Holding the World Together

Featuring contributions from some of the most accomplished scholars on the topic, Holding the World Together explores the rich and varied ways in which women have wielded power across the African continent, from the precolonial period to the present. Suitable for classroom use, this comprehensive volume considers such topics as the representation of African women, their role in national liberation movements, their experiences of religious fundamentalism (both Christian and Muslim), their incorporation into the world economy, changing family and marriage systems, impacts of the world economy on their lives and livelihoods, and the unique challenges they face in the areas of health and disease.


This fresh and exciting book presents African women through time and across space in their full complexity and with their full agency. A must-read for anyone studying gender, women, or girls in Africa.

Jennie E. Burnet, Georgia State University

Stands alone for its comprehensive content and multidisciplinary approach. Readers will appreciate the significant amount of scholarship on and by African women, the evolution of that literature and its dynamic relationship with intellectual currents, and social, economic, and cultural changes on the continent and internationally.

Judith A. Byfield, Cornell University

Offers a big overview of roles and contemporary issues facing African women over the whole continent. An important compendium of the ways that women have had power and were critical to historical transformations in Africa throughout history.

Jan Bender Shetler, Goshen College