This article contributes to the recent wave of historical studies that have examined the immediate social transformations implied by slavery abolition on gender relations. It highlights slave women's attempts to alter their status and the personal agency they displayed in the immediate post-proclamation period in the Gold Coast (present-day Ghana). During this very early period (1874–1877) women were quite an active presence in the colonial court and the percentage of cases discussing the right of women to leave their husbands increased. Traditional and colonial powers soon reacted to this changing situation. There were two main constraints to women's emancipation. On one hand there was a general confusion on the legal status of wives within traditional family, and on the other, the logic of debt concealed within the repayment of dowries tried to force women back into bondage even when they succeeded in changing their status from slaves to free women.

Brivio, A. (2017). ‘I Am a Slave Not a Wife’: Slave Women in Post-Proclamation Gold Coast (Ghana). GENDER & HISTORY, 29(1), 31-47 [10.1111/1468-0424.12279].

‘I Am a Slave Not a Wife’: Slave Women in Post-Proclamation Gold Coast (Ghana)

BRIVIO, ALESSANDRA
2017

Abstract

This article contributes to the recent wave of historical studies that have examined the immediate social transformations implied by slavery abolition on gender relations. It highlights slave women's attempts to alter their status and the personal agency they displayed in the immediate post-proclamation period in the Gold Coast (present-day Ghana). During this very early period (1874–1877) women were quite an active presence in the colonial court and the percentage of cases discussing the right of women to leave their husbands increased. Traditional and colonial powers soon reacted to this changing situation. There were two main constraints to women's emancipation. On one hand there was a general confusion on the legal status of wives within traditional family, and on the other, the logic of debt concealed within the repayment of dowries tried to force women back into bondage even when they succeeded in changing their status from slaves to free women.
Articolo in rivista - Articolo scientifico
slavery, gender, marriage
English
31
47
17
Brivio, A. (2017). ‘I Am a Slave Not a Wife’: Slave Women in Post-Proclamation Gold Coast (Ghana). GENDER & HISTORY, 29(1), 31-47 [10.1111/1468-0424.12279].
Brivio, A
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10281/153000
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