ADEBISI ADEWUSI (Nigeria)
Adebisi is a bicultural freelance writer and photographer. Growing up around strong women who claimed their spaces unconsciously led her to feminism. She is particularly interested in calling out gender stereotypes that relegate women to the background. Her writings on women have appeared in The Huffington Post, SheLeadsAfrica, Circumspecte, Okay Player and Okay Africa. She blogs weekly on issues affecting African women at thefemaleorator.com. You can find her on twitter @biswag
BETHLEHEM NEGASH WOLDEYOHANNES (Ethiopia)
Bethlehem Negash Woldeyohannes is executive committee member of the Ethiopian Media Women Association (EMWA). EMWA strives to create gender sensitive media and to improve women’s access and participation in it. It also works to enable women to own and benefit from alternative media. For more than 10 years Bethlehem has participated in various endeavors the Association has embarked up on as a Trainer, Media Producer, Community Conversation Facilitator, Project Coordinator, Story Writer and Fundraiser, to help realize its objectives. Bethlehem has over 15 years of experience in Media, Communication, Advocacy and Public Relations fields. Raised by a single mother in extended family of dominant women, she believes she was raised as a feminist. Her exposure to various feminist readings, trainings and discourse has helped her embrace it more. Rights and issues of women and girls is now among the causes dear to her heart. She occasionally writes and shares ideas on the issue of plights of Ethiopian women on, local media platforms and social media.
BILLENE SEYOUM WOLDEYES (Ethiopia)
Billene is the author of Transformative Spaces, a book that explores the opportunities and cultural barriers to authentic female leadership in Ethiopia, which is available on Amazon.com and the Managing Director of Earuyan Solutions. She is the creator and curator of AfricanFeminism (AF). Billene has always identified as a feminist, even before she had the words to articulate the paradigm she advocated for. She believes that a system driven by antiquated patriarchal norms has been of great disservice to women and girls, the world over, and that this system needs an overhaul to bring into balance the perspectives, needs, choices, abilities, voices and contributions of both men and women without preference, repression and domination of one over the other. Feminism is also a way of life for her in which she uses it as a lens to understand the effects on and differences of systems, processes, and institutions between women/girls and men/boys. While she writes on many topics, she is particularly interested in women’s leadership, masculinities and peace and security. Billene also blogs on women’s leadership at www.awib.org.et.
EDDA ZEKARIAS (Ethiopia/Kenya)
Edda is a communications and advocacy strategist who dedicates a substantial part of her time towards supporting girls’ and women’s personal growth through self-discovery. She strongly believes that quality education is a key pillar that will help unlock some of Africa’s pressing socio-economic setbacks. Edda is the founder of Berchi Africa, launched in 2015 to spearhead her vision of creating a space where female students could have greater opportunities to experiment with the concept of out-of-the-box learning through peer and role model interaction, exchanges and mentorship. Edda is also co-founder of what is set to become a national girl guiding association for Ethiopia. One question asked to teenage female students training on a body confidence through ‘Free Being Me’ is what one imagines as society-imposed standards of beauty. A pen and paper are Edda’s best kept secret, both being comfortable and non-judging companions when it comes to understanding reflections and representations on how one chooses to carry ‘the self’ , the focus here being female. A positive body outlook advocate, frequent experiments on perceptions through offline and online conversations come by as intriguing vis-à-vis broader societal constructed culture of shying away from acknowledging that women come in all sizes and shapes.
GODIVA AKULLO (Uganda)
Godiva Akullo is a feminist lawyer and activist with a Bachelor’s degree in Law from Makerere University, a Masters in Law from Harvard Law School and a Diploma in Legal Practice from the Law Development Centre. She is a lecturer on law and a legal consultant. Her feminist ideals are infused in the thoughts that she shares on social media about the position of womyn in society, politics/ democracy and other social issues. She is also quite invested in finding the perfect meme for every emotion she has. You can find Godiva on twitter: @amgodiva
JUDICAELLE IRAKOZE (Burundi)
Judicaelle is a Burundian feminist entrepreneur, passionate about building a world where women get access to every opportunity men have as human beings. She is the founder and Director of Abigaelle Closet, a home to 12 young women who believe Fashion can empower lives. She is also the Founder of “ Choose Yourself”, a non profit organization working to contribute to the economic and social power of women. Through that initiative, “ Girl talk” a platform by women for women to own their space, find their voice and embrace their power was created through conversation series on different topics about womanhood. She fights for equity and enjoy confronting misogynists, benevolent sexists. You can trust her to say what everybody else says behind doors or do not dare to speak about. She is very radical when it’s about women’s oppression which she grew up seeing in her motherland Burundi through domestic violence, rape, toxic traditions.
MEHRET BEREHE (Ethiopia)
Mehret Berehe is a 2017 Mandela Washington Fellow and recent graduate from the College of Law and Governance in Addis Ababa University. Mehret’s journey as an activist for women’s rights started in 2011, when she joined the Yellow Movement AAU, a youth led initiative in Addis Ababa University focused on creating a small but consistent forum for discourse on gender. She enjoyed the learning environment that this created for her and her peers, a space for dialogue on the many social constructions and perspectives that hold women back. This also got her to ask why education isn’t more interactive and aim to give adequate space for exploration and reflection on personal and social values. After graduation, she joined Lebawi High School as a Civic and Ethical education instructor, encouraging her students to evaluate their way of thinking and determine what is truly valuable to them. A true believer that deep reflection on values and ethics will determine that our wellbeing is very much determined by the well being of others. In line with this, Mehret continues her work as an activist in the hopes of finding the Promised Land – a place where all of human kind can find a fulfilling personal and social life, a world made of balance, justice and all things good in the world.
You can Mehret her on her Facebook account: Mehret Okubay
NAFULA WAFULA (Kenya)
Feminist, Pan-African, staunch believer in equality and social justice, Nafula is the Gender Programs Coordinator at Strategic Applications International where she runs SEMA, an initiative that engages young people to be change makers in their communities with regard to human rights and gender equity. So far, it has reached over 5,000 universities, secondary school and community level youth with different GBV programs. SEMA also launched a personal safety mobile phone application. Nafula is also an East Africa Acumen Fellow (2015), Laureate Global Fellow (2015), a Spark Kenya Changemaker (2015), Common Purpose Fellow (2016) and an Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society. She is also an Executive Committee member of the Common Wealth Youth and Gender Equality Network and a mentor at the Queen’s Young Leaders Program. Apart from SEMA, Nafula is the director of Brydges Center Skills Development Project, which provides girls with vocational skills and links them up to entrepreneurship or employment opportunities. She holds a law degree from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology.
NEBILA ABDULMELIK (Ethiopia)
Nebila Abdulmelik is a photographer, writer and poet from Ethiopia whose work is very much influenced by her pan-African, feminist and Islamic values. She believes in the power of storytelling as a way of documenting life for the coming generations. Nebila has an MA in African Studies, with an emphasis on Gender and Development from UCLA. She is currently based in Addis. Visit her site (aliben86.com), and follow her on Instagram and Twitter: @aliben86.
NYAGUTHII KIOI (Kenya)
Nyaguthii is a student from Kenya pursuing a Bachelor of Laws degree at the University of Nairobi. She is also a young mother to a gorgeous little boy and an activist for young mothers as well as victims and survivors of Gender Based Violence. She is the founder of an initiative called Nilibeba Foundation which is a platform for young mothers to give each other support. She is a Vunja Kimya Ambassador meaning that she represents a campaign called Vunja Kimya which is all about breaking the silence on matters of Gender Based Violence, especially in the University level as well as being a peer mentor. She has great dreams and ambitions and hopes to make her mark in the world and leave it a better place and to raise a boy she’ll be proud of. She is a feminist and does not hesitate to speak out against oppression and misogyny.
More of her writing can be found at www.misskioi.wordpress.com.
OLIVE UWAMARIYA (Rwanda)
Olive is a Feminist and Pan-African whose passion and commitment to challenging patriarchy and promoting gender justice stems from the lived inequalities and realities of women and girls in Africa and beyond. Since 2009, she has worked with international organizations as a policy and advocacy strategist to advance the women’s agenda in Rwanda, the Great Lakes region and globally with focus on violence against women and girls and sexual and reproductive health and rights. She is a co-founder and member of SPECTRA Rwanda and Young African Feminist Dialogues, forums which advocate for youth sexual and reproductive health and rights in Africa. She holds a Master’s Degree in Global Affairs from the University of Buckingham, UK. Olive strongly believes in digital platforms and their power in organzsing and effecting change and is an avid user of social media. She can be reached on Twitter: @uwaolive
ROSEBELL KAGUMIRE (Uganda)
Rosebell is a writer, digital communication strategist, public speaker and award-winning blogger. Her experience spans journalism, new media, rights in crisis, migration, women’s rights, peace and security issues- mostly in Africa. In the past she has worked with various Ugandan media and as stringer for various international media outlets. She was recently a Social Media Manager for the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The World Economic Forum also recognized her among Young Global Leaders under 40 for 2013. She blogs at Rosebell’s Blog which won the Waxal – Blogging Africa Awards, the first African journalist blogging awards hosted by Panos Institute of West Africa in 2009.
TRICIA TWASIIMA (Uganda)
Tricia is an unapologetic radical feminist from Uganda with a penchant for high heels and a closeted love of hip-hop music. She is a lawyer, writer, ardent reader and a lover of life. She hopes to use her writing as an expression of anger and outrage at civil and social injustices she observes throughout her life especially against black womyn. She has big dreams and is actively interested in leaving this world a much better place than she found it. Some of her other interests include snap-chatting, wine-drinking, calling out misogyny and occasional daydreaming. She can also be described as a blend between Olivia Pope, Meredith Grey and Mary-Jane. You can find Tricia on twitter: @triciatwasiima
SEWIT HAILESELLASIE (Ethiopia)
Sewit is a gender equality advocate who has experience as a Journalist, researcher, consultant, trainer, guest lecturer, gender expert as well as in communications and partnerships. She is passionate about her work and loves to read. Her outspoken feminism is focused on her personal experiences as well as her situated knowledge as a young wife and mother. She is crazy about her two children and her work a board member in the Association for Women in Boldness, both a constant source of growth and inspiration. He goal in life is to learn and is uplifted by stimulating conversation. She likes to shakes things up while getting things done and lives to make a lasting impact.