Pan African Feminism: From Freedom Fighters to Feminists

Colloquium | April 24 | 12:30-2 p.m. | 223 Moses Hall

 Amina Mama

 Center for African Studies

Whether hailed for transitioning to the ballot box, or condemned for failing to hold elections, African regimes continue to exhibit profound contradictions with regard to gender and sexual politics. Patriarchal state practices range from the paternalistic inclusion associated with ballot box democracy, to more coercive, politically authoritarian modes of control. The widespread formal acceptance of gender equality in law has not however, ended the oppression and exploitation of women. This lecture addresses the persistence of gender exploitation and oppression in a 21st century dominated by neoliberal globalization, militarization and resurgent right-wing populism. Selected examples are presented to explore how local contradictions arising from global policies are catalysing women into modes of organizing that are informed by state-of-the-art feminist research and analysis.

Amina Mama is a Nigerian/British feminist researcher and academic, whose career spans European, African and U.S. institutions. She has dedicated much of her career to creating institutional spaces for strengthening radical intellectual work, teaching, research and publication, and film. Major publications include Beyond the Masks: Race, Gender and Subjectivity (Routledge 1995), co-edited Engendering African Social Sciences (CODESRIA 1997) and extensive contributions to peer-reviewed journals. She collaborated in the production of two documentary films, The Witches of Gambaga (2010 co-producer) and The Art of Ama Ata Aidoo (Executive Producer Fadoa films 2014). Her areas of interest include methodology, pedagogy, identity, politics, critical policy studies, higher education, militarism, and she is founding editor of the continent’s first open access gender studies journal, Feminist Africa.