Although women’s critical roles in rural community development in Africa is undisputed, its recent discursive appeal in development policy raises questions regarding the ways in which the women living in rural contexts have been mis/understood, mis/appropriated and marginalized. Arguing that two narratives emerge: rural women as victims and rural women as agents of change, this chapter examines the ways in which African women’s experience in rural community development has been framed to present conflict and contest. The chapter entails a review of diverse literature, aimed at deconstructing existing meanings especially those that essentialize and victimize women in their community development roles and experiences with the view to expose their limitations while drawing attention to a counter narrative that builds on women’s power and agency. Arguing that the victimhood narrative simplifies the lives of Africa’s rural women as they traverse their community activities, it also cautions against reverse framings around power and agency, which dichotomize and romanticise, with each yielding incomplete and partial narratives. Consequently, it calls for re/imaginings that appreciate the nuanced positioning and experiences of African women. The analysis draws on Adichie’s TED Talk: TheDangers of the Single Story, as the basis for making a case for the critical and complex analysis of African women’s experiences in rural community development as fluid and with junctures where diverse and multiple factors and forces intersect and interact for the emergence of discourses that transcend victimhood, defy romanticized agency and find appeal in critique and doubt to unleash complex yet relatable narrative alternatives.
Agnes Atia, A (2019). Women and Community Development In Rural Africa: Deconstructing Dominant Narratives. Afribary.com: Retrieved October 17, 2019, from https://afribary.com/works/women-and-community-development-in-rural-africa-deconstructing-dominant-narratives
Apusigah, Agnes Atia. "Women and Community Development In Rural Africa: Deconstructing Dominant Narratives" Afribary.com. Afribary.com, 21 Sep. 2019, https://afribary.com/works/women-and-community-development-in-rural-africa-deconstructing-dominant-narratives . Accessed 17 Oct. 2019.
Apusigah, Agnes Atia. "Women and Community Development In Rural Africa: Deconstructing Dominant Narratives". Afribary.com, Afribary.com, 21 Sep. 2019. Web. 17 Oct. 2019. < https://afribary.com/works/women-and-community-development-in-rural-africa-deconstructing-dominant-narratives >.
Apusigah, Agnes Atia. "Women and Community Development In Rural Africa: Deconstructing Dominant Narratives" Afribary.com (2019). Accessed October 17, 2019. https://afribary.com/works/women-and-community-development-in-rural-africa-deconstructing-dominant-narratives