Date Approved


Date Posted


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department or School

History and Philosophy


This study examines the Igbo women of Southeastern Nigeria from the eve of colonial intrusion to the imposition of colonialism, the Women’s War of 1929, and its aftermath. By placing the Women’s War into the context of the stripping away of inherent rights guaranteed them by matriarchy following the imposition of patriarchy upon the society, this study provides a new explanation of the women’s involvement and lack of male participation in the war. Under traditional matriarchal umbrellas, through their networks and social groups and by the banding together of all women, the Igbo Women’s War of 1929 was the beginning of the struggle for the re-gaining of women’s rights in Southeastern Nigeria. Through the examination of primary sources, current historiography, and the voices of the women themselves, this study demonstrates the women’s reasons for rising up, what they lost with the imposition of patriarchy, and what they stood to gain.