African Women and Political Development -- New Book Shows the Effects of Western Thinking on African Women and Culture

DECATUR, Ga., Feb. 16, 2004 (PRIMEZONE) -- The African continent is rich in culture and tradition. However, this culture seems to be threatened as African countries become more and more advanced, writes Omoh Tsatsaku Ojior, Ph.D. He addresses this attack on his culture in his new book, African Women and Political Development: A Case study of Etsako Women in Edo State, Nigeria (now available through 1stbooks).

"The book says that these are grave political and social exigencies that would torment the soul of a great continent and that African policy makers' attention is urgently required. The attention is of a continental priority because to Europeanize and westernize the African womanhood is to kill the goose that lay the golden egg," he says.

African Women and Political Development is an academic and philosophical call to examine the detrimental influence of the West on African women. In the book, Ojior studies westernized, politically effective Etsako women in Edo State, Nigeria and portrays the effects of contemporary perceptions of women in Nigeria. He also looks at women's roles as political actors in influencing and in making policies under the sway of Western political ideas. His thesis shows the effect the political and feminist movements in North America and Europe have on African women in Etsako and ultimately on African culture and family life.

Ojior writes that African women have traditionally held roles in society that are different from those of men and complimentary to them. In his book, he perceives "a deliberate conspiracy by Western women and their backers to undermine the integrity of the social structure . . . by introducing an alien value system that pits the Etsako women against her male counterpart." He sees this foreign value system causing great disharmony between the two genders and disrupting the delicate balance in the Etsako society.

"African woman (has) a central role in the maintenance and development of the African society, whose functions include procreation and nurturing children as well as tending to the home . . . Changes do occur in social roles and institutions, (but) . . . any change foisted on people from outside cannot have a healthy impact on the culture and society as a whole," he says.

Ojior was born and raised in Nigeria. Ojior had his first and second degrees from Pepperdine University and holds a doctorate of philosophy degree from Clark Atlanta University. He is a renowned specialist in international relations, comparative politics, public administration and African politics. He currently teaches world history at Morehouse College. He has written two other books, Africa and Africans in the Diaspora and Etsako Traditional, Political and Social System.


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