Third World Women

In: Social Issues

Submitted By remobeso
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“Third World” and African women in the Western Discourse:
The notion of “global sisterhood” [1] implies that all women all over the world share the same problems, oppressions and priorities. “First World” women’s writing on women from the “Third World” has enriched the quality and quantity of the literature in Gender Studies. They have opened new epistemological horizons led mainly by “Third world” writers. One of the main critiques of the dominant discourse, which mainly has been produced by western, white and middle class scholars is it’s not just for the sake of feminism, epistemology and humanism concerns, nevertheless, it was to elaborate on the differences among the “us” – a superior western culture – and “them”, the backward and primitive culture of the “Third World” countries (Walley, C.J 1997:409). This discourse introduces women of the “Third World” as consistent group within context, apart from their class and ethnicity. The consequence of such understanding of “Third World” women within the western discourse is characterising these women as “subjects” or “phenomena” out of the economic, legal, social, and religious and kinship structures of their communities, (Chandra Talpade, Mohanty. 1988: 78 – 80). Furthermore, “Third world women” have been presented based on their gender therefore secondary to men, and as being from the “Third World” and therefore secondary to the first world, thus they were considered ignorant, poor, domestic, victimized and tradition-bound. On the other side, this image was important to present western women as self-represented, educated, and free in making decisions and having control over their bodies (Chandra Talpade, Mohanty 1998:80), Such discourse has been seen as a justification of the great powers in particular the British and the French during the colonisation and imperialism era (Walley, C.J 1997:423), and paved the way…...

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