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p. 945. Kingmen, queens, and dawtas: gender issues in Rastafarilocked

  • Ennis B. Edmonds

Abstract

Traditionally women in Jamaica tend to dominate the religious spaces. Historically, they have been just as likely as men to take on positions of leadership or to function as healers, preachers, or prophets. However, Rastafari culture is intensely patriarchal in ideology. Gender inequality is rife. Rastafari is a male redemption movement which seeks to rehabilitate diasporic African males from slavery's emasculation and colonialism. A side effect of this is that it has promulgated a discourse and promoted female subjugation. However, Rastafari women have found for themselves a space of self-empowerment and are increasingly able to challenge their prescribed roles within the movement.

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