Gender and Behaviour

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The Social Dynamics of Feminism in the Context of African Migration

Vivian Besem Ojong


The existing studies on gender and migration have only successfully explored new dimensions in migration arising from the involvement of both sex in relation to the traditional pattern dominated by men. They have not adequately analyzed current complexities emanating from new trends in feminism, particularly in the context of challenges linked to female migration, whether at the global or regional level. The present study is partly an attempt to fill this gap by looking at the African experience. More significantly is the fact that traditional African societies cut off from the flow of explosive Western feminist ideas of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries are not without their own feminist social orientations both in migratory and sedentary lifestyle. These deserve scholarly studies in our effort to unravel the complexities faced by practitioners and policy makers. Moreover, feminism in contemporary literature, both in theory and practice, has been found to be a multi-dimensional issue embracing the search for antidotes to crucial challenges facing not only the socio-economic and political development of individual nations, but also issues involving psycho-social health, even in the context of migration. Practically this demands new approaches to empirical study of current issues in feminism in terms of policy formulation at global and regional levels which are among the primary focus of this work in the context of migration. The analysis defines the extent of the link between migration and feminism in the African context and concludes that this has passed through processes of restructuring and reconceptualization from time to time amid the dynamics of evolving social institutions. It also reveals that the African feminist migrant must be conscious of the fact that the best way to expand the horizon of the movement is to make its practical benefits felt at both national and grassroots level of the society.

Keywords: African Feminism, African Migration, Gender, Social Orientations, Social Dynamics, Social Institutions

AJOL African Journals Online