Frequently Asked Questions

Who founded the African Feminist Forum?

The African Feminist Forum was founded by self-identified African feminists who wanted to create a regional platform to link feminist energies and initiatives. Members of the regional AFF has since gone on to create national Feminist Forums; hosting convenings and organising solidarity, advocacy and ongoing support space for feminist activists in and between countries.

How do you define African feminism?

In the AFF we draw on the Charter of Feminist Principles for a common definition.

“We have multiple and varied identities as African Feminists. We are African women – we live here in Africa and even when we live elsewhere, our focus is on the lives of African women on the continent. Our feminist identity is not qualified with `Ifs`, `Buts’, or `Howevers’. We are Feminists. Full stop.”

“As African feminists our understanding of feminism places patriarchal social relations structures and systems which are embedded in other oppressive and exploitative structures at the center of our analysis. Patriarchy is a system of male authority which legitimizes the oppression of  women through political, social, economic, legal cultural, religious and military institutions….Thus to challenge patriarchy effectively also requires challenging other systems of oppression and exploitation, which frequently mutually support each other.”

“Patriarchal ideology enables and legitimizes the structuring of every aspect of our lives by establishing the framework within which society defines and views men and women and constructs male supremacy. Our ideological task as feminists is to understand this system and our political task is to end it. Our focus is fighting against patriarchy as a system rather than fighting individual men or women. Therefore, as feminists, we define our work as investing individual and institutional energies in the struggle against all forms of patriarchal oppression and exploitation.”

Who attends the regional African Feminist Forum?

To date the African Feminist Forum has been organised on an invitation basis. This is for two reasons.

The first is the need to create a shared common political space where African feminists can build analysis and grow solidarity in a context of mutual respect. Participants are recommended through our network of feminists in the AFF Working Group and national Feminist Forums. We are conscious to include the full diversity of African women including with regards to physical ability, age and sexuality; and to different forms of feminist activism.
The second reason is financial. The AFF has in the past provided scholarships for the majority of participants, which means that there is a natural limit to participation due to budgets. This model will be shifting to enable greater self-funded participation in future.

When is the next regional AFF?

The 4th regional African Feminist Forum will take place in Harare, Zimbabwe in April 2016. Registration for the 4th AFF is now closed. You can follow discussions and analysis coming from the event by following updates on this website and following the AFF on Twitter @AFF001