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It’s only leftist women who talk that damn nonsense about women being at a disadvantage: Eugenia Charles’s gender politics in Dominica

Umoren, Imaobong ORCID: 0000-0002-0633-3223 (2021) It’s only leftist women who talk that damn nonsense about women being at a disadvantage: Eugenia Charles’s gender politics in Dominica. Gender and History, 33 (1). 269 - 285. ISSN 0953-5233

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Identification Number: 10.1111/1468-0424.12492

Abstract

Born in 1919 in Dominica and educated in Grenada, Canada and Britain, Eugenia Charles became the islands first female barrister, head of a political party and in 1980, Prime Minister. With political views on the right of the spectrum, her close alliances and friendships with Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan as well as her own defiant personality, Charles gained the title of ‘Iron Lady of the Caribbean’. This moniker, however, obscures more than it reveals, especially when it relates to Charles's gender politics. This article examines her speeches, interviews and policies and argues that a politics of contradiction and ambivalence characterised Charles's gender politics. This ambivalence partly explains the resilience of andocentric masculinist ideologies present in Caribbean political structures. Moreover, it demonstrates the continuity of ‘first-wave’ Caribbean feminism in the late twentieth century and the pragmatism of women in politics.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/14680424
Additional Information: © 2020 The Author
Divisions: International History
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
E History America > E11 America (General)
C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CT Biography
Date Deposited: 15 Jul 2020 16:33
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2022 12:51
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/105701

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