Has North Korean women’s exclusion from state-controlled enterprises meant that they don’t have to report, but instead act as more independent, entrepreneurial traders?

On the rise of women in North Korea, who account for 81% of defections to the South ft.com/content/154f7f…
Chinese women who grew up under Communism are also extremely entrepreneurial and competitive.

Many studies show this effect; we don’t know the cause.

Possible hypotheses include
- CCP egalitarian propaganda
- Ultra high FLFP
- Thus a less masculine public sphere

I’m not sure
One possibility (which might also be true of the USSR and North Korea) is that marriage did not provide much insurance.

If your husband/ family could die from famine or be taken by state security, and ultra high female employment is normative, you must depend on your own wits.
In my piece on “Did Communism Smash the Patriarchy”, I explained the reasons for ultra high female employment. draliceevans.com/post/did-commu…

Given insufficient evidence, I did not speculate on the causes of ultra high female *competitiveness*.

But it’s an important question!

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More from @_alice_evans

12 Jan
Celebrating the winners, while other competitors were prohibited

Such a clever, evocative cartoon by Mohammed Hosein Akbari (Iranian).

One of the winners of a recent international cartoon competition on gender equality toonsmag.com/results-of-equ… cc @srajagopalan Image
If your patriarchs are stopping you from doing what you want, cut off their control.

Such a clever representation of how women are pinned back and restricted, but can ultimately resist.

By Hilal Ozcan (Turkish). Image
The cult of chastity!

I interpret this one as how all Abrahamic religions imposed a patriarchal straightjacket, upheld a narrow model of femininity, and proscribed deviation.

By Hamza Akin (Turkey). Cc @vnbateman Image
Read 13 tweets
4 Jan
Across African countries where women move freely in the public sphere, there’s been a large fall in GBV.

Police are trained on gender, with victim support units; radio call-in shows enable reflection & broadcast growing opposition; inspiring critical discussions in busy markets.
30 years ago if an African woman reported abuse to the police, they might not be very sympathetic.

But there’s since been a massive investment in gender training, both within the police & popular media.

And because women are not secluded, they can build the resistance.
But… even though many African countries have now criminalised domestic violence & marital rape, enforcement is limited by underdevelopment, low population density & weak state penetration.
Read 4 tweets
31 Dec 21
My goal for 2022?

Explain African’s gender divergence.

What explains the variation of gender relations within Africa?

Why is Ethiopia’s parliament 63% male, while Nigeria’s is 94%??

(I have no priors! I have absolutely no clue what the answer is. The game is afoot!! 🙇🏻‍♀️)
I lived in The Gambia for 9 months, Zambia for 18, and visited a further 6 countries in Africa.

But I have a huge amount to learn - especially from African scholars.

Doubtless I’ll get things wrong & misunderstand, so correctives & challenges are always welcome ☺️
Why are there so few women leaders in West Africa?

Before colonialism, there were female leaders in West Africa.

Colonialism per se has not prohibited women’s leadership in south or east Africa.

Nor is it obviously religion: Ghana’s legislature is 85% male.

What happened??
Read 19 tweets
30 Dec 21
94% of Nigerian parliamentarians are men.

Scholars of Nigeria often blame this on European imperialism: introducing gendered language, neglecting female farmers, & promoting domesticity.

But thinking comparatively, why isn’t female leadership low in Southern & Eastern Africa? ImageImage
Nigeria is a conundrum

The Yoruba and Igbo recognised women as authorities and respected female governance structures - much more so than other parts of Afric

So what explains the reversal of fortunes?

Why did Nigeria lose its place, relative to other African countries?
If you just study change over time in one country, imperialism appears to have worsened inequality.

But the real question must be why did Nigeria cease to be one of the most gender equal countries in Africa?

Either colonialism was different in Nigeria or there’s more to it..
Read 4 tweets
30 Dec 21
Tunisia has a female PM, the 1st in the Arab world.

Why is the Maghreb more gender equal than the rest of MENA?

French secularism? Labour-intensive industry? Autocrats cultivating legitimacy?


Pre-Islamic culture? Queen Tin Hinan, Goddess Tanit, & military commander Dihya ImageImageImage
Legend has it that Queen Tin Hinan led her followers down from the Atlas Mountains and then became the spiritual mother of the Tuareg. Her tomb was found in Algeria.

Tanit was worshipped as a goddess

Dihya (Kahina) united tribes & repelled Arab conquests (at least temporarily) ImageImageImage
Let me address alternative hypotheses:

1) French colonisers established co-educational secular schooling, which was then institutionalised upon independence.

Yes, this is true for Tunisia (which had secular colleges even before it became a protectorate - Bardo & Sadiki).
Read 5 tweets
28 Dec 21
This is an excellent book on the history of gender in Africa.

It both recognises gender equal aspects: some women could defy patriarchal hierarchies (as merchants, spirit mediums, female husbands & influential princesses), while also recognising controls on ordinary women.
One difficulty in studying gender history is polarisation and backlash.

Male historians of Europe tended to emphasise Great Men.

Women were written out of history.

That rightly triggered backlash: feminist historians highlight women’s agency, importance, & resistance.
There are parallels with postcolonial gender studies:

Racist colonisers misrepresented gender relations.

This has rightly triggered backlash: highlighting agency, autonomy, resistance, and elements of egalitarianism.

Women are increasingly written into history.
Read 27 tweets

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