That there is a socially entrenched and legally enforced system of violence against Lesbians, trans, bisexuals, queer women, and sex workers in Africa is without dispute. It is also undebatable that there is a socially entrenched and legally enforced system of violence against women in Africa. What is however disputed, or at the very least rarely acknowledged, is that at the basis of these two phenomena exists a patriarchal system that survives through the enforcement of gender norms and the enactment of violence against persons who pose a threat to it. The result is African feminism that is deeply heteronormative in its thesis, in the way it excludes LBTQ women, sex workers, and the abortion rights movement from the feminist praxis and the discourse on equality and human rights, either by denial of or disregard for their lived realities and experiences.
To this end, and with our understanding of the importance of collaborations and cooperation, We convene this yearly learning space through which we engage with persons across a wide range of identities and experiences to interact with and to impart a feminist ideology that is holistic in its approach and comprehensive in its conceptual reach. The Feminist fellowship serves as a factory of sorts where participants see the entirety of humanity and understand the need for solidarity and collaborative efforts to achieve liberation for everyone.
Yemoja’s place in Yoruba culture is of great significance. She is the goddess of the river and is also considered the mother of all gods in the Yoruba pantheon thereby implying the centrality and importance of water to life. She is usually portrayed as a loving and caring mother who is prone to become temperamental when she is annoyed. The reference to the goddess here is in acknowledgment of the centrality of femininity and womanhood in West African pre-colonial ontology. Its aim is to challenge notions of feminism as inauthentically African, to present a cultural context to the kind of West African feminism that we aim to promote. One that like water is fluid, flowing, accommodating, and central to the life, sustenance, and advancement of West African society.