© 2020

Gender, Protests and Political Change in Africa

  • Awino Okech
  • Brings together conceptual debates based on case studies on the nature of state-building in Africa

  • Includes case studies from Sudan, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Burundi, Kenya, Egypt, South Africa and Senegal

  • Offers an alternative way of thinking about state-building and structural change that goes beyond the system-based approaches that dominate scholarship on democratization and political systems


Part of the Gender, Development and Social Change book series (GDSC)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Awino Okech
    Pages 1-11
  3. Awino Okech
    Pages 13-34
  4. Wadeisor Rukato
    Pages 35-60 Open Access
  5. Princess Mpelo Malebye
    Pages 61-80
  6. Radwa Saad, Sara Soumaya Abed
    Pages 81-106 Open Access
  7. Sarah O. Nugdalla
    Pages 107-130 Open Access
  8. Zoneziwoh Mbondgulo-Wondieh
    Pages 131-147
  9. Patrick Hajayandi
    Pages 149-172
  10. Felogene Anumo, Awuor Onyango
    Pages 201-224
  11. Funmi Olonisakin
    Pages C1-C1 Open Access
  12. Back Matter
    Pages 225-258

About this book


“This edited collection elevates the complexities and contradictions of social movement dynamics and outcomes. … No doubt this book will be relevant for a long time as protests and social movements become hallmarks of our common political struggles of resistance and resilience. I see activists reading this book and self-checking on how the social movements they have been a part of have delivered for ‘the common good!’”

—Ndana Bofu-Tawamba, Executive Director, Urgent Action Fund Africa, Kenya

“A thought-provoking edited collection that examines contemporary dissent and resistance to authoritarianism in Africa through the intersection of youth, gender and transformation. … It should be widely read by scholars, activists and politicians globally.”

—Cheryl Hendricks, Africa Institute of South Africa, Human Sciences Research Council

This book brings together conceptual debates on the impact of youth-hood and  gender on state building in Africa. It offers contemporary and interdisciplinary  analyses on the role of protests as an alternative route for citizens to challenge  the ballot box as the only legitimate means of ensuring freedom. Drawing on case  studies from seven African countries, the contributors focus on specific political  moments in their respective countries to offer insights into how the state/society  social contract is contested through informal channels, and how political power  functions to counteract citizen’s voices. These contributions offer a different way  of thinking about state-building and structural change that goes beyond the  system-based approaches that dominate scholarship on democratization and  political structures. In effect, it provides a basis for organizers and social  movements to consider how to build solidarity beyond influencing government  institutions.

 Awino Okech is a Lecturer at the Centre for Gender Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), UK.

Chapters 3, 5, and 6 are available open access under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License via


Protest Social Movements Gender Justice Autocracies Governance Democracy Gender Africa Development

Editors and affiliations

  • Awino Okech
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Gender StudiesSOAS, University of LondonLondonUK

About the editors

Awino Okech is a Lecturer at the Centre for Gender Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), UK.

Bibliographic information


"This book is an important contribution by young African scholars and practitioners on current (and age old) challenges on the continent. Its key strength lies in the intersectional approach it adopts to assessing youth-led mass protests attempts to dislodge and transform current formations of State power across the continent, captured as they are by corporate, securocrat and local elite alliances and interests. Given that mass protests are becoming in many instances far more effective than elections in removing autocratic rulers, it is necessary to draw a spotlight on them to understand their inherent strengths and weaknesses. This book says what needs to be said at this moment in our history. It is a bold, and timely intervention."

Sarah Mukasa, Deputy Director, Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa

"In an era where technology and state capture coupled with increased surveillance and erosions of rights are all moving at lightning speed on the African continent, young womxn are on the frontlines speaking out against injustices, charting new paths, experimenting with creative tactics and embracing informal organising models as opposed to those of formal NGOs. This edited collection is timely in providing a window into the current opportunities and challenges that arise in confronting state power on these terms."

 Shereen Essof, Executive Director, Just Associates