This book is about women’s knowledge systems as contained in the stories of ordinary women in Africa. The book is also about new interpretation of women’s knowledge systems in Africa as legitimate centers of power. It is about knowledge systems that have sustained the continent for many years despite being sidestepped and undermined by colonial and postcolonial projects. Throughout this study, my contention is that these stories by women are not only intimate and painful but also rational and philosophical. The stories are important because they show how women make meaning of who they are and what is expected of them in modern society. The stories are situated in rural communities of Tanzania, and they illuminate women’s everyday life situations that the majority of scholars have not cared to explore. The stories also reveal the separate worlds that women inhabit but are unacknowledged and unsupported. The stories debunk and deconstruct the way modern society is structured, where knowledge systems from women’s everyday lives have been illegitimated, invalidated, and constructed as “indigenous,” “local” or “informal,” “domestic,” and “private.” My contention is that these stories are not only important sources of knowledge but are useful signposts in understanding the lives of women in rural areas and important in contributing to education and development projects.
KeywordsKnowledge System African Woman Modern Education Cultural Historical Activity Theorist Indigenous Knowledge System
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