Colloquium: For a Healthy and Respectable Nation: The Federation of Ghana Women, and the Question of Customary Marriages in Postcolonial Ghana, 1953-1959

  • Date: Jan 18, 2022
  • Time: 17:00
  • Speaker: Adwoa Opong, Washington University, St Louis
  • Location: online
  • Host: Center for the History of Emotions

The Center for the History of Emotions at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, led by Prof. Ute Frevert, cordially presents its winter semester 2021/2022 colloquium.

Adwoa Opong, Chapman University, USA

For a Healthy and Respectable Nation: The Federation of Ghana Women, and the Question of Customary Marriages in Postcolonial Ghana, 1953-1959

Soon after its inauguration in August 1953, the leadership of the Federation of Gold Coast (Ghana) Women, an organization of educated, urban women, launched a campaign against customary marriage inheritance and divorce in the colony. Federation leaders argued that juvenile delinquency was a result of the insecure nature of customary marriages. In response to the Federation's call, the government of the newly independent nation of Ghana established an inheritance commission to evaluate the arguments. This talk revisits the campaign as an important location of emotion since it became a discursive arena for heated gendered debates around family, marriage, illegitimacy, and ideal womanhood in postcolonial Ghana.

Infosheet_HoE Colloquium JAN 18 2022_OPONG.jpgCurrently Assistant Professor of African History at Chapman University, Adwoa Opong earned her PhD in African History from Washington University in St Louis with a certificate in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies. Her research sits at the intersections of histories of decolonization, development and gender. Her research, All That is Meant by Citizenship: Women, Social Work and Development in Ghana, 1945-1970 explores the postwar convergence of social work, decolonization, and development through an analysis of one of the dominant women's organizations in Ghana, the Federation of Gold Coast (Ghana) Women. In addition to her primary focus, Adwoa's broad research interests include African women's social and political activism and Black internationalism in the twentieth century.​

Webex-Link
Meeting number: 2741 735 8758
Meeting password: YtcpPqGf377

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