Zimbabwe, Apr 18, 1980
Togo, Apr 27, 1960
Sierra Leone, Apr 27, 1961
Cuba crushes CIA
organized Bay of Pigs invasion
Apr 17, 1961
South West African
Apr 19, 1960
chief architect of
Apr 27, 1972
This Month We Salute
Get Up, Stand Up, Don’t Give Up The Fight
Throughout history African women have been in the forefront of building the African community. The complex role that women play in the development and liberation of Africa and African people is unparalleled. Regardless of our status as women, African women have educated our children, served as leaders in revolutionary movements, parties and governments throughout history, supported both biological and ideological families and last but certainly not least stood firmly on the front lines. Despite the legendary contributions to society and our struggles for total freedom, African women have been forced to operate under the guise of triple-oppression. Oppressed based on race, sex and class African women continue to wage courageous battles against the evils of capitalism.
The triple-oppression of African women is clearly a result of the deliberate under-development and oppression of our homeland Africa and the global African community. Raped of the right to develop on our own evolutionary timetable and self-determining cultural and historical context, Africa and African people have suffered tremendously. Walter Rodney in his book How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, he discusses the importance of development to both the individual and overall community. “Development in human society is a many-sided process. At the level of the individual, it implies increased skill and capacity, greater freedom, creativity, self-discipline, responsibility, and material well-being. Some of these are virtually more categories and are difficult to evaluate-depending as they do on the age in which one lives, one’s class origins, and one’s personal code of what is wrong. However, what is indisputable is that the achievement of any of those aspects of personal development is very much tied in with the state of the society as a whole.”
African women have become a casualty of the lack of individual and collective development of African people as a whole. Unfortunately, African people in general and African women in particular do not control their material or immaterial resources. Similarly, they do not control their political, economic, social or cultural reality. Thus, the role of the African women is determined by her position in society which is currently governed by capitalist ideology.
Capitalist ideology is forced upon the African community and often embraced without regard for its implications. It has succeeded in triply-oppressing African women. Thomas Sankara in his book Thomas Sankara Speaks, articulates the complexity of the situation facing the African women. “Woman’s fate is bound up with that of the exploited male. This is a fact. However, this solidarity, arising from the exploitation that both men and women suffer and that binds them together historically, must not cause us to lose sight of the specific reality of the women’s situation. The conditions of her life are determined by more than economic factors, and they show that she is a victim of a specific oppression. The specific character of this oppression cannot be explained away by setting up an equal sign or by falling into easy and childish simplifications.” Addressing the oppression of African women must be embraced by the entire African community. We must take a hard long look at the role of the African man and women to identify and internalize ideas, values and behaviors which are compatible with our ideology which embraces the development of a humanistic, collective and egalitarian society. This in essence means that men, women, children, elders and everyone in between should be treated in a humane, respectful manner and supported in making their best contribution to the development of the overall society.
Changing society will take a tremendous amount of work and time. In the meantime, we must address the triple oppression of women. It is unreasonable and irrational for an oppressed community that is attempting to liberate and unify itself, to oppress one segment of the population. By participating in the oppression of African women the African world is unconsciously undermining the forward movement towards collective liberation from our common oppressor. At the end of the day what can we do individually and collectively to change the fate of African women?
The A-APRP would like to humbly suggest that if we incorporate the following into our biological and ideological families we may be able to deal a serious blow to the oppression of African women in particular and African people in general.
- Politically educate both men and women on the triple- oppression of African women. While, it may seem like women do not need to be educated on this particular type of oppression, they are negatively affected by capitalist ideology and subsequently participate in their own oppression
- Review the gender roles in your individual and collective communities and evaluate which roles need to be adjusted.
- Implement policies and processes that address gender inequalities and support these policies with an ideological education process.
- Join an organization that is fighting for the liberation of the entire African world.
- Finally, we must have the faith that through hard work, determination, ideological education, and organization we will be liberated, unified and free!!
This article is an urgent rallying call to all African women to get up, stand up, organize and never, ever give up the fight for total liberation and dignity of the global African community!