© 2019

Violence and Gender in Africa's Iberian Colonies

Feminizing the Portuguese and Spanish Empire, 1950s–1970s


Part of the Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies Series book series (CIPCSS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Andreas Stucki
    Pages 1-20
  3. Andreas Stucki
    Pages 21-65
  4. Andreas Stucki
    Pages 67-123
  5. Andreas Stucki
    Pages 211-254
  6. Andreas Stucki
    Pages 255-290
  7. Andreas Stucki
    Pages 291-306
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 307-362

About this book


This book examines how and why Portugal and Spain increasingly engaged with women in their African colonies in the crucial period from the 1950s to the 1970s. It explores the rhetoric of benevolent Iberian colonialism, gendered Westernization, and development for African women as well as actual imperial practices – from forced resettlement to sexual exploitation to promoting domestic skills. Focusing on Angola, Mozambique, Western Sahara, and Equatorial Guinea, the author mines newly available and neglected documents, including sources from Portuguese and Spanish women’s organizations overseas. They offer insights into how African women perceived and responded to their assigned roles within an elite that was meant to preserve the empires and stabilize Afro-Iberian ties. The book also retraces parallels and differences between imperial strategies regarding women and the notions of African anticolonial movements about what women should contribute to the struggle for independence and the creation of new nation-states.


Decolonization Antonio Salazar Francisco Franco African women Lisbon Madrid Civilizing, modernizing mission Colonial rule Revolutionary movements Anticolonialism Propaganda

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of HistoryUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland

About the authors

Andreas Stucki is Lecturer and Associate Researcher at the University of Bern, Switzerland, where he specializes in Iberian and Caribbean history. He was a visiting scholar at the University of Sydney (2017-18) and at Stanford University (2015-16). Andreas’ recent publications include Las Guerras de Cuba: Violencia y campos de concentración (2017) and several articles published in the Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, the Journal of Genocide Research, and the Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Violence and Gender in Africa's Iberian Colonies
  • Book Subtitle Feminizing the Portuguese and Spanish Empire, 1950s–1970s
  • Authors Andreas Stucki
  • Series Title Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies Series
  • Series Abbreviated Title Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies Series
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-030-17229-9
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-030-17232-9
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-030-17230-5
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XIV, 362
  • Number of Illustrations 8 b/w illustrations, 10 illustrations in colour
  • Topics African History
    Imperialism and Colonialism
    Gender and Sexuality
    Political History
    Social History
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“Andreas Stucki’s book Violence and Gender in Africa’s Iberian Colonies is a valuable and innovative addition to an established corpus of scholarship on the gendered nature of colonialism, as well as to the small but rapidly expanding historiography on the Iberian colonies in Africa. With accessible and lively prose, as well as striking details about the lives of individual women affected by colonization, the book is immensely readable.” (Joanna Allan, Journal of Spanish Cultural Studies, November 12, 2020)

“This is a fundamental volume for those who want to delve further into a comparative history of late colonialism, with gender as its core axis.” (José Pedro Monteiro, e-journal of Portuguese History, Vol. 17 (2), December, 2019)