Quotes from Voice, Power and Soul

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Our hope is to allow new readings of Africa’s history by shedding light on the things that women do and say- Abena Pokua Adompim Busia In the fight for women to reclaim their voices I have personally pledged to leave no stone unturned. – Aïssatou Cisse I often find that stigma is informed by ignorance […]

Our hope is to allow new readings of Africa’s history by shedding light on the things that women do and say- Abena Pokua Adompim Busia

In the fight for women to reclaim their voices I have personally pledged to leave no stone unturned. – Aïssatou Cisse

I often find that stigma is informed by ignorance and once people are informed and engaged with, they often appreciate and join the feminist cause.- Allen Sophia Asiimwe

The greatest external threat to women (and by extension humanity) is the growth and acceptance of a misogynistic, authoritarian and violent culture of militarism- Amina Mama

I know that I have the right to be free, and to do what I like. – Aminata Dieye

I am always amazed by the degree of awareness among women and the boundless determination that women have to pursue the struggle they have set for themselves. – Aminetou Mint Moctar

Having more feminists in government and public spaces would change thinking towards a better livelihood for all. – Asma’u Joda

every woman should have something of her own, something made from the sweat of her own hands. – Atsango N. Chesoni

Feminism is a continuous journey for me.- Awino Okech

Women’s human rights are essential to democratic, equitable and sustainable development on planet Earth. – Ayesha Mei-Tje Imam

We are bombarded by this excuse of “culture” which is rarely called upon except when it is used to enforce sexism– Bene E. Madunagu

I am a feminist because I have never lived in any world that is habitable except the world of women and girls. – Betty Makoni

My own mother was determined to ensure that my sisters and I grew up to be independent as women, and made many sacrifices for it along the way. – Carolyn Adipo Angir

Central to our success is keeping and building new feminist autonomous spaces – Christine Butegwa

I live and breathe feminism. Not-in-your-face feminism, but nevertheless, everyday, on-going feminism. – Comfort Eshiet

In this era of “no alternatives”, I see feminist ideology and politics to be the only viable alternative paradigm. – Demere Kitunga

One day I asked my father, “can a girl be the first?”, and he responded, “well, show them that a girl can!”. – Djingarey Maiga

I believe that having children is a gift from God but not the raison d’être of being a woman– Dorcas Coker-Appiah

In the organisations that feminists have created we need to re-value personal development, coaching and mentoring of young feminists– Ennie Chipembere

I keep asking myself in whatever I do or say – will this change women’s lives in the long term? Will this alter power relations? – Everjoice J. Win

I am compelled to remain on this feminist path by the many women that I come across in my life’s journey who have dared to hope, to challenge, and to feel comfortable in living differently– Florence Butegwa

We need to promote participation of self-identified feminists in strategic political, social and economic institutions. – ’Funmi Olonisakin

There is a rich tradition of feminism in Africa- it needs to be documented and publicised! – Hakima Abbas

I believe in women’s leadership and work towards seeing women in decision-making and leadership positions. – Hilda Tadria

When I was young, I thought that life of equality, wisdom and justice would be my birthright if only I worked hard at school, excelled, got a good job and a good salary. I was wrong.– Hope Chigudu

I always remember that my own mother was courageous enough to leave a violent relationship, and to save herself and her children from further victimisation. – Iheoma Kennaya Obibi

I believe in the power and soul of women – Isatou Touray

I am proud of being a woman and have always insisted on the opportunity to make choices without any apology- Jamesina Essie King

My experience of working with national government made me see the need to mobilise financial and other forms of support for women candidates running for political office who subscribe to a feminist agenda for change. – Jeannette Eno

Feminists are often accused of being “deracinated and westernised”, which is an incorrect and unfair characterisation. – Setcheme Jeronime M. Mongbo

We need to recognise that the choice to love rather than despise each other is a political act. We need to keep expanding the feminist embrace.– Jessica Horn

My earliest recollection is when I confronted my father and told him that he would never negotiate for dowry for my marriage. – Jessica Babihuga Nkuuhe

I am inspired to act in the face of injustice, oppression and inequalities, and to speak out, and make demands to right the wrong done. – Joy Ngozi Ezeilo

I have found it useful in various struggles to figure out ways of changing or subverting the law for transformation. – Kaari Murungi

During war and armed conflict women and girls are subjected to all manner of violence committed against them. – Katana Gégé Bukuru

I am the one who angers people, despite my smile, as I bring up taboo topics, demand women’s rights, and hold no apology for this stance. – Korto Reeves Williams

Why must women sex workers, or in fact any woman, be reduced to a stereotype, a fantasy, an object of somebody’s hate? – Kyomya Macklean

I realised that my “big mouth” is a means of communicating what women in conflict situations are really going through. – Leymah Roberta Gbowee

I feel privileged to be part of the band of “Mad Women” that have shaped social reality – Luta M. Shaba

Women have found their personal will to stand up and be counted by refusing to be victims and mere spectators in a world of inequality. – Mabel Ule Ngoe-Takona

I claim a Muslim and a feminist identity because I am an activist for a world where equal rights and opportunities will be for every human and not for a few- Mairo V. Bello

I have never believed that men make the best leaders or rulers in society.– Margaret Dongo

My belief in women’s agency was further entrenched by being raised in Bwaise, a slum area that originally belonged to single women. – Maria Nassali

I am a militant who has her convictions, personal experience as an African woman and professional experience as a health worker. – Mariam Tendou Kamara

This is what we need to sustain- a movement for African women, which reflects and is supportive of the diversity within this population. – Marren Akatsa-Bukachi

I have always perceived myself as a whole. – Mary Sandasi

I have lived my very normal life carrying all kinds of labels like a “rebel” and “single parent”. –Mary Sandasi

Feminism is the tool that revealed to me that my mother’s decision to give me her surname was a radical form of feminist resistance to patriarchal domination. – Mary Wandia

I got married at the age of twenty-two with no bride-price exchanged. When it did not work for me, I left. – Maude Mugisha

We have to completely reverse the focus on territorial and military security, and redirect it towards human security. – Muadi Mukenge

I live the life of a feminist in my home, and in my religious, social and political spaces.– Musimbi Kanyoro

I treasure and hold my multiple identities because that gives me the freedom to pursue my multiple interests and enables me to be who I want to be. – Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah

My heart, mind and my soul know without a doubt that I should be judged not by the colour of my skin or my gender. Patricia Ann Made

I am a firm believer in the idea that change must start where we are. – Pravina Makan-Lakha

In 2001 I found myself being the only MP to register opposition to the arms deal by abstaining in the Defence Budget vote. – Pregaluxmi Govender

Most of our resources are still controlled by men, and “culture” is still used as an excuse to perpetuate oppression. – Prudence Nobantu Mabele

As a feminist I believe in myself and value my personhood.– Rissi Assani-Alabi

In my personal life I have invested in raising my children with ideas and sensibilities that help them challenge gender discrimination. – Rokhaya GayeI find injustice completely de-motivating and cause to stand up and be counted! – Roselynn Musa

Feminism is that revolution that showed me how to dance. – Sarah Mukasa

If we harness our creativity into creating alternative economic paradigms, I believe we would have the basis for funding our revolution. – Shamillah Wilson

Women aren’t free just because they are surviving, or even economically comfortable. They are free only when they have power over their own lives. – Shreen Essof

I am a feminist because I am a woman living in a world where if I am not vigilant, I will be erased, exploited or dehumanised. – Siphokazi Mthathi

To me feminism means women’s universal freedom from oppression of the mind, soul, thought, body, sexuality and spirit. – Solome Nakaweesi-Kimbugwe

As a little girl I always wanted explanations for why I should or should not do one thing or the other– Stella Mukasa

We have successfully challenged oppressive and discriminatory laws in the Ugandan Constitutional Court regarding women’s rights in divorce, adultery and inheritance legislations. – Sylvia Tamale

In the African context we contend with unfair cultural beliefs that a woman has no say in what happens in her life. – Temitayo Abosede Oyedemi

At the end of each day I take stock of what I have achieved, who I have touched, how I have grown, and with that I gather more energy for tomorrow.– Tomupeishe Anne Maphosa

I believe that women have equal rights above, on, and beneath the earth, and are wonderfully created just as men are. – Una Kumba Thompson

To build a feminist movement in Africa we need to join forces- Usu Ndeanasia Mallya

When I witness the resilience of women all over the world, rising above the most difficult situations, I am reminded that I can never give up.– Zawadi Nyong’o

I have a passion for oral herstories, collecting the life stories of older African women as a means of documenting women’s testimony and experience. – Zeedah Mutheu Doris Meierhofer-Mangeli

I hate injustice. I am a fighter and injustice makes me fight for rights. – Irene Ovonji-Odida

Compiled by Jessica Horn


The 'African Feminist Ancestors Project' seeks to document the rich history of African women's struggles for autonomy and change. Click on the button below if you would like to contribute details of an African Feminist Ancestor to this project.