Dissertations@Portsmouth - Details for item no. 14411

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Chihuri, Samantha (2022) “Modernising” a Zimbabwean woman. (unpublished BA dissertation), University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth


The late colonial development era of the British empire saw a rise in the “modernising mission”, particularly as it pertained to women of colour in the colonies. This was an effort to consolidate minority rule through the imposition of indirect rule. In order to achieve that, an “elite” class of the majority had to be created, hence the focus on “modernising” and educating women in the colonies. As black women face a double oppression because of their race and gender, the imposition of colonial ideas of modernity and womanhood prove to be another issue that they had to face towards the end of the colonial era. With this in mind, this dissertation explores the ways in which the “modernising mission” took place in the context of black women in colonial Zimbabwe and how they reacted to the imposition of these colonial ideas. Particularly, the colonial education system in Rhodesia, the Homecraft Movement with Kuyedza Women’s Club as a case study, and magazines were considered as tools for the spread of ideas of modernity. After having explored these areas, the concluding argument is that black women in colonial Zimbabwe used their own agency where possible to adapt these imported notions of “modernity” to suit them, their culture, and their experiences. This argument was largely informed by secondary literature and primary source material.

Course: International Relations - BA (Hons)

Date Deposited: 2024-05-15

URI/permalink: https://www.library.port.ac.uk/dissert/dis14411.html