“Power is the heart of feminism”, said Hope Chigudu pictured above in the just concluded Feminist Leadership Training of Trainers workshop at Hilton Hotel that brought together participants from Uganda, Ethiopia, Rwanda and the hosts Kenya. until you realize the strength of the power within, you are unable to reach conscientiousness an important element that is often stifled by patriarchy . Patriarchy in our workshop was allegorically represented by the masters house concept which explained how patriarchy has entrenched itself so much so that it has become acceptable in our day to day political, economic and social lives .In the masters house the man’s presence is ominously felt in almost every single room of the house except for the kitchen and the children’s rooms that exude an insurmountable presence of the woman. The two rooms aforementioned then become the safe places for the oppressed woman.
As feminist organizations we need to have safe places where we can gather to reflect, bond , re-energize and reach conscientiousness so as to trigger activism which is the vehicle for transformational leadership that brings about the change we desire and the changes we have seen over the years thanks to our big sisters in the movement . Even if we are have a lot of unfinished business as feminists we can not let our efforts be unrecognized and not mentioned. After all ,documentation and research are the ingredients of true feminism, Herstories must always take center stage if we are to remain relevant in a world that increasingly seeks to blow out the candle of feminism rather than using the lit candle to light another. Authenticity through accurate documentation is what will set the momentum for tomorrows organizations and help build a constituency for recognition and action.
Finally and what stood out for me in this gathering was the feeling i got when I like all my colleagues got up and introduced myself as Janet Amito daughter of Sophie Odida. It felt uniquely different and yet very right because that is what it is, little wonder some African communities give names in praise of their mothers for example in Nigeria Nneka is a feminine name which means mother is supreme. if so, then why shouldn’t us as feminists refer to ourselves as our mothers daughters? I challenge you to do this often anywhere and before you know it you will understand why Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie says “We should all be feminists”. A book i recommend for everyone.