Open Access Open Access  Restricted Access Subscription or Fee Access

Igbo Women From 1929-1960

John N. Oriji


The Aba Women's Revolt was one of the most significant events that occurred in Nigerian history during colonialism. It was for example, the first major revolt of its type that was organized and led by rural women of Owerri and Calabar Provinces which contained a population of two million people, located in a total land mass of about 6,000 square miles (Van Allen 1981, 60). Like other major events of its magnitude, the revolt has continued to attract much scholarly inquiry and discourse, unparalleled in Igbo history until the Nigeria-Biafra war. The historiography of the revolt itself is revealing in terms of the methodological problems it has raised, and the conflicting interpretations scholars and feminists have offered to explain its underlying roots, the organization of women, and their overall achievements. While some of these themes will be covered in this essay, I hope to address different aspects of the revolt that have received little attention by attempting to answer the following questions: What type of women led the revolt, and how did their leadership enhance their social status during and after the revolt? What legacies did the revolt leave in Igbo society before Nigerian independence in 1960, and how have the legacies helped women to attain a better social standing in modern Igbo society?

Full Text:


West Africa Review. ISSN: 1525-4488 (online).
Editors: Adeleke Adeeko, Nkiru Nzegwu, and Olufemi Taiwo.

Published by Africa Resource Center, Inc. All inquiries about rights, permissions, reprints and license should be directed to AfricaResource.

Copyright © Africa Resource Center, Inc., 1999 - .