Publisher: African Studies Association

Gender, Justice, and The Environment: Connecting The Dots

Judith A. Byfield
KEYWORDS: Gender, Justice, and the Environment: Connecting the Dots


In this paper I attempt to connect several dots, specifically my research on African women's activism, environmental justice, and climate change. The book on which I am currently working is tentatively entided “‘The Great Upheaval’: Women, Taxes and Nationalist Politics in Abeokuta (Nigeria), 1945–1951.” The study examines the struggles of Nigerian women to shape the nationalist agenda and their setbacks as the country moved decisively toward independence. At its core lies an analysis of a tax revolt launched by women in Abeokuta in 1947. The Abeokuta Women's Union (AWU), under the leadership of Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti (the mother of the late musician Fela Kuti), began a protracted protest against a tax increase. This revolt is well known in Nigerian popular history, and many people outside of Nigeria were introduced to it in Wole Soyinka's memoir, Ake: The Years of Childhood (1981:164–218).

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