Resistance to Women's Ethnic Narratives in Tanzania: Two Perspectives on Identity

African Journal of Teacher Education. 2015;4(1) DOI 10.21083/ajote.v4i1.3016


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: African Journal of Teacher Education

ISSN: 1916-7822 (Online)

Publisher: Sustainable Programs to Reduce Educational and Avocational Disadvantages (SPREAD)

LCC Subject Category: Education

Country of publisher: Canada

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF



Sonja R Darlington (Beloit College)


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 10 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

Two Tanzanian activists, Ruth Meena and Elieshi Lema, resist identification with their local ethnic groups in deference to their identity formation with nationalism and feminism. Both maintain that ethnicity is a politically charged term based on a colonial construct that favors patriarchy and describes all women’s ethnicity generically without questioning their positionality. Meena as a political scientist at the University of Dar es Salaam and Lema as a writer and editor of E & D Publishing, provide evidence for their professional roles having moved beyond ethnic boundaries due to their educational opportunities and the influence of feminist thinking. In the construction of their culture, as activists, scholars, teachers, and writers, they have re-imagined how to live their lives, so that they could actively participate in the struggle for nationhood, gender equality, educational access, economic independence and community development.  Meena and Lema have also demonstrated through their writing of books and articles, the possibility for women to rewrite history with a different emphasis and orientation.