African Women Online: How African Women are doing the internet
Women are doing a lot of awesome things on the internet. Some are tweeting, some are taking selfies, some are reading news and some are posting twerk videos. Women in Africa are doing all these things and much more including smashing all things misogynistic and patriarchal right in the face
Here we profile online awesomeness by African women tackling everything from commerce, politics to passion. These platforms hail from all over the continent, from Ghana to Egypt to Uganda and beyond. These sites and social media platforms are looking to change the way we think about African women.
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 all this and more.
Mon Pi Mon
The email that started this blog was titled ‘Women and Uganda and taking over the country.’ And with that 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.
Chubby Vogue Divas
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 also 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.
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, HOLAA! explores all things related to female sexuality from eating pussy like a champ to tackling motherhood and body positivity. From handling homophobia in the workplace to handling your sex toys.
In 2014, celebrated journalist Comfort Mussa set up Sister237 after noticing that women’s issues were only discussed in women’s groups and in whispers around kitchen tables. So she wanted to open up a space were these issues could be spoken about openly. Sisterspeak237 is a supportive online space were Cameroonian women can speak about what’s important to them.
This is an award-winning pan-African blog 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 and politics. It looks to give readers “sharp, witty commentary about modern African society and popular culture from a feminist perspective.”
Inkanyiso(registered in 2009) is the brain child of visual activist and photography guru Zanele Muholi. It was started as a response to 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 talented contributors.
Thursday’s Space looks at issues that affect women but are often kept on the hush by mainstream media and within general conversational spaces. The platform takes on everything from religion to culture to street harassment. This site is one were the voices of African women, especially Kenyan women, can grow and be amplified.
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 we should stop and take notice. The woman in question is a number of things: (young, unmarried) mom, writer, feminist, amateur photographer, A-religious and Yoruba. All of these things form part of what makes her and will appear on this blog, so hold on tight.
Described as a site that houses ‘modernized Indigenous feminism from the Ghanaian soul,’ founder Adwoa wanted to see Ghanaian 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, with posts such as Vaginas in Ghana: The Elixir of Bliss.
A spin off from keeping a journal and voicing the feelings of being misunderstood this online platform has evolved into a strong voice tackling issues of sexuality, helping ground Spectra in the idea of being African and Queer. It’s 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.
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 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 them on issues that mattered to them.
Started in September 2014 to challenge the way women were portrayed within the Nigerian media, the site seeks to be an advocacy tool to show how inequality brings more harm than good while also wanting to start a sexual revolution in some respects.
These are “the scribblings of a Ugandan feminist” named Estella. She 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.
Arabic Literature in English
This site was started by Marcia Lynx Qualey, a writer and reader based in Cairo. Initially a ‘solo effort’ the site has grown to include over dozen contributors from around the region. Hoping to deepen people’s understanding of Arabic literature the site also has a female spin as it looks at Arab feminism and even hosts #ReadWomen2015 in which Arab women novelists recommend texts written by women. Although not necessarily geared to the average reader (it interacts mainly with Arabic literature specialists, translators and the like) this amazing site will open you up a whole new world of literature to you.
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. The site also focuses on African women writing, showcasing their talents and accomplishments.
The Tag line for this is ‘Her Voice, Her revolution.’ That about says it all. Her Zimbabwe documents the untold stories of Zimbabwean women’s lives and their histories. 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.
African Feminist Forum
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 publishes pieces of writing, provides resources and information on upcoming events.