The Making of Elite Women

Revolution and Nation Building in Eritrea


This book is a thorough study about the upcoming of elite women in Eritrea, encompassing the time of the armed struggle for liberation as well as its aftermath up to the tenth anniversary of Eritrean independence in 2001 and beyond. It is a multi-disciplinary study, combining a comprehensive analysis of Eritrean history, society and political developments with extensive case study research into the lives of different groups of elite women. Modernisation processes created by the Eritrean revolution fostered an environment in which women are regarded as equal and encouraged to occupy positions of leadership. At the same time, the revolution’s hegemonic ideology does not envisage women opting out of its version of modernity, thus new avenues open up only for those who subscribe to the revolution’s narrative of progress. Furthermore, it is argued that while the Eritrean revolution played a decisive role in opening up possibilities for women’s emancipation, a failure to implement democratic structures of governance puts the revolution’s societal achievements at risk – its legacy might well rest with possibilities of personal liberation in individual lives.

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Biographical Note

Tanja R. Müller, Ph.D. (2003) in Development Studies, University of East Anglia (UK), is Assistant Professor at Wageningen University and Research Centre. She has published on women and education, African states' foreign policies, and the impact of HIV/AIDS on human development.


Academics, students and practioners in the field of development studies, political science, sociology, education, gender studies, African studies in general and Eritrean studies in particular.

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