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Historical dictionary of women in Sub-Saharan Africa /

Main Author: Sheldon, Kathleen E., 1952-
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Lanham, Md. : Scarecrow Press, 2005
Series: Historical dictionaries of women in the world ; no. 1
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Review by Choice Review

In the first volume of this new Scarecrow series, Sheldon (UCLA's Center for the Study of Women) has brought together information on women in sub-Saharan Africa that is difficult to find in any other reference source. There is an excellent introduction on the role and history of women in Africa. The majority of the dictionary entries are for individuals, organizations, and social movements. Ranging from a few lines to two pages in length, they also cover events, organizations, broad issues (e.g., abortion, colonialism), religious figures (including goddesses), publications, institutions, and aspects of specific cultures, such as body marking, bride wealth, and land tenure. A useful appendix lists dictionary entries by country. The final third of the volume is a bibliography of scholarly sources on history and special topics such as art, education, literature, marriage, pastoralism, slavery, and urbanization. A subject and author index would have made this bibliography more useful. This resource will serve as a good companion to the recent sub-Saharan Africa volume of The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Women's Issues Worldwide (CH, May'04, 41-5046). ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Undergraduate and graduate collections. N. Taylor Earlham College

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review

There is relatively little available in reference form on women in sub-Saharan Africa. Aside from breaking new ground, the great strength of this accessible historical dictionary is the organized presentation of topics bearing on women's issues on the subcontinent. An excellent, informative, and briskly written introduction is followed by approximately 300 alphabetically arranged entries covering a plethora of topics from the general ( Education, HIV/AIDS,0 Literature0 ) to the specific ( Emecheta, Buchi;0 Inkatha Women's Brigade0 ). All the work of an independent scholar and subject expert, the entries are clearly written and appropriately weighted, running from a few sentences for relatively minor or self--explanatory items to a page or two for more general topics. Cross-references are noted within the text of each article in bold type, and see also0 references in capital letters are given at the end of most entries. The last 126 pages contain extremely useful supporting material, beginning with a list of articles by country. Following this is a bibliography, the introduction to which gives valuable information on background and sources. The bibliography itself, fully 100 pages, is divided into sections on history and historiography, chronological periods, and special topics, among them art, health, and matrimony. The appendixes end with a list of journals, films, and Web sites. This excellent source gives just enough information to whet the interest and then points the way to in-depth sources in particular areas. An excellent purchase for academic and large public libraries. --Ann Welton Copyright 2005 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.