Feminism has been spreading around the world with the great speed for the last years. Africa turned out to be the country which faces many problems not only in the connection with poverty but also in connection with the lack of women rights. These 10 feminists try to make some changes in the African continent and throughout its diaspora.

 

Maame Afon Yelbert-Obeng

Maame was born and raised in Ghana. Being surrounded by a single mother, several aunties, and female cousins, from the early childhood she saw how strong and brave women had to be. These details made her feel greatly proud of the gender identity. For the past 12 years, Maame has been working on changes to improve lives of women and girls across Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

Maame considers herself as a Whole Woman with a great variety of important roles: she is a mother, mentor, activist, musician, wife, sister and a woman of faith.One of her aims is to share the beautiful story of this self-identification with other females.

Aisha Fofana Ibrahim

Aisha Fofana Ibrahim is a feminist scholar, researcher, and activist. She is currently the Director of the INGRADOC at Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone. Her work, actually, covers a wide range of issues including women’s experience of war, their role in post-conflict reconstruction and the lack of opportunities for political participation.

Aisha tries to change the way people think about women’s leadership. According to the interview, she mostly focuses on overcoming barriers that limit females’ entry into politics.

Zawadi Ny’ongo

Zawadi’s family is quite famous: her father Anyang’ Nyongo’ is a politician and her sister Lupita is a Hollywood actress. Zawadi seems not to be as popular as another daughter but her role in the African feminist movement is of a great value. For over 15 years she has been an advocate for women’s rights and for about nine years – a leader in the field of sexual and reproductive rights.

Zawadi’s most successful project is the is the #1MilliForJadudi campaign which raised over $71,000 in a couple of days, to help a 24 -years-old brain cancer patient Emmanuel Otieno to get surgery in India. “I am a feminist because I care”, she says. She really cares not only about women but those who really need support.

Shamillah Wilson

Shamillah is a Life Coach and Founder of Project Ignition established to provide young people with a variety of opportunities to reach their greatest potential and grow into activists. Her participation in the feminist movement is followed by the same aim – she wants to let more women take part in different spheres of life, especially, in entrepreneurship. Working as a consultant on females’ rights, HIV/AIDS and sexual rights helps her to achieve this goal.

Shamillah believes that feminism is not about the separation of personal and professional but it is about the way you live your life.

Abena Busia

In March 2011, AWDF recognized Professor Abena Busia as one of 50 inspirational African feminists. She is a co-director and co-editor of the groundbreaking Women Writing Africa Project, a multi-volume anthology published by the Feminist Press at the City University of New York.

Abena has been widely published on black women’s’ literature, colonial discourse, and postcolonial studies. Her bibliographical list includes two volumes of poetry “Testimonies Exile” and “Traces of life” and such edited works as “Theorizing Black Feminisms: The Visionary Pragmatism of Black Women”, “Beyond Survival: African literature and the search for new life”.  

Awino Okech

Amino was born and raised in Kenya. Her journey with feminism started after high school through an apprenticeship with a local organization Kenya Female Advisory Organisation (KEFEADO). Since then she took a keen interest in women’s rights. During her studies, Amino joined one of the few feminist theatre collectives.

Now Amino Okech creates projects based on the connection between gender, sexuality and nation/state in conflict and post-conflict societies. Her journey is successfully continuing.

Minna Salami

Minna Salami is the founder of the award-winning MsAfropolitan blog, which covers Africa and this diaspora from a feminist angle. Through the texts, she offers thoughts on issues that affect Nigerian women. Salami’s blogs and articles are featured in The Huffington Post, Al Jazeera, and The Guardian. Minna is well-known not only among these magazines’ readers but also among TED’s listeners thanks to her sincere speech where she highlights how out of touch the stereotypes about African women are from reality.

To change the world, change your illusions. “

Salami was included in the list of “40 African Change-makers under 40” of Applause Africa and has received a number of well-earned rewards.

 Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Adichie is a Nigerian writer of novels, short stories, and nonfiction. In 2008 she was awarded a MacArthur Genius Grant. In 2009 Adichie spoke on “The Danger of a Single Story” for TED. This interview has soon become one of the top ten most-viewed TED Talks of all time, with over thirteen million views. She has also delivered a talk entitled: “We should all be feminists“.

The list of her awards seems to be endless and impressive. Many of her books were translated into different languages.

Leymah Gbowee

Leymah Gbowee was seventeen years old when the Liberian civil war started and turned her, in her own words, “from a child into an adult in a matter of hours.” This reality has greatly influenced her future life. Now she is a Liberian peace activist accountable for leading a women’s non-violent movement. She is also Founder and President of the Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa, based in Monrovia. Furthermore, in October 2011 the Norwegian Nobel Committee made Gbowee one of three female recipients of the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize.

Don’t stay in the shadows. Refuse to stay in the shadow. Break out about your dreams. Break out about your passion that you have for changing the world. Break out about how you feel about things. Never hold back. Refuse to be in the shadows as you step out into this life. Don’t be shy no matter how crazy it seems to you. That crazy idea may just be the solution for some crazy global or local problem. “

Amina Doherty

Amina Doherty started to call herself feminist during undergraduate years when she found herself lost in the writings of Chandra Mohanty, Gloria Anzaldúa, June Jordan. Amina was greatly inspired when she made connections from their words with the life stories of her mother and her grandmother. Over the years her interest in feminism has increased and revealed itself through different forms: art exhibitions, community programmes, cultural events and grant-making initiatives. Now she is a founding member and coordinator of FRIDA | The Young Feminist Fund, an organization that aims to strengthen the capacity of young feminist organizations around the world through small grants. For her feminism is ‘earth-based, heart-filled and spirit-centered.’ 

African feminism shows the realities of women in different cultures of African countries. These women are quite brave to stand up for political ethics and human rights, advocate for the revision of biased colonial-era laws, intervene during armed conflict to protect the rights of civilians, challenge religious fundamentalisms. It is resulted in some solid and important changes. 

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