive personal narratives. This is a stimulating work that speaks to how radical feminism seeks to create liberated girls and boys who will grow to become politically conscious women and men in a new egalitarian and just world.” Ama Biney (Dr) – Independent Scholar.   This timely collection of personal narratives provides refreshing perspectives on the experiences of feminist mothers, feminist fathers and those of their children.   Feminist Parenting: Perspectives from Africa and Beyond offers amazing new ways in theory and method. It transcends mainstream theorising about feminist parenting through a focus on African and wider Global South feminisms. The personal narratives are a powerful way of tracing non-Eurocentric forms of knowledge transmission in an open dialogue of different generations. This book is vital reading for anyone interested in the new waves of feminist politics that have arisen across the African continent and beyond. Heike Becker, Professor of Anthropology, University of the Western Cape, South Africa. Author of Namibian Women's Movement 1980 to 1992. From Anticolonial Struggle to Reconstruction.   "Feminist Parenting is unique and profound anthology by heterodox feminist parents. It is a wide-ranging, ground-breaking work which creatively links parenting and feminism. I having nothing but praises for this archiving and documentation of personal and individual voices of feminist parents."   Sabelo J Ndlovu-Gatsheni, Research Professor and Director of Scholarship in the Department of Leadership and Transformation in the Principal and Vice-Chancellor’s Office at the University of South Africa.   How might feminists bring up their children to question gender stereotypes and nudge them to adopt more egalitarian views of gender? In a thought-provoking and powerful collection, feminists document their struggles to do this. That this comes mainly out of reflections from African writers on gendered Africa in all its diversity is itself novel and provocative. The passionate accounts of personal experience are compelling, especially as they acknowledge the resistance of children to perspectives which contradict their peer groups’ unquestioned essentialist assumptions. The potential for family tensions is also fascinatingly exposed as mothers and fathers disagree on how far to go, even where men are sympathetic to feminist ideas. Aspects of these universal stories will speak to all of us and give courage to feminists to persevere.   Janet Bujra, Review of African Political Economy Editorial Working Group and Honorary Reader, Peace Studies, University of Bradford

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