Awra Amba, an Ethiopian village where gender equality is real

Gebeyehu & Mesghana from Awra Amba

If I were an alien visiting our planet this week I’d think, “Whoa, how’s that for a mess, one half of the species trying to annihilate the other half!” We on earth don’t see it that way ourselves; or we would be in revolution against misogynist warfare. Yet an eye that has not been conditioned to normalise the…

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Seven things that women want in Africa’s future


This week, more than 3000 delegates are at the annual meetings of the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Kigali discussing new strategies to tackle poverty, underdevelopment, and put their weight behind global schemes that ensure Africa’s progress. To mark the occasion, UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, published an OpEd today titled Women’s Role in the Next 50…

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Africa Lecture Series at OSI Club, University of Berlin


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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Alliance 54 to host Africa Global Women in Business Forum

As a member of the advisory board of the Africa Global Women in Business Forum (AGWIBF), it’s my pleasure to inform you of the upcoming Africa Global Women in Business Forum hosted by Alliance 54 taking place in London on 30-31 October. The aim of the meeting is to promote financial inclusion for African women and a…

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What makes a clitoris dangerous?


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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Global war and its impact on African women

ArmyAmber / Pixabay

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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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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Esther Madudu for the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize

© 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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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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Mobilising African Women in the Diaspora – FORWARD Conference


On Saturday, 6th April, I’ll be joining a host of inspiring speakers (see below) to address the matter of ‘Mobilising African Women in the Diaspora: Creating a movement for African women’s leadership, rights and development’.  The conference is hosted by FORWARD UK and will take place between 10.30am-6.30pm at Greencoat Place. If you would like to attend, complete the registration form which…

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Women, leadership and inspiration: Pan-African Powa Panel

From left: Theo Sowa, Angelique Kidjo, Jessica Horn, Lebo Mashile, Minna Salami

This is a transcript of a speech I delivered at the Southbank Centre in July. I call it a POWA panel because I was in the company of some of the continent’s most powerful voices and inspirations – Angelique Kidjo, Lebo Mashile, Theo Sowa and our moderator Jessica Horn. Below is also a clip of…

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MsAfropolitan Boutique interview series – Edith Victoria of All Thingz Nice

ATN Founderedited

The MsAfropolitan Boutique aims to provide a platform where design by women of African heritage can be purchased, celebrated and reach a wide audience.  We believe that all creativity is a form of storytelling and when it reaches community the outcome is transformation and empowerment. Customers are invited to a shopping experience that centers around community and empowerment, including distinct…

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MsAfropolitan Boutique interview series – Margaret Kadi of Project Sierra Leone


It’s been a few months since the last MsAfropolitan Boutique Interview (with Jessica Huie of Colorblind Cards) and I’m delighted to resume the series. In case it’s your first time here, the MsAfropolitan Boutique is an online shop launched as a tribute to the African Women’s Decade 2010 – 2020 and selling design made by…

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Shop design made by women of African heritage


Launched as a tribute to the African Women’s Decade 2010 – 2020, The MsAfropolitan Boutique celebrates the entrepreneurship of Africa and diaspora women as a one-stop shop for fashion, accessories, art and gift collections made by women of African heritage. In 2011, it was featured in the Huffington Post, catchavibe, SOAS World Magazine, Women of the…

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Running a workshop on race & identity at Mobilising young African women in the UK

I’m taking part in an event titled Mobilising Young African Women in the UK. It will be an afternoon of interactive workshops and panel discussions on December 3rd at the Africa Centre Why should you attend this event? Are you fed up with the negative images of Africa especially of women and want to promote…

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1-year anniversary of the African Women’s Decade

Today marks the one year anniversary of the AWD. The idea of a Women’s Decade was hatched in 1975 at the First World conference on women, but it took years of efforts to dig the path that in 2008 manifested as the proposal for an African Women’s Decade (AWD) by ministers of gender and women affairs in…

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