Gender and the Politics of Nation Building

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(Re)Constructing Somali Women's History

The post civil war Somali story has been dominated by ahistorical approaches that present essentialized and stereortypical notions of Somali culture, give simplistic explanations of gender relations, and erase women's lived experiences and agency.

Combining theoretical analysis with women's personal narratives and situating the discussion within the broader framework of Muslim women and processes of nation building, this study challenges the colonial paradigms that present Somali women as passive victims.

It reconstructs Somali women's experiences and expressions of resistance during 1970s and 1980s, a historical period of profound social and economic transformations.

It also presents Somali women's long historical tradition of negotiating social space and of exercising influence.

Women's recollection of the historical events in Somalia contribute much to our understanding of an important, but neglected, aspect of Somalia, namely women's history.

This groundbreaking book will also contribute to the larger debate of gender and politics.

It is an essential reading for anyone interested in Somalia, women, Islam, and the post-colonial state in Africa.

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