“Toxic Wars” vs. Conscientious Feminism

Media Diversified

by Minna Salami

Minna SalamiMs Afropolitan

In July 1992, an international conferenceWomen in Africa and in the African Diaspora (WAAD) was held in Nigeria. WAAD was a rare event: an interdisciplinary and international conference about African women in Africa.

The conference, which took place in the Eastern town of Nsukka, during an unusually dry week in July (precipitation for this month is normally high in the region) kicked off jubilantly, matching the expectations of the excited delegates.

The camaraderie was short lived however. On day two of WAAD, all hell broke lose. Unexpectedly, the programme convenor, professor of women’s and African studies, Obioma Nnaemeka,found herself having to respond to the question of whether or not white women (about one fifth of the seven hundred or so participants) should be able to “present papers on black women’s experiences”. Some delegates felt that white women, complicit with discrimination…

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