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Women and Education in Sub-Saharan Africa: Power, Opportunities, and Constraints

Marianne Bloch, Josephine A. Beoku-Betts, and B. Robert Tabachnick, editors
ISBN: 978-1-55587-704-0
ISBN: 978-1-58826-290-5
1998/320 pages/LC: 98-9498
Women and Change in the Developing World
"This book makes an important contribution to the growing literature on gender and education in sub-Saharan Africa."—B.I. Logan, Contemporary Sociology

"Treats a variety of African women’s issues thoroughly, compassionately, and knowledgeably.... Each of the three sections, 'Nonformal Education,' 'Formal Education,' and 'Politics, Economics and Education,' is composed of well researched, thought-provoking essays."—Gwendolyn Etter-Lewis, SIGNS


This volume focuses on gender and education in sub-Saharan Africa, considering in particular the impact formal and nonformal education have had on African women.

A variety of country studies illustrate current theoretical debates in three key areas: postcolonial influences on the forms of education that are privileged; human-capital, socialist-feminist, and post-modern perspectives on the creation of "female education"; and approaches to understanding the gender-related processes and effects of differing forms of schooling. The authors provide both historical and cultural context,  highlighting the complex interplay of social, economic, and political forces at work.


Marianne Bloch and B. Robert Tabachnick are professors of curriculum instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Josephine A. Beoku-Betts is professor of women’s and gender studies and sociology, and director of the Center for Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Florida Atlantic University.


  • Gender and Educational Research, Policy, and Practice in Sub-Saharan Africa: Theoretical and Empirical Problems and Prospects—M. Bloch and F. Vavrus.
  • Agents in Women’s Education: Some Trends in the African Context—N. Stromquist.
  • Rites and Reason: Precolonial Education and Its Relevance to the Current Production and Transmission of Knowledge—L.R. Day.
  • Beyond the Three Food Groups:  Nutrition Education for Women in Africa—J. Csete.
  • Women and Nonformal Education in West Africa: Policy and Practice—P. Diven.
  • Inside Classrooms in Guinea: Girls’ Experiences—K.M. Anderson-Levitt, M. Bloch, and A.M. Soumaré.
  • Gender and Classroom Interactions in Liberia—M.B. Brenner.
  • Gender and Formal Education in Africa: An Exploration of the Opportunity Structure at the Secondary and Tertiary Levels—J.A. Beoku-Betts.
  • "Education Is My Husband": Marriage, Gender, and Reproduction in Northern Tanzania—A. Stambach.
  • Single-Sex Schooling and Its Effects on Nigerian Adolescents—V.E. Lee and M.E. Lockheed
  • Gender and Education in Rural South Africa—A. Gordon, D. Nkwe, and M. Graven.
  • The Status of Women in Southern Nigeria: Is Education a Help or a Hindrance?—M. Hollos.
  • Searching for Utopia: The Politics of Gender and Education in Tanzania—M. Mbilinyi.
  • Using the Past to Fashion an Expanding Future—B.R. Tabachnick and J.A. Beoku-Betts.