I’m studying for my History class and need an explanation.
Pamela J. Olubunmi Smith wrote the following article about the struggles of feminism in African women. The increase of the feminist movement in America not only drove action for women rights across the states but in Africa as well. Although feminist movements in Africa grew stronger, African women have a history of their own. Smith talks about the women’s riots to fight for their rights. The Harry Thukua Massacre in Kenya, The Anlu Uprising and The Aba Women’s Riot in Eastern Nigeria are only a few of historic female rebellions to be heard. These protests all had different goals and meaning. Women protested against oppressive colonial agricultural policies. Because of this, the advantage of their rights to crops were taken from them. Smith lets her reader know that there has been no silence in women suffrage in African. “In the casof Eastern Nigeria as in other colonized parts of the continent, the imposition of government systems alien to women’s autonomy and economic security and put in place the subordination of women”. Meaning that long before the 1920s, feminism was still relevant and was charged by anti-colonial sentiments. The government system was still foreign to the idea of feminism and was slowly eating away at the idea. Bohannon and Curtin states that “women like all commodity became property” as they describe pre-colonial African women’s “high social positioning”. Women economic and political positions were dropped. Smith then mentions that even though there is an infinite battle with a male-dominated capitalist government, women still protested and kept guarding their rights. Feminism in Africa still have a long road a head of it. Feminism in Africa is far from leaving conventional traditional social mores but the status of women enhances with modemization and African feminism is continuing to increase and be more well known for all African women.
This weeks reading was about the women in Africa. Because of the new wave of feminism in the United States, as well as other declarations, women in Africa started to be heard. Pamela J. Olubunmi Smith wrote this essay “to examine the nature and role of African feminism in light of the condition of women… so that we might be truly free to be and become”. (Smith 11). African feminism is defined as understanding the experiences women go through in African society. The problems that the African women face in society are “deeply rooted in the nature of traditional society” (Smith 13). In 1944, political gains have been made, including women’s franchise in Nigeria. There has been many female writers who gave women a voice about the mistreatment they have been receiving. “African women writers emphasize the fact that the social condition of women in Africa is fraught with contradictions”. (Smith 14). In societies where there is male dominance, women are bound to suffer. There are 4 different aspects women would suffer: biological, social, political oppression, and exploitation. There are many obstacles women in Africa face, one being polygyny. Since there is such a widespread of polygyny in Africa, it will be hard for it to just go away. There is also a long history of it and African men continue to practice it. Men ignore the stress it put on women. There are a lot of people that are trying to help women overcome this battle. Churches “play a significant political role in helping women to build a more dynamic community of women by educating them to be their own advocates”. (Smith 16). The church also advances “feminism by eradicating the sexism…”. (Smith 16). Women all over the world are fighting for equality, and won’t give up until we get it.