When it comes to the bride price app there is only one word. No.

BridePr

This post is inspired by a piece  CNN published on Wednesday about the Nigerian bride price app, an app/quiz which calculates the marital value of a woman by pricing attributes such as her height, weight, beauty, cooking skills, education and dialect. All in jest, yeah, the app, as the site’s disclaimer says is, “a joke, and…

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Seven things that women want in Africa’s future

onu-phumzile-mlambo-ngcuka

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

Doreen-007b

“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 the genitalia that I was born with, no other assumptions…

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What is conscientious feminism?

Head of Woman

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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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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Interview with Iheoma Obibi, founder of Nigeria’s first online sex shop

iheomapic

Welcome back to my interview series! Over the past years I’ve interviewed inspiring women of African heritage highlighting their work and observations on life. This time around, I’m especially excited to introduce readers to Iheoma Obibi, an African feminist writer, human rights activist and more recently the creative director and business owner of Intimate Pleasures Desires…

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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The more oppressive towards women, the more superstitious a society. On witch hunts in Africa

from soil to soul

It is most often agreed that poverty, exacerbated by a lack of education, tends to lie behind a widespread belief in witchcraft. However, the reasons people seek scapegoats for their misfortunes is more complex than so. First of all, let’s establish that witch accusations are widespread around Africa. And not only accusations but also murders….

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Africa is a great country – new photography exhibition in Sweden

On April 11th, I’m in Stockholm as one of four keynote speakers at the launch of Africa is a Great Country, a photography exhibition by Jens Assur, taking place at Liljevalchs. I’ll be speaking alongside Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Richard Dowden and Hans Rosling and my speech is titled “Images of African women“. Africa is a Great Country is about seeing Africa…

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What does women’s day mean to African bloggers?

When I was seventeen, I got a job as a telephone salesperson of ink cartridges. The worst thing about the job was that I was so good at it. I was promoted and was eventually earning a serious lot of money. I don’t know what made me a successful ink cartridge seller but I use…

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Can women have it all? On marriage, motherhood and work

The Weaver

  One of the most popular articles in 2012 was “Why women still can’t have it all“, by Anne-Marie Slaughter in The Atlantic. It received the most facebook likes any Atlantic article has ever received and everyone from Michelle Obama to Gloria Steinem weighed in on the matter. Whether or not women can have it…

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In praise of, Beyoncé.

I can’t believe I fell for your schemes, I’m smarter than that/So dumb and naive to believe that with me you’re a changed man/Foolish of me to compete when you cheat with those women /It took me some time, but now I moved on/Cause I realized I got/Me, myself and I/That’s all I got in…

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Who is an African woman?

African Profile at Peace with the World

When people ask me what I do, and I respond that I’m a blogger, and that I blog about topics that primarily concern African women, quite often they proceed to either tell me about an humanitarian or developmental cause they are involved with or have read about. Sometimes they ask me how my blog reaches…

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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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Huffington Post: Meditate Your Way Through Negative Articles About Black Women

I submitted the below post to the Huffington Post editors before the racist and sexist cover image of Michelle Obama as a nude slave appeared in one of Spain’s biggest newspapers, El Mundo’s, supplement. This morning an interview with Gabby Douglas went live revealing that her teammates called her a slave. Unfortunately, the constant tending…

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Discovering African feminism

two women in the park, 2010

  ‘Blackfeminism is not white feminism in blackface‘ – Audre Lorde As a young girl I could not get my head round the society I lived in, where Nigerian men seemed to have many more privileges than women just for being men, a reality I later discovered applied in different ways to other societies as…

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Geocolonialism, Africa and Rio+20

Chamarel Waterfalls

Although Africa hosts 40% of the world’s biodiversity, 20% of forest reserves and over 50% of the energy potential in the world, what I’ll be referring to as “geocolonialism” is impeding the progress of a flourishing and sustainable environment in Africa and worldwide. This week has seen the much awaited Rio+20 take place, the largest…

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Participating in OpenForum 2012 and OpenForumYouthSummit in Cape Town, South Africa

From May 22 – 24, the OpenForum 2012 in Cape Town will provide an unprecedented opportunity for activists, academics, businesspeople and policy-makers to take a critical look at the factors that will influence the African democracy and governance agenda over the next decade, debate the paradox of unequal growth and turn innovative ideas into action…

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Beyonce, skin colour and carrots

Carrots anyone ??

Beyonce was crowned most beautiful woman in the world by People Magazine this week and that resurfaced the skin colour topic with many debating whether the light skinned Beyonce is an accurate representation of “Black Beauty”. The skin colour conversation is important, crucial even, for similar reasons that I think we should upkeep the hair conversation….

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The power of images – African women and Swedish politicians

Lena Liljeroth Adelsohn ger regeringens syn på Kreativa Europa

I don’t tend to get surprised about racist acts, at least not when it’s so stereotypical as this whole tragic ordeal with the Swedish culture minister eating a cake of what is supposed to be a mutilated African woman. As a mixed race person I’ve experienced racism from the places where it possibly chafes the…

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The real reason African patriarchs have a problem with African feminism

Upon hearing the term African feminist, many African men and women will say, we as Africans don’t need feminism, we just need to return to our roots to see that there was harmony between the genders. The first problem with such a statement is that Africa is not that simple. African pasts are complex and…

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Mentor and panelist at Southbank Centre WOW-Women of the World festival

Screen shot 2012-03-01 at 20.01.10

The WOW – Women of the World festival returns to the UK’s largest arts centre, Southbank Centre, on Thursday 8th of March coinciding with International Women’s Day. Throughout history, many women’s achievements have gone unnoticed or unsung. I created WOW – Women of the World Festival to celebrate the formidable power of women to make…

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