Department Research Seminar, Tuesday 8 March 2022

Department of History

Event details

Tuesday 8 March 2022
Online event
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About this event

Tuesday 8th March, 16:15

‘Looking for the Forgotten Women in African Political History’

Speaker: Anaïs Angelo (University of Vienna)

Abstract: In recent years, the fact more and more African women have been elected members of national parliament has been celebrated as an extraordinary and new success. Meanwhile, more and more African countries have adopted gender quotas to ensure a fair representation of female politicians. The number of women in African parliaments has tremendously increased : this is certainly an extraordinary achievement given the fact that African politics remain dominated by male leaders and patriarchal discourses. Women’s success in parliament therefore entailed enormous political courage as well as many personal and even financial sacrifices. And, yet, is this achievement really new? The history of the women pioneers who vied for a parliamentary seat once their country became independent has been largely unexplored and little is known about the early postcolonial history of African women’s fights for parliamentary powers. My current research seeks to document the political ideas and objectives these women defended during their parliamentary campaigns and, for the happy few, once in office. In this presentation, I will reflect on the reasons why these pioneers have been forgotten and introduce some of my preliminary findings, focusing more particularly on the Kenyan women’s political history.

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