The Spatial and Social (Im)Mobilities of Women in Zambia Since 1964

Daniela Atanasova, BA MA

Betreuer­_in: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Kirsten Rüther


Women in Zambia have been moving across both geographical and social space throughout the postcolonial period, even while experiencing related immobilities, and yet the changing meanings and patterns of their spatial and social mobility have not received sufficient attention in Zambian historiography. Points of divergence in the spatial mobility patterns and social mobility paths of women and men, as well as of different women, have likewise remained underexplored. This dissertation will look specifically at how moving to and from Zambia’s capital Lusaka affected the social mobility chances and outcomes of three generations of women from one rural province in Zambia. Using an oral history methodology, it will examine women’s (im)mobilities at the level of lived experience and memory, foregrounding women’s own interpretations and analysing if and how their mobility aspirations and experiences were shaped by age, class, generation, location and other markers of difference. Questions about the changing social mobility opportunities available to women, the materiality of socio-spatial mobilities and women’s response to the state will also be addressed.