International Women’s Day at AWDF has often been a day to reflect on the larger themes of the feminist movement, and promote conversations and engagement around topics that feminists around the continent are grappling with. This year, our conversation focused on Faith, Feminisms and Fundamentalisms, and examined their various points of convergence and divergence. The panelists and audience members discussed what it means to be a woman of faith, a feminist and how to deal with the growing wave of fundamentalism on the continent.
The panelists were a varied group of women, with differing faith backgrounds and varying fields of endeavour. Professor Mercy Oduyoye is Africa’s first female theologian, Angela Dwamena-Aboage is the founder of the Ark Foundation, Roslyn Mould is a Humanist and President of the Humanist Society of Ghana and Ms Kauthar Khamis is an Assistant Lecturer at the Islamic University College.
One of the most interesting topics for discussion was the growing wave of Fundamentalism which Professor Mercy Oduyoye defined as “Being unable to have a conversation with other people who think differently simply because they do not follow your own interpretation” According to Prof. Oduyoye, religious fundamentalists believe and insist that their practices remain unchanged.
The conversation generated a considerable amount of interest, both from the venue and live on Twitter and Facebook, and it was clear that it was a discussion that desperately needs to be continued throughout feminist spaces on the continent.