On January 1, 2011 i started the site ethiopianfeminist.wordpress.com a short three months after i had moved back to Addis Ababa. My aim initially was to document my observations on issues of gender equality and inequality through a feminist lens as i went about my daily life in Addis. A few months later, Aberash Hailay’s case shook the city and this platform became a source of information about the campaign, “Ahun be Ayne Meta,” created by concerned citizens in collaboration with the Network of Ethiopian Women’s Association. As a member of the core campaign team, I closely followed the case as it unfolded and through providing first hand account of the case, the site grew in creating dialogue on issues of gender based violence and violence against women in Ethiopia. Back then, this site was also the only feminist voice coming out of Ethiopia and it had the intention of inspiring others female voices to emerge in the blogosphere.
In 2012, i made the strategic decision to transform the site to http://www.africanfeminism.com. This decision emanated from my need to understand similar issues on the continent and engage with other African feminists. It was also a response to the lack of Ethiopian voices on continental issues. There was so much to understand and talk about by way of shared experiences, challenges, and opportunities throughout the continent. Despite these grand intentions, it was difficult to source diverse and lived experiences from other parts of Africa given the fact that i was stationed in Ethiopia. As a result most of my articles remained heavily focused on experiences within Ethiopia. With a site called AfricanFeminism though, sharing only an Ethiopian paradigm would not suffice.
Therefore, now in 2016, this site has made another turning point and evolved into a collaborative project with other African feminists. This collaboration now features five authors/writers, including myself, with the long-term ambition of bringing on board at least one feminist voice from each country in the continent. AfricanFeminism (AF) is an online feminist platform that encourages open discussion and dialogue on feminist issues throughout the continent. We are about inquiry, questioning, dialoguing and transforming mind-sets through such processes. We are not afraid to claim the word ‘Feminism’ and invite open dialogue to better understand this paradigm through our own and others’ lived experiences. My good friend and fellow feminist writer, James Waruiru, shared with me a few weeks ago that he had a vision that AfricanFeminism (AF) will grow like a spider’s web – strong and connected – to incite conversations on taboo topics, challenge inequality mindsets, foster gender equality consciousness. We will now be bringing our readers more content from AF writers and other guest bloggers as well.
If you are a feminist from anyone of the 54 African countries and would like to embark on this pan-African feminist journey, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org expressing your interest and sharing a short writing sample. If you would like to guest blog, also email us at email@example.com.
Welcome aboard the new AfricanFeminism journey!
Love & Light