What is the meaning of being a female parliamentarian or minister without having equal rights with men? The panel aims to contribute to the conversation towards identifying home-grown initiatives towards enhancing women's voices in politics and protection of their sexual rights.
Gender inequalities in African societies have not only been crystallized by colonialism, neo-colonialism but also reinforced by dominant religions such as Islam and Christianity. Even when well documented that women in pre-colonial Africa governed kingdoms, owned fields and slaves, currently women's role and involvement in politics have receded into oblivion. Even when women's agency on the continent seems to be taking center stage, women are still being side-lined from political life by being tokenized with no voice at all. African women's come back into active political life, is also continuously sabotaged, if not by domestic burdens and stereotypical cultural norms but by patriarchal undertones that are evident in the masculinized nature of politics. These patriarchal beliefs underscore deep-seated perspectives evident in the control of women's bodies and female sexuality. How can women on the continent enhance their voices in politics and control over their sexuality and is it possible for women to contribute to a sustainable deconstruction of patriarchy? This panel combines diverse approaches and comprehensive analysis of critical theories, political, social and feminist movements and their implications for women's voices in influencing politics and sexuality in Africa. The principal aim of this panel is to contribute to the conversation towards identifying home-grown initiatives towards enhancing women's voices in politics and the protection of their sexual rights.