This article explores why and how administrators and missionaries in Eastern Uganda came to associate progress and development with the need to whip, coerce, and imprison women, developing new institutions for the violent control of wives that went far beyond more common patterns of informal patriarchal control. New Native Courts took over from husbands in arranging for troublesome wives to be whipped. New mission associations of church, teachers’ and evangelists’ groups, and church men’s groups worked to establish Christian patriarchal control over wives who rejected husbands and Christ. Both officials and missionaries understood clearly that the government and missions needed to beat women if they were to have any hope of the political support or acquiescence of the local men essential to their visions of order and development. They abandoned such activities only reluctantly, under pressure, and went on to develop more covert ways to carry on with disciplinary practices they considered essential.3 In the mid 1920s, though, officials, missionaries, and their Eastern Province supporters argued explicitly and emphatically that the progressive development of Eastern Uganda required that dissident women be subject to corporal punishment.

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Copyright © 2002 Acton Publishers. This book chapter first appeared in East Africa in Transition.

Edited by: J.m. Bahemuka and J.L. Brockington

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