African Women Online: How African Women are bossing the internet
Women are doing a lot of things on the internet.
Some are tweeting, some are poking, some are taking selfies or pictures of food. Some are emailing their bosses, some are reading news and some are posting twerk videos. In Africa women are doing all these things and much more including smashing all things misogynistic and patriarchal right in the face.
There is online awesomeness run by African women that is tackling everything from coming to commerce, from politics to passion. These platforms hail from all around the continent, from Ghana to Egypt to Uganda and beyond. Various sites and social media platforms are looking to change the way we think about how African women move through the World Wide Web, calling us all to join the party or get left behind.
This an extended profile of African women’s moving and shaking on the internet that was first published on This Is Africa. There are a couple more entries and the ones in there are longer.
Check it out.
Adventures from the Bedrooms of African Women
What are women doing between the sheets, on the kitchen counter, in international conference spaces and possibly on the bathroom floor? Are African women having good sex despite the moans that fill the night sky?
Adventures will tell you.
With the array of contributors of various sexualities, nationalities and backgrounds there are so many stories here that form part of an amazing tapestry of tales. The site has grown to a place where women can share tips, experiences and much more. From moments of seducing straight women to contraceptives to or Christianity and ‘coming through the back door’ no topic is off limits. Adventures wants to tell a more empowered story of African female sexuality.
Mon Pi Mon
Facebook: Mon Pi Mon Facebook Page
The email that started this blog was entitled ‘Women and Uganda and taking over the country.’ With those words Mon Pi Mon was born.
Mon pi Mon translates to Women for Women in the Acholi language, and that is what this site is all about: Ugandan Women and their everyday experiences. This blog makes the Ugandan woman’s experience far more nuanced than merely being about her husband and children and explores the other sides of their existence that kick life in the ass and say I. Am. Here.
The site wanted to showcase the array of amazing lives and achievements of Ugandan women outside the roles of being a wife and mother, a daughter and sister. Founder Rebecca Rwakabukoza asked ‘why should this be the focus when interviewing a woman about the amazing work she does.’
The Feminist UnFairytales of a Young African Mother
When a woman is taking care of a child, managing to hold down a job and blogging about the existence of African women all at the same time one should stop and take notice. Considering we live in a world where people can hardly walk and type.
She is a number of things: a (young, unmarried) mom, writer, feminist, amateur (iPhone) photographer and A-religious and Yoruba. All of these things form part of what makes her and will appear on this blog, so hold on tight. She is also exploring minimalism, meditation, a non-traditional work life (which is just a fancy way of saying I don’t believe in the 9-5), and the meaning of self-love.
Chubby Vogue Divas
Facebook: Chubby Vogue Divas Facebook Page
Women with curves can make your mind go blank. Make you walk into street lights.
This site, Chubby Vogue Divas, celebrates the fuller African figure not only through the art of photography but through story telling. Alongside partaking in a photo-shoot the women profiled are allowed to speak on their struggle with body issues and the journey to love and self-acceptance. Using a mix of interviews and photos the site looks at what it is to be a thick African woman, in a world of screaming at you to be skinny.
Facebook: SisterSpeak237 Facebook Page
In 2014 Comfort Mussa, a seasoned and celebrated journalist, set up Sister237 in order to bring women’s issues to the table and discuss taboo topics usually kept under wraps. After noticing that what was considered ‘women’s issues’ were only discussed in women’s groups and in whispers around kitchen tables she looked to open up a space in which information on these issues could be generated. No longer would things important to the Cameroonian woman be confined to cups of tea. Sisterspeak237 was a place in which the Cameroonian woman could speak about what was important to her.
Facebook: Inkanyiso Facebook Page
Inkanyiso is the 2006 (registered in 2009) brain child of visual activist and photographic guru Zanele Muholi. When you enter this internet space the first thing they want you to think is Queer Activism = Queer Media. They want you to envision a flexible and unique source for art advocacy.
The organisation looked to respond the lack of visual histories and skills training produced by and for LGBTI persons, especially artists. This platform plays with photography, film, visual arts and multimedia and has a lot of contributors.
World Change Africa
Facebook: Women Change Africa Facebook Page
Women Change Africa, started in March 2012 by Moiyattu Banya, is about bringing the periphery to the mainstream. African women are doing amazing things and this site seeks to showcase it in all its glory. Seeking to share as many stories of young African women making change in the different avenues in which they are making change, making change whilst making coin.
The #LifeGoal here is to have a ‘one stop shop’ for all your social entrepreneurial needs when it comes to African women and ditch Google. Where finding out about young African women making a change on the continent is not hard to do as it all in one place. It also seeks to be a platform to connect these women with investors, people seeking to celebrate good work being done, or even other women trying to make moves. This is empire creation at its best.
Thursday’s Space is taking on the silence cloaking some issues pertaining to women head on. Started by Patricia, the platform sought to take on everything from religion to culture to street harassment. It wants to look at the things that are often kept on the hush by mainstream media and within general conversational spaces. This site is set to be one where the voices of African women, especially Kenyan women, can grow and be amplified, where stories can be told in the words of the women who live those lives.
Facebook: Ms Afropolitan’s Facebook Page
This is an award-winning, pan-African blog ‘MsAfropolitan’ started in 2010. Written by the intoxicatingly beautiful Minna Salami this blog has been described as a ‘game changer’ and tackles everything from sexual revolutions, to literature to politics. It looks to give ‘sharp, witty commentary about modern African society and popular culture from a feminist perspective’. When it begun the space filled a hole in the internet and set the pace for those who thundered behind her seeking to add to the array of African women’s voices dominate the internet.
African Women’s Development Fund
Facebook: African Women Development Fund Facebook Page
The AWDF blog hosts the writing of African women with powerful pieces such as Sister hood is My political weapon and Feminist Tool or the piece For the Chibok Sisters.
For the past 10 years the African Women’s Development Fund blazing a trail for women’s rights and philanthropy across the continent. In this time it has provided over US$ 17 million in grants to 800 women’s organisations and is the first Pan-Africanist women’s grant maker on the continent. The site itself whilst allowing you to see the awesome work done by the AWDF also hosts the creative work of its sister members.
Check out the online space for everything from conversations, to creativity to capacity building. This is an amazing organisation and this online space is a great way to connect.
Described as a site that houses ‘modernized Indigenous feminism from the Ghanaian soul’ Ghana feminisms was born in 2015 out of the need for a space that addressed Ghanaian feminism specifically. Founder Adwoa wanted to see a this country specific feminism tackled by a Ghanaian woman.
The ‘Ghaminism’ movement (Ghanaian feminism) wants to liberate Ghanaians from constricting gender oppression and this site is adding to this movement, one post at a time with gold such as Vaginas in Ghana: The Elixir of Bliss.
Facebook: Spectra Speak’s Facebook Page
Spectra Speaks is a space that chronicles the tale of a writer and storyteller who has travelled the world, where she has found and learned a lot of things, especially the art of self-love. A spin off from keeping a journal and voicing the feelings of being misunderstood this online platform evolved into a strong voice tackling issues of sexuality, helping ground Spectra in the idea of being African and Queer.
It is an online space that is, arguably, one of most vocal in terms of representing the LGBTI African experience and truth be told, she has such a way with words and a killer smile.
Facebook: Feminist SA’s Facebook Page
‘Because feminism is alive and well.’
The site was started in 2011 by Jen Thorpe because she wanted to see more feminist writing tailored for a South African audience. Along with a great number of other projects including My First Time (an archive of women’s first times of absolutely everything) this was a platform for young women and, more specifically young feminists to contribute ideas about the world around. A space to comment on issues that mattered to them.
This space was started in September 2014 and wanted to challenge the way in which women were portrayed within the Nigerian media. With women having to tackle vilification, objectification and general standards that could not be met even with a 29 hour day ones disposal this blog provides a space where all this is broken down. It is a space devoid of all the above foolishness.
The site seeks to be an advocacy tool to show how inequality between the sexes brings more harm than good whilst also wanting to start a sexual revolution in some respects.
These are ‘the scribblings of a Ugandan feminist’.
Estella, who is the ultra-awesome combination of Pan Africanist, feminist and Ugandan woman found herself frustrated by the constant misogyny in the press, parliament and even just walking down the streets. In reaction to this she started this space to celebrate women but also to vent.
Because sometimes we just need to scream into cyberspace.
She hopes that this add to the conversations women are having on the issues that affect them and work in some way, to build up a sisterhood.
‘A blog of books reading and world literature’. On this site you will find a good mix of commentary and reviews on novels, some short stories, some poetry and other such magical literary things of the mind. You will also find musings that translate to ‘perennial rant on the state of reading in Ghana and Africa’.
The site also has African women writers showcasing their poetry and accomplishments.
Facebook: Her Zimbabwe’s Facebook Page
The tag line for this is ‘Her Voice, Her revolution’, Her Zimbabwe documents the untold stories of Zimbabwean women’s lives and their histories. It is all about adding that extra flavour to the stew that is the story of Zimbabwe by adding nuance and complexity to the Zimbabwean story. It is about showing that it is not all just about economic and political woes. The site also brings the world to Zimbabwe with ‘Her Africa’, showing the overlaps and parallels in our various existences across the continent.
It is all about amplifying the female voice on the continent and Her Zimbabwe seeks to do that. Also Fungai is both wise and hilarious which is a plus.
Arabic Literature in English
Facebook: Arab Lit Facebook Page
There is even a section where. This site was started by M Lynx Qualey, a writer and reader based in Cairo. Initially a ‘solo effort’ the site now has a couple dozen contributors from around the region. Hoping to thicken people’s experience of reading Arabic literature the site has a female spin as it looks at Arab feminism and even hosts #ReadWomen2015 in which Arab women novelists recommend Arab women novelists. Although not necessarily geared to the average reader (it interacts mainly with Arabic literature specialists, translators and the like) this amazing site will open up a whole new world of literature to you.
Facebook: HOLAAfrica Facebook Page
Sometimes things are serious and sometimes you have to have a little fun online, this dichotomy is exactly what HOLAA! is about. Started in 2012, the site was born to showcase the African female sexuality experience (especially that of women of alternative sexualities) at home in the continent. It came to say ‘yes African women do not only sleep with men’.
With a Facebook page, Twitter and Tumblr adding to the general mayhem HOLAA! is a place to have learn things, have fun, discuss serious issues and sometimes just like the #FreakyFriday picture.
African Feminist Forum
Facebook: African Feminist Forum Facebook Page
The site is the home of the African Feminist Forum biennial conference that brings together African feminist activists to deliberate on issues that are important to the movement. It is a space for conversation and dialogue on the challenges facing the African women’s movement.
This site also publishes pieces of writing, provides resources, information on upcoming events as well continuing conversations and sharing information on their social media platforms. They are a good spot to find African feminists, because they are out there and making moves.