FEMINIST CRITIQUE OF THE EDUCATION MODEL OF MABEL SHAW GIRLS BOARDING MISSION SCHOOL IN ZAMBIA 1915-1940 AND ITS EFFECT ON GIRL-CHILD EDUCATION

Lilian Cheelo Siwila

Abstract


 

 Missionaries that came to southern Africa had much to offer to the local people of this part of the continent. One of the tasks of the missionaries in the mission field was to introduce mission schools. In central Africa the London Mission Society emerged as one of the main mission bodies that introduced mission schools to young African boys and girls. This study provides a critical analysis of the education model that was introduced at Mable Shaw Girls' Boarding School in Mbereshi, Zambia. The study used a textual analysis approach and religio-cultural feminist lens to argue that missionaries such as Mable Shaw misrepresented the African model of girl-child education in their attempt to incorporate African education systems into the western form of education. The study found that Shaw’s approach to women emancipation as a feminist was ambivalent in that while she fought for white women’s rights in her school, she failed to promote the empowerment of the girls. Instead, she encouraged patriarchal ideologies that perpetuated the oppression of girls through the promotion of child marriage. This study concludes that in as much as feminism aims at fighting for the liberation of women from all forms of oppression, there is need to take into cognisance the power dynamics at play between western feminism and third world feminism.

 


Keywords


Girls' Education; Feminism; Mission Boarding School; Colonialism; Mable Shaw; African Culture

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/116-1-1345

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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

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