African theoretical and methodological contributions to feminist knowledge
Prof. Fatima Adamu’s presentation was the next with her introductory section situated within the African context. She made an addition to the contribution of earlier presenters like Prof. Lundgren and Jermaine reiterating the point that Africans had said there was no single “Feminism”. These arguments she said were assumptions because a number of the issues presented by African women were contextual. Josephine Ahikire in 2013, therefore was said to describe feminism in Africa as a boiling point of diverse discourses. In all these discourses however, Prof. Fatima was of the opinion that Africans should identify actions taken by women in the pre- colonial and post colonial eras to challenge “Gender Inequality”.
Other important contributions of Africans to Feminism were as follows:
they could not understand why they should relate their life experiences to people of the western world.
their contribution on the issue of intersectionality, where they realized they were women of diverse backgrounds in relation to class, religion, and different educational and location backgrounds.
At this point, Madam Fatima asked if the activism seen in the different movements in Africa could transform feminists?
Moving on, Prof. Fatima described two strands of feminist movements in Africa with the first basically a period where organizations responded to the needs of women (fought for Land , Health and Education for women) and the second as touching on other problems of development. She added that women of today should struggle with men to build a society, as well as work with other human rights struggles for women to benefit. She buttressed the point that it was not just adding women, but that there should be a total transformation in society or there should be a change in the institutions that hinder progress in society. This is what Dr Charmaine, Prof. Fatima said, described as the gap between the advocates and the majority of women in society which should be dealt with.
Every woman in our culture is a Feminist, because they all would not want to delve into issues of the past. After a 30 mins break, there was a reflection on Prof. Lundgren’s earlier presentation, on which she concluded that, ” the individual should be allowed to develop his full potential which in the case of women is reflected in an additional role of taking care of the home”. She ended by saying that the system should be able to develop both individuals and not allow one to dominate.
Prof. Fatima came in again now to throw more light on how to generate knowledge on gender related issues and the methodology to use. She emphasized generating knowledge in a transformative way.