Martin Thomas
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Women and colonialism and colonial education
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This chapter explores some of the ways in which the clash of metropolitan and colonial cultures affected an oft-times ignored colonial majority-women and children in the empire. It is difficult to generalise about women's experience of French colonialism, easier to discern similarities in colonial education. French efforts to increase the metropolitan birth rate were constructed on grounds of race as well as gender. No discussion of gender issues in the French empire can overlook the so-called 'metis problem' of miscegenation. If the metis problem exposed the contradictions of educational provision in sub-Saharan Africa, in the Maghreb, where miscegenation was far less common, officials none the less rehearsed arguments over schooling familiar elsewhere. European settlement in French North Africa disrupted traditional forms of land tenure, inheritance rights, and marital arrangements.

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The French empire between the wars

Imperialism, Politics and Society


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