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Women and the Informal Economy in Urban Africa: From the Margins to the Centre - Africa Now (Paperback)Mary Njeri Kinyanjui (author)
Paperback 152 Pages / Published: 12/06/2014
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In this highly original work, Mary Njeri Kinyanjui explores the trajectory of women's movement from the margins of urbanization into the centres of business activities in Nairobi and its accompanying implications for urban planning. While women in much of Africa have struggled to gain urban citizenship and continue to be weighed down by poor education, low income and confinement to domestic responsibilities due to patriarchic norms, a new form of urban dynamism - partly informed by the informal economy - is now enabling them to manage poverty, create jobs and link to the circuits of capital and labour. Relying on social ties, reciprocity, sharing and collaboration, women's informal 'solidarity entrepreneurialism' is taking them away from the margins of business activity and catapulting them into the centre. Bringing together key issues of gender, economic informality and urban planning in Africa, Kinyanjui demonstrates that women have become a critical factor in the making of a postcolonial city.
Publisher: Zed Books Ltd
Number of pages: 152
Weight: 254 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 156 mm
'This is a powerful case study, with important implications for urban planning and development in sub-Saharan Africa. Kinyanjui provides vital evidence of the genuine significance of women's informal economic activity for contemporary Nairobi. It is a concise, seminal contribution, very effectively situated in the burgeoning literature of African urban studies.' Garth Myers, Urban and International Studies, Trinity College, Hartford 'Kinyanjui has presented us with a fresh way of understanding the complexities associated with women's socio-economic empowerment in a hostile city, in terms of access to economic space. This book is a paradigm shift in the way we talk and write about poverty alleviation in marginalized communities!' Faith Maina, professor of education, State University of New York, Oswego 'Women and the Informal Economy is a well-researched critical analysis, providing new perspectives on urbanization in Kenya. The book is essential reading for geographers, planners, policy makers and students of African urbanization and gender studies.' Agnes Musyoki, professor of human geography, University of Venda 'The informal sector dominates Africa's economy and women have long played an important role in it. However, their contribution to the continent's urban informal economy is neither well understood nor documented. I applaud Kinyanjui for this timely volume on the contributions of women to the continent's urban informal economy and to the broader postcolonial African urban scene.' Kefa M. Otiso, associate professor of urban and economic geography, Bowling Green State University
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