Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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Economics: Markets and Trading: Sub-Saharan Africa
(1,900 words)

There is very little in the precolonial record concerning women's trade in Sub-Saharan Africa. Studies of long distance trade rarely included women, mentioning them only in so far as they were slaves. Precolonial histories have tended to exclude such topics as market women, evidently with the assumption that women's trade is a uniquely modern phenomenon or unworthy of examination (Robertson 1997, 24). However, Sub-Saharan African women have made important contributions to all forms of trade and market activities from the precolonial period through colonialism to the present.


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Haga, Rannveig, “Economics: Markets and Trading: Sub-Saharan Africa”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 01 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICCOM_0239a>
First published online: 2009

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