Women Do More Work than Men: Birifor Women as Change Agents in the Mission and Expansion of the Church in West Africa (Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, and Ghana)

Foreword by Mercy Amba Oduyoye
The author was the first woman in Burkina to receive her Ph.D. in Theology, with research on the contributions of Birifor women to the growth of the Church in West Africa. Her work, which includes fascinating in-depth ethnographic research, has recently been published as Women Do More Work Than Men: Birifor Women as Change Agents in the Mission and Expansion of the Church in West Africa (Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, and Ghana)

In the book’s Foreword, Ghanaian feminist theologian Mercy Amba Oduyoye shares these thoughts: “If you have not heard of Birifor women, this is your opportunity to read about them. You are not alone, for before I read the thesis that preceded this book, I had no idea there was a people in West Africa called the Birifor. It is a fact that even among Africans, the neighbour is hardly known. The continent is so vast. This book is therefore a special treat as it is a lens into the lives of a minority among minorities. The marginalised of this minority are women.”

Addressing this marginalisation further, Oduyoye notes that Dorcas’ book “demonstrates the two-edged sword that westernisation has been, especially in women’s lives. Specifically, Western education led families to privilege boys and thereby aggravated the inferior position of women among the Birifor, who are formally matrilineal but in practice extremely patriarchal and androcentric.”

“Dorcas’ book is important for several reasons. Firstly, as Oduyoye notes, it sheds light on a people group many of us have never heard of, and within that context, draws attention to the important but very overlooked roles that women play. As Dorcas boldly states, ‘women do more work than men!’ Yet they more often receive ridicule, or face added obstacles, rather than respect, for such contributions. Dorcas’ work is also important for scholars of religion in Africa, with large sections of history and ethnographic research providing a comprehensive picture of the religious cosmology of the Birifor. Her treatment of funeral rites is fascinating!” — Dr. Sara Fretheim, Postdoctoral Researcher in World Christianity and African Christianity

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