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Title: The challenge of feminism in Kenya : towards an Afrocentric worldview
Author: Kuria, John Mike Muthari
ISNI:       0000 0001 3603 0744
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2001
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This study deals with African women's literature, and specifically creative writing by Kenyan women, in the context of feminism and Afrocentricity. In the words of Obioma Nnaemeka (1995) critics of African women's literature have tended to rename, misname or silence women's voices in an attempt to make them fit into a feminist! Afrocentricity either or mould. This thesis argues that when attention is paid to African women themselves, and the cultures from which and within which they write, it is clear that they embrace both feminism and Afrocentricity. By feminism I refer to African women's vision and activism for sexual equality and women's liberation while by Afrocentricity I am thinking of their commitment and pride in their African cultures and traditions. The first chapter argues that Kenyan women, in pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial times, have been active and voiced in their stance against oppression of any kind. In the second chapter, I explore the relationship between feminism and Afrocentricity in a wider sense. I pay attention to the ways in which the two concepts have manifested themselves in Africa and her Diaspora as well as in the western world. In chapter three, domestic violence, rape, poverty, and a gender insensitive legal and judiciary system are the dominant issues of concern to short stories writers from Kenya. In the fourth chapter, Ogot is seen as a liberal Afrocentric feminist in her call for African women to create room for themselves within African systems of thought and practice. Chapter five, on Oludhe Macgoye, argues that to be Afrocentric is cultural rather than racial. In Chapter six Rebeka Njau and Margaret Ogola are seen as Afrocentric while Tsitsi Dangarembga and Alice Walker are seen as Eurocentric. The thesis concludes that feminism in practice is not necessarily an occidental phenomenon. An African woman writer can be both feminist and Afrocentric.
Supervisor: Plastow, Jane Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available