Women and Power: Education, Religion and Identity. Olutoyin Mejiuni. Dakar, CODESRIA, 2013, 236 p., ISBN: 978-2-86978-573-1
This book is a product of the CODESRIA Advanced Research Fellowship ProgrammeNumber of visits: 1988
Education is an important tool for the development of human potential. Organizations and individuals interested in development consider knowledge, skills and attitudes, obtained through formal, non-formal and incidental learning, as invaluable assets. Therefore, it is necessary to reflect on fundamental elements that shape the process through which education is attained: How do people learn, and what are the conditions that facilitate effective learning? Answers to these questions demonstrate that no education can be politically neutral, because there is no value-free education.
The traditional or indigenous education systems in Nigeria, which covered (and still cover) physical training, development of character, respect for elders and peers, development of intellectual skills, specific vocational trainings, developing a sense of belonging and participation in community affairs, and understanding, appreciating and promoting the cultural heritage of the community were, and are, not value-free. In other words, the goals and purpose of education, the content, the entire process and the procedures chosen for evaluation in education are all value-laden.
This book attempts to show that the teaching-learning process in higher education, and religion, taught and learned through non-formal and informal education (or the hidden curriculum), and other socialization processes within and outside the formal school system, all interface to determine the persons that women become. This education enhances or limits women’s capabilities, whether in the civic-political sphere or in their attempts to resist violence. Hence, education and religion have ways of empowering or disempowering women.
Olutoyin Mejiuni is an adult educator whose work focuses on the political dimensions of adult education, women’s learning, and women’s concerns in teaching-learning interactions and contexts. She holds a PhD in Adult Education, and she is an associate professor in the Department of Continuing Education at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. She has contributed to the International Encyclopedia of Adult Education; Widening Access to Education as Social Justice;Handbook of Transformative Learning: Theory, Research and Practice, and has published in JENDA: A Journal of Culture and African Women Studies. She is a co-founder of Women Against Rape, Sexual Harassment and Sexual Exploitation (WARSHE), a non-governmental and not-for-profit organization that supports and educates survivors and potential victims of sexual violence and abuse.