Women and Pan Africanism


Hindu women in Sarees part of South African federation protesting against Apartheid in 1955
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    Written by: Meshack Masibo

    I am indeed happy to be here this morning to open such a conference. Who would have thought that in this year of 1960, it would be possible to even hold a conference of all Ghanaian women, much less of women of all Africa and African descent! But today, that is a reality and an achievement which constitutes another landmark of progress in Africa’s irresistible march to emancipation and victory.” – Kwame Nkurumah Speech

    There has always been a great responsibility resting on the shoulders of all women of Africa in realising the objectives of Africa as a continent whether politically, economically or socially. In July 1960 a historic gathering of African women from throughout the continent and Diaspora took place in Accra, Ghana. This West African state had been liberated from British colonialism just three years before under the leadership of Pan Africanist Kwame Nkurumah.

    The conference which attracted hundreds of women who were playing an integral part in the national liberation process in Ghana, across Africa and the world. Delegations attended the Conference from various geo-political regions of the continent. From outside of Africa there was representation from the United States where the likes of Shirley Graham Du Bois attended and delivered an important policy address.

    Shirley Graham DuBois, the second wife of W.E.B. DuBois and an accomplished writer, organizer and committed socialist in her own right, was in Ghana at the time of the founding of the First Republic along with the inauguration of the NCGW and the Conference of Women of Africa and African Descent. She stated in an address before the Women’s Association of the Socialist Students Organizations in Ghana that “the advancement of Ghanaian women in recent years has been amazing and now with ten women Parliamentarians in Republican Ghana, this country had achieved what took Europe centuries to accomplish.”

    This trend towards national liberation and Pan-Africanism was not confined to……Subscribe to Readmore………

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