This book offers a narrative and analysis of a central event in the colonial history of Nigeria – the Women’s War of 1929, also called the Aba Women’s Riots by colonial officials. The Women’s War of 1929 addresses the historical debates related to the causes and consequences of the event with assessments of each side’s strengths and weaknesses. Focusing mainly on the actions of African participants, the book explains the cultural, social, and economic issues that led to the Women’s War and the reasons why women used specific strategies. It also evaluates the aftermath of the conflict and how the protest practices used by Igbo and Ibibio women influenced British colonial policy. The book goes further than other historical accounts of the Women’s War by evaluating subsequent women’s protests into the 1930s.
The volume includes a large collection of primary documents reproduced for print from archives in Nigeria and London. A chapter designed for students gives context to the documents and offers a short guide on how to use them effectively. The document collection offers insights into more than just the Women’s War, owing to firsthand accounts and opinions from Igbo and Ibibio people, as well as how colonial officials described life under British colonialism. The documents section is designed to be a primary resource for students and professors of African Studies, African History, British Imperial Studies, and Gender Studies so that readers interested in the subject have the chance to read the actual words of African women and colonial officials.
This book is part of the African World Series, edited by Toyin Falola, Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities, University of Texas at Austin.
“Fantastic! That's the first word that comes to mind in considering this volume. Falola and Paddock have done researchers, teachers and students an enormous service by making readily available for the first time a sizeable chunk of the enormous quantity of testimonies and documents generated as a result of Women's War of 1929. Teachers especially will find the chapter on historiography, which provides a thoughtful, useful and concise guide for students on how historians work, of great interest.” — Anene Ejikeme, Associate Professor of History, Trinity University
“This book is by far the most comprehensive study on the 1929 Women’s War, a major milestone in the colonial history of Nigeria. It goes beyond a synthesis of scholarship on the war by offering a rich and nuanced narrative of the multifaceted causes and consequences of the anti-colonial movement within the contexts of the Igbo and Ibibio socio-cultural organizations, and the colonial political economy. The inclusion of key primary documents and excerpts on the war and related events with useful information on historical techniques distinguishes this book from many others on Nigerian nationalist studies, and underscores its significance to African colonial historiography and British imperial studies. It provides critical perspectives on women and gender studies, anthropological and historical studies, and studies in colonialism, nationalism, and resistance, and therefore, will be of interest to a wide readership including students and researchers.” — Gloria Chuku, Associate Professor of Africana Studies, University of Maryland
“As this book illustrates, the testimonies of men and women speaking about the Women's War allow readers to hear their voices ... Throughout this book, the authors have done a fine job of highlighting the richness of African voices, which reveal the complexity of the colonial encounter.” — Africa