Western feminism has remained contentious and perceived as incompatible with African values; but like Western Feminisms, African feminisms are complex and not homogenous. For example the experiences and problems faced by women in north Africa vary considerably from those of women in Sub-Saharan Africa. Views of African feminisms vary greatly across the African continent as well as in the diaspora. There are ongoing debates on African feminism in scholarly publications and at international seminars. Some see feminism as a Western import, compared in some ways with cultural imperialism and (post-)colonialism.1 Others argue that while the term ‘feminism’ in Africa is obviously an import just like every other English or French or Portuguese term is, the concept of feminist is not a western import and that while it may not have been called such, there have always been women who were feminist.2 African feminism is rooted in the resistance against colonialism and the struggle for racial justice.

African feminist researchers have also argued that feminism in Africa undeniably entails specificities, and that although it may have the same broad goals as western feminism, some realities within the African context make its feminism somewhat distinct.

One of the biggest differences between Western and African feminisms is in their lived experiences. African feminism is rooted in African contexts and value systems and the fight against colonialism. In Africa feminism has been understood as being anti-men and hence against values of marriage, childbearing, and preservation of the family. African women who have been fighting for rights and justice may not see gender equality as their main goal. African women may fight for equal opportunities and access to health, economic and educational resources and decision-making positions like women in many countries outside Africa, however some strongly resist calling themselves feminists.