Changing Narratives of Sexuality

Contestations, Compliance and Womens Empowerment

Edited by Charmaine Pereira


Innovative exploration between sexuality and women's empowerment.
Changing Narratives of Sexuality examines the tensions and contradictions in constructions of gender, sexuality and women's empowerment in the various narrations of sexuality told by and about women. From storytelling to women's engagement with state institutions, stories of unmarried women and ageing women, a sex scandal and narrations of religious influence on women's subjectivities and sexualities, this impressive collection explores sexuality in a wide range of national contexts in the global South.

The authors analyse what scope exists for women to subvert repressive norms and conceptions of heterosexuality, interweaving rich, contextual detail with theoretical concerns.

Author Bio

Charmaine Pereira is a feminist scholar-activist who has worked extensively on the themes of feminist thought and practice, sexuality, gender and university education, and civil society and the state. Based in Abuja, she coordinates the Initiative for Women’s Studies in Nigeria (IWSN), which strengthens capacity for teaching and research in gender and women’s studies. As IWSN national coordinator, Pereira has developed and led programmes on the politics of sexual harassment and sexual violence in universities, gender justice and women’s citizenship, and women’s empowerment. She is the author of Gender in the Making of the Nigerian University System (2007) and co-editor of Jacketed Women: Qualitative Research Methodologies on Sexualities and Gender in Africa (2013).

Table of Contents

  • Introduction: Changing Narratives of Sexuality - Charmaine Pereira
  • Part I: Negotiating Desire?
    • 1. Rewriting Desire as Empowerment in the Women and Memory Forum's Storytelling Project - Mona I. Ali
    • 2. Islam in Urban Bangladesh: Changing Worldviews and Reconfigured Sexuality - Samia Huq
    • 3. Loving and Fearing: Township Girls' Agency amidst Sexual Risk - Deevia Bhana
  • Part II: Body Politics and Sexualities
    • 4. Reporting Anita: Nudity in Nigerian Newspapers - Charmaine Pereira and Bibi Bakare-Yusuf
    • 5.Ageing Women and the Culture of Eternal Youth: Personal and Theoretical Reflections from a Feminist over Sixty in Brazil - Cecilia M. B. Sardenberg
    • 6. Unmarried in Palestine: Embodiment and (Dis)Empowerment in the Lives of Single Palestinian Women - Penny Johnson
  • Part III: Changing Institutions?
    • 7. Narratives of Egyptian Marriages - Mulki Al-Sharmani
    • 8. Gender and Sexuality Activism in Beijing: Negotiating International Influences and National and Local Processes - Susie Jolly


'This is an exciting book that is actively seeking to change narratives of women's embodied sexual lives. While candidly revealing the contradictions and tensions it also celebrates women's ability to transcend boundaries and normative prescriptions of sexualities in diverse places.'
Wendy Harcourt, Erasmus University

'This is a refreshingly authentic collection, by and about inspiring women, from diverse contexts and cultures of the world. Accounts of sexualities, political repressions and women's agencies are woven together to provoke, fascinate, challenge and stimulate. This is a most welcome, timely and valuable publication, which deserves a wide readership - not least among policy makers. Kudos to all its contributors.'
Alice Welbourn, Salamander Trust

'What a rich tapestry of feminist analyses of sexuality and gender! This genuinely transnational collection is for those seeking to explore the changing configurations of power and heteronormativity, but also the possibilities of women's agency and action from the angle of the Global South. A wonderful resource for scholars, activists, and students.'
Jyoti Puri, Simmons College

'Uncovering both the differences and the continuities in discourses around women's sexualities, emerging from varied geographical perspectives, these insightful accounts are an excellent critical contribution to research into gender and sexualities in the global South.'
Helen Scanlon, University of Cape Town


Publication Date: 10 April 2014
272 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781783600120
Hardback: 9781783600137
eBook ePub: 9781783600151
eBook PDF: 9781783600144
eBook Kindle: 9781783600168

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