Feminism Has Always Existed in Africa

In much of pre-modern Africa, there were women who possessed economic, political and spiritual power. To name only a few there were warrior women like the Amazons or Fon women of Dahomey. Or royalty who used their powers to demand justice like Makeda of Ethiopia, Nzinga of Angola or Mnkabayi of Zululand.

However, it is also true that women who weren’t lucky to be born into spiritually empowered clans or who weren’t wealthy traders or chiefly women, would face subjugation due to their gender.

The term ‘feminism’ in Africa is obviously an import just like every other English or French or Portuguese term is. However, the feministic concept is not an import in the very slightest. They didn’t always call it feminism (the noun) but there have always been women who were feminist (the adjective).

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