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Judith Van Allen

Picture of Judith Van Allen

Judith Van Allen is a Senior Fellow at the Institute for African Development and a long-time activist-scholar. She has been writing about African women for 40 years, starting with "Sitting on a Man," her article about the 1929 Igbo Women's War against the British. In the late 1980s she lived in Botswana, doing liberation support work and studying the emerging Botswana women's movement. She is the author of "Bad Future Things" and Liberatory Moments: Capitalism, Gender and the State in Botswana. In addition to numerous articles on African women and politics, she has written Marxist-feminist analyses of the feminization of poverty and of reproductive rights in the U.S., and of capitalism and gendered "development" in Africa. She is currently working on a book on the history of the Botswana women's organization, Emang Basadi! (Stand Up, Women!), with co-author Athaliah Molokomme and other founding members of EB. She has taught at the University of California at Berkeley, California State University at San Francisco, Ithaca College, and Wells College. She is currently Co-convenor of the African Studies Association's Women's Caucus, of which she was a founding member, a board member of the Association of Concerned African Scholars, and a member of the Editorial Board ofAfrican Studies Review. Her current research focuses on the problematics of using women's rights discourses to address gender violence and women's poverty in Southern Africa. (See "Challenging (Neo)liberal Women's Rights and Opening Transformative Spaces in Southern Africa," Stichproben 23/2012: Human Rights and Africa: Between Theory and Practice.