The afterlife of women’s clubs on the Zambian Copperbelt

Patience Mususa, Senior Researcher at the Nordic Africa Institute, will deliver the lecture “The afterlife of women’s clubs on the Zambian Copperbelt”.

The seminar is open to all, including bachelor and master students. No registration is required. After the seminar, drinks and snacks will be served in our lunchroom. We will go for dinner, or just drinks, at Lorry Restaurant, Parkveien 12, at 18:00. Everybody is welcome to join at their own expense.

Patience Mususa. Photo: The North Africa Institute


In the 1990s, the re-privatisation of the state owned copper mines on the Zambian Copperbelt spelt the end of the paternalistic mining welfare system. The mines had managed all aspects of work and life in the towns they administered. A core aspect of their control over miners and residents was the attempt to create “responsible” spouses. Women were the main target of the policy. The mines instituted various programmes for this purpose, including women’s clubs, where miners’ wives engaged in sewing and baking, and learnt general household management. The aim of these activities was to make “modern housewives”, who in turn, would help structure a domestic life more fitting to the society the mines were trying to create. The sale of the mines brought a formal end to these programmes. Have they left any trace behind? How do they continue to texture social, economic and political life for women on the Zambian Copperbelt?


Patience Mususa is a Senior Researcher at the Nordic Africa Institute. Her research interests focus on the micro-processes of planning and settlement in new and old mine towns in Africa's Copperbelt. Her recent work looked at the social and urban dynamics of post-mining economies on the Zambian Copperbelt. Her published work includes ‘Mining, Welfare and Urbanization: Wavering Urban Character on Zambia’s Copperbelt’ (Journal of Contemporary African Studies), and ‘Topping Up: Life amidst hardship and death on the Copperbelt’, in African Studies.

Published Mar. 16, 2016 1:39 PM - Last modified Oct. 27, 2017 1:08 PM