And They Still Dance

Stephanie Urdang, Author Monthly Review Press $20 (320p) ISBN 978-0-85345-773-2
When Mozambique gained independence from Portugal in 1975, did the new government live up to promises to liberate women? asks South African-born journalist Urdang, who visited the country several times from 1980 to 1987. Her book is somewhat disorganized, skipping around chronologically as she covers the colonial era, independence and the status of women. But she is a perceptive and talented reporter who offers moving portraits of Mozambican women, many of whom work grueling days in the fields and relentlessly taxing nights as homemakers and mothers in a technology-poor society. Urdang finds that the lot of women has improved, with equal pay at factory jobs and better benefits. But emancipation has been jeopardized by the uncertain political climate and other obstacles (a disastrous relocation program that removed so-called ``nonproductive'' people from major urban centers, the customs of buying wives and of polygamy and resistance to educating girls). Urdang concludes that the determined women of Mozambique will ``continue to build and rebuild against incredible odds and continue to hope for a better life.'' Photos. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1989
Release date: 01/01/1989
Hardcover - 320 pages - 978-0-85345-772-5
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