Theoretical exposition of feminism amd womanism in African context

  • Maxwell Z. Shamase
Keywords: Africana, feminism, womanism, women, sexual equality, stiwanism, taxonomy


A plethora of scholars argue that that feminism is tailor-made to serve a particular group of people and it does not address the need of all women. As a term conceptualized and adopted by white American women, feminism entails an agenda designed to meet the needs and demands of that particular group. For this reason, it is plausible for white women to identify with feminism and feminist movement. Placing all women’s history under white women’s history, thereby giving the latter a definite position, is problematic. Thus, various definitions, including womanism, have been coined to best suit the needs of different racial groups, black women in particular. Alice Walker (1983) in her acclaimed volume of essays “In search of our mother’s garden” though using the term womanism interchangeably, argues that a “womanist” was “a black feminist or feminist of color”. Most African American women note little difference between the two since both support a common agenda of black women’s self definition and self-determination.This paper presents and attests to a view that while feminism and womanism are western-oriented, there is a feminism and womanism intelligible in an African context.

Keywords: Africana; feminism; womanism; women; sexual equality; stiwanism; taxonomy


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1596-9231