Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Although third world women have always been engaged in the feminism movement, they criticise it on the grounds that it is ethnocentric and does not take into account the unique experiences of women from third world countries. Third world women accuse mainstream Western feminists of looking at women's experiences as homogenous, based on the perspectives of middle-class white Western women. According to Mohanty (1991), third world women feel mainstream feminism bases its understanding of women on "internal racism, classism and homophobia" (Mohanty: 7).
Within this discourse is also African feminism. This is still work in progress but associated with it are concepts like "womanism" (Walker 1983, Ogunyemi 1985, Kolawale 1997), "Africana womanism" (Hudson-Weems 1993), "Motherism" (Acholonu 1995), "Stiwanism" (Ogundipe-Leslie 1994), "negofeminism" (Nnaemeka 1995), "femalism", "Black feminism" (Kohrs-Amissah 2002) or "gender activism and femalism".
The main concern here is creating spaces for women to participate in the management of their society through access to key access like education, health and housing.
The sheer size of Africa and the complexities of issues from different regions makes it difficult to have a single African feminism. Among other things, the debate here has two faces: those who call themselves feminist and those who do not.
Other common thoughts are that there is no problem working with men, that women need not neglect their biological roles, and that motherhood is idealised.
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