Archive | feminism

19 April 2014 ~ 13 Comments

5 things my vagina does not make me. A guest blog by Doreen Akiyo Yomoah

Doreen 007

                    “You’re a woman.” These three words are quite possibly my least favorite words strung together in the English language. When people repeat them to me it’s usually to judge how I can or cannot behave, or how I should or shouldn’t behave. But aside from […]

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16 April 2014 ~ 6 Comments

Is women’s political participation in Africa really rising?

Rising or Not

Last month, a group of circa 40 women gathered in Banjul, Gambia for a transformational feminist leadership workshop organised by Women Living Under Muslim Law (WLUML). I was one of the trainers at the weeklong workshop; my sessions were about using communication for feminist advocacy. During the week we discussed, among other things, culturally justified […]

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20 March 2014 ~ 18 Comments

7 great novels by African women writers

68.Noviolet-Bulawayo-We-Need-New-Names

“In the stories we tell ourselves, we tell ourselves,” said Michael Martone rightly. We also read ourselves in the books we read, or at least in those books that we cherish. For this reason, one of my 2014 resolutions was to return to a favourite pastime, namely reading fiction. For some years my reading life […]

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08 March 2014 ~ 6 Comments

7 tips for African women bloggers

Relaxed Business

This is a follow up to a previous post “Why African women should blog” Happy women’s day! Sticking to my tradition of posting a “Seven” series blog every 8 March, this year I’m dedicating the slot to something that is at the heart of this blog, which is to encourage more women in the continent and diaspora […]

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28 February 2014 ~ 5 Comments

How do you manage negative reactions to feminism?

Mesmerized

When I’d first “come out” as a feminist publicly, and when people I’d never met heard that I was a blogger and asked what my blog was about, I would sometimes say that it was about women’s rights, which is true. But what’s truer is that I write an African feminist blog. The reason for my carefulness was […]

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20 February 2014 ~ 22 Comments

A badass case of Beyoncitis

music-beyonce-xo

It starts with cunnilingus. Not the “Beyoncé ” album (which starts with “Pretty Hurts”) but this review. After all, when a megastar like Beyoncé dedicates a song to oral stimulation of the clitoris in a world where the opposite is more common, an emphasis is only appropriate. OK, “Lick my skittles, it’s the sweetest in […]

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06 February 2014 ~ 11 Comments

What is conscientious feminism?

NationPiece

In July 1992, an international conference on Women in Africa and in the African Diaspora (WAAD) was held in Nigeria. WAAD was a rare incident: an interdisciplinary and international conference about African women in Africa. The conference, which took place in the Eastern town of Nsukka during an unusually dry week in July (precipitation for this month […]

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23 January 2014 ~ 16 Comments

The difference between feminism and humanism

Wonder Woman

When it comes to labels, I like mine earnest but not intransigent. So there is something almost moving about someone (most often a man) asking a self-declared feminist like myself why I call myself a feminist and not a humanist. Almost. What prevents me from exultingly throwing my hands up in the air when a […]

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13 January 2014 ~ 17 Comments

Winnie Mandela’s derivative portrayal in a Long Walk to Freedom

winnielongwalk

The latest Nelson Mandela biopic, “Long Walk to Freedom” is not a disappointment. It’s a moving, informative treatment of Nelson Mandela’s eponymous autobiography. And Winnie Mandela as played by Naomie Harris is compelling. Harris conveys well the impassioned spirit of the most powerful woman in the history of African anti-colonial struggle. The movie’s blurb states, […]

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21 December 2013 ~ 17 Comments

The African Femme Fatale

femmefatale

As the year comes to an end, I thought that I would like my last post of the year to be about something exciting, a feminine energy we could do well channeling more of in 2014. Scrolling through old posts and comments, I recognised an energy brewing, one not yet defined but one which can […]

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28 November 2013 ~ 2 Comments

Guest Post: Acceptance breeds solutions, or why Africa needs feminism

AngelEvansPic

This is a guest post by Angel Evans. – After multiple surgeries, my dad now walks with a limp. When he visited me in New York and we toured the city together last summer, I was reminded of his ageing every time I stopped to match his pace or slowly walk by his side. It […]

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21 November 2013 ~ 6 Comments

Africa Lecture Series at OSI Club, University of Berlin

presspic

The Otto-Suhr-Institute for Political Science at the University of Berlin hosts a public lecture series every year to ensure that students of the university as well as citizens of Berlin have a broad and diverse access to discourses on African politics. I will be a guest lecturer at the Africa Lecture Series of the OSI club at […]

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14 November 2013 ~ 3 Comments

The objectification of men

African Renaissance Monument – From Above

I am intrigued, despite my previous post about how African women’s art is feminist, by how seldom women artists (from Africa but also elsewhere) objectify the male body. We lose out from this disengagement with the male as object. Whether it is fine or digital art, photography or sculpture, we are culturally deprived of an artistic female […]

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10 November 2013 ~ 6 Comments

What makes African women’s art feminist?

What makes African women’s art feminist?

It has been said that artistry in Africa is an intrinsic part of life rather than a commercial or careerist enterprise. I’d say that this notion is not only applicable to African art, all across the world art has explored the sensitivities of life and the social environment. However, it is in this process of examining life […]

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24 October 2013 ~ 7 Comments

What does feminine power look like?

Laughter – Explored!!!

Women and power is a current hot topic. It was much discussed at the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society, for instance, where I too spoke about this very theme last week. It has also been recently debated at the Harvard Business School, FEMNET and  BBC’s 100 Women campaign. I welcome the increased emphasis on this topic because […]

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17 October 2013 ~ 26 Comments

Guest post: I love African men too, but do they love me back?

stephanie

This is a guest blog by Stephanie Kimou (pictured) who blogs at A Black Girl in the World *** Minna’s article last week on the reasons why she/we love African men, was pretty spot on right? I certainly appreciate African men and if I may be biased, especially West African men – *swoon*. I agree that […]

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11 October 2013 ~ 9 Comments

What I like about African men

Cyclist tan

Let me start by saying that there are desirable traits in men from all corners of the world. From the Ken-ish charm of a George Clooney type to the Jesus-like gentle features of many Arab and Asian men, our diverse world contains a smorgasbord of likeable men. Yet there is something about African men that evokes […]

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26 September 2013 ~ 23 Comments

Polygamy in Africa has little to do with sex

Polygamy in Africa has little to do with sex

At its core polygamy is natural because men biologically need to spread their seed and it is hard for them to commit to one woman. Right? Wrong. But this argument is one commonly given to explain the tradition. For instance, Ghana’s first president, Kwame Nkrumah, wrote in his autobiography that: “However unconventional and unsatisfactory this […]

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05 September 2013 ~ 11 Comments

We need to eroticise society

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I know what you’re thinking: What do I mean by “eroticise” society and why on earth should we do that? Surely we are obsessed with sex as it is! Well, yes, sex is everywhere but Eros, i.e. Erotic love, isn’t. Our sexual culture is either prudish or pornographic. On one end, we are surrounded by explicit […]

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17 August 2013 ~ 43 Comments

What makes a clitoris dangerous?

CLitoris

Estimates suggest that out of the 140 million people in the world whose clitorises have been removed via Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), 100 million are African. Three million African girls and women are at risk of undergoing the procedure annually. The countries with the highest rates are Sudan and Somalia, which unsurprisingly are two out of nine […]

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08 August 2013 ~ 6 Comments

Global war and its impact on African women

Army, Weapon, Bullets

In a 2006 interview, George Bush referred to the war on terror as World War III. Perhaps he was right. We are witnessing a modern day world (or “global”) war, very simply put between those who claim to be fighting to uphold freedom from extremist religious fundamentalism, and the other side waging war against “unbelievers”. […]

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02 August 2013 ~ 13 Comments

An African feminist analysis of Fela’s “Lady”

An African feminist analysis of Fela’s “Lady”

This post is in remembrance of the legendary Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, deceased on this day in 1997. May his soul continue to rest in peace.  Extract from “Lady” If you call am woman / African woman no go gree / She go say, she go say, I be lady o / CHORUS: She go say, I […]

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21 July 2013 ~ 10 Comments

Thoughts on “Women Rising: Political Leadership in Africa”

Thoughts on “Women Rising: Political Leadership in Africa”

I just watched Women Rising: Political Leadership in Africa, a documentary by FEMNET and UNDP and thought I’d share it with you all here (embedded below). To me, the need for more women in political leadership is possibly the most urgent task for the African feminist agenda. If women are not determining the future of […]

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11 July 2013 ~ 5 Comments

Esther Madudu for the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize

Esther at health centre (credit- Diane McCarthy)

I’m helping a leading African health development organisation, AMREF (African Medical and Research Foundation), spread the word about their Stand Up For African Mothers campaign to nominate a Ugandan midwife, Esther Madudu, for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2015.  If you watch this video you will see why this remarkable woman deserves the prize and all the support in […]

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02 July 2013 ~ 42 Comments

A brief history of African feminism

A brief history of African feminism

Can I start this post with saying, “SIGH”. Reason for my exasperation is the continued suggestion that feminism is “unAfrican” – whatever “unAfrican” means. Personally, I missed the how-to-be-an-African memo! The truth is that feminism is an absolute necessity for African societies. We rank lowest in the global gender equality index, have some of the […]

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27 June 2013 ~ 2 Comments

Meditations with Lorna Simpson

Lorna Simpson

Why do I like pictures that seem ghostly? I’m not religious and I am no more spiritual than any one else. I’m not an atheist either but I cherish rational argument. I spend quite a lot of my time upside down, in Adho Mukha Svanasana and occasionally Urdhva Dhanurasana and so on, and yet despite my fondness for […]

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24 June 2013 ~ 22 Comments

Guest blog: My mother and the marriage question

Back Camera

This is a guest blog by Stephanie Kimou (pictured) who blogs at A Black Girl in the World   **** Most of my American friends do not think about marriage until around 33. Particularly those who I went to graduate school with in DC, they would laugh at the crazy stories that I would share about my mother. Her […]

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19 June 2013 ~ 7 Comments

Second class citizen: African women and nationalism

Second class citizen: African women and nationalism

When I think of nationalism, I think of Virginia Woolf’s words – “As a woman I have no country. As a woman I want no country. As a woman, my country is the whole world.” I too find that there is a tension between the terms ‘nation’ and ‘woman’. Nevertheless, having contributed to the New York Forum […]

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04 June 2013 ~ 0 Comments

What I liked about Louise Mensch’s reality-based feminism piece

What I liked about Louise Mensch’s reality-based feminism piece

In a much debated OpEd last week by former conservative MP, Louise Mensch, Mensch defiantly declares that intersectionality is bollocks and that she for one, has “no intention of checking her privilege”. Mensch went on to hold this intersectional bollocks culpable for “the modern feminist movement […] wasting most of its time in frenzied internal debate about […]

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31 May 2013 ~ 4 Comments

What role can women play in helping to shape their built environment?

Hallway, Milwaukee Art Museum

This post is an extract from a Q&A by sixty7 Architecture Road, a Canadian site devoted to the built environment, which asked four individuals, from various professional backgrounds, and from different parts of the globe, to give answers to the question What role can women play in helping to shape their built environment? Read my […]

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