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‘Without Women, Nothing Can Succeed’: Yoruba Women in The Oodua People's Congress (OPC), Nigeria

Abstract

This article examines the role of women in the politics of the Oodua People's Congress (OPC), a militant ethno-nationalist movement of the Yoruba people in south-west Nigeria. Women's inclusion in the organizational structure and their typical roles within the OPC, the article suggests, expand the political agency of women but at the same time ensure that their contributions are contained within the OPC's overall politics. Women play important roles within the OPC, primarily by enabling and supporting the vigilante activities of male OPC members. In the provision of this support, women overwhelmingly draw on the knowledge and powers associated with typically female life experiences. As a result, women's interests are represented within the overall agenda of the OPC, but on the basis of complementary rather than egalitarian gender roles.

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Cet article examine le rôle des femmes dans la politique de l'OPC (Oodua People's Congress), mouvement ethnonationaliste militant du peuple Yoruba, dans le Sud-Ouest du Nigeria. Il suggère que l'inclusion des femmes dans la structure organisationnelle et leurs rôles typiques au sein de l'OPC étendent l'action politique des femmes mais, dans le même temps, font en sorte que leurs contributions sont contenues dans la politique générale de l'OPC. Les femmes jouent des rôles importants au sein de l'OPC, principalement en facilitant et en soutenant les activités de vigilantisme des membres masculins de l'OPC. Dans l'exercice de ce soutien, les femmes mettent surtout à profit un savoir et des pouvoirs associés à des expériences de vie typiquement féminines. C'est pourquoi les intérêts des femmes sont représentés dans le programme général de l'OPC, mais sur la base de rôles de genre complémentaires plutôt qu'égalitaires.

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

H. Abdullah (1993) ‘“Transition politics” and the challenge of gender in Nigeria’, Review of African Political Economy 20 (56): 2741.

W. Adebanwi (2005) ‘The carpenter's revolt: youth, violence and the reinvention of culture in Nigeria’, Journal of Modern African Studies 43 (3): 339–65.

A. Apter (2005) The Pan-African Nation: oil and the spectacle of culture in Nigeria. Chicago IL and London: University of Chicago Press.

L. Denzer (1994) ‘Yoruba women: a historiographical study’, International Journal of African Historical Studies 27 (1): 139.

M. Leach (2004) ‘Introduction to special issue: security, socioecology, polity: Mande hunters, civil society, and nation-states in contemporary West Africa’, Africa Today 50 (4).

K. Meagher (2007) ‘Hijacking civil society: the inside story of the Bakassi Boys vigilante group in south-eastern Nigeria’, Journal of Modern African Studies 45 (1): 89115.

P. Morton-Williams (1960) ‘The Yoruba Ogboni cult in Oyo’, Africa 30 (4): 362–74.

I. Nolte (2004) ‘Identity and violence: the politics of youth in Ijebu-Remo, Nigeria’, Journal of Modern African Studies 42 (1): 6189.

I. Nolte (2007) ‘Ethnic vigilantes and the state: the Oodua People's Congress in southwest Nigeria’, International Relations 21 (1).

B. Oomen (2004) ‘Vigilantism or alternative citizenship? The rise of Mapogo a Mathamaga’, African Studies 63 (2): 153–71.

J.D.Y. Peel (1990) ‘The pastor and the Babalawo: the interaction of religions in nineteenth-century Yorubaland’, Africa 60 (3): 338–69.

J.D.Y. Peel (2002) ‘Gender in Yoruba religious change’, Journal of Religion in Africa 32 (2): 136–66.

D. Posel (2004) ‘Afterword: vigilantism and the burden of rights: reflections on the paradoxes of freedom in post-apartheid South Africa’, African Studies 63 (2): 231–6.

K.A. Shettima (1995) ‘Engendering Nigeria's Third Republic’, African Studies Review 38 (3): 6198.

A.M. Tripp (2001) ‘The politics of autonomy and cooptation in Africa: the case of the Ugandan women's movement’, Journal of Modern African Studies 39 (1): 101–28.

C. Ukeje (2004) ‘From Aba to Ugborodo: gender identity and alternative discourse of social protest among women in the oil delta of Nigeria’, Oxford Development Studies 32 (4): 605–17.

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Africa
  • ISSN: 0001-9720
  • EISSN: 1750-0184
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