Women Who Kick Ass

Funmilayo Ransome Kuti: Why she kicks ass
She was a teacher, political campaigner, women’s rights activist and traditional aristocrat who served as one of the most prominent leaders of her generation.
Her political activism led to her being described as the doyen of women’s rights in Nigeria, as well as to her being regarded as “The Mother of Africa.” 
Her feminism and democratic socialism lead to the creation of The Abeokuta women’s union (AWU) and later Women’s International Democratic Federation (WIDF), organisations and movements that aided Kuti to promote women’s rights to education, employment and to political participation. 
Early on, she was a very powerful force advocating for the Nigerian woman’s right to vote and was described in 1947, by the West African Pilot as the “Lioness of Lisabi” for her leadership of the women of the Egba clan that she belonged to, on a campaign against their arbitrary taxation.
She launched her organization into public consciousness when she rallied women against price controls which were hurting the female merchants of the Abeokuta markets. Trading was one of the major occupations of women in the Western Nigeria of the time.
 In 1949, she led a protest against Native Authorities, especially against the Alake of Egbaland. She presented documents alleging abuse of authority by the Alake, who had been granted the right to collect the taxes by his colonial suzerain, the Government of the United Kingdom. She also oversaw the successful abolishing of separate tax rates for women.
 In 1953, she founded the Federation of Nigerian Women Societies which subsequently formed an alliance with the Women’s International Democratic Federation. She was for many years a member of the ruling National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons party, as the treasurer and subsequent president of the Western NCNC women’s Association. However, she never truly ended her activism. In the 1950s, she was one of the few women elected to the house of chiefs. At the time, this was one of her homeland’s most influential bodies.
She founded the Egba or Abeokuta Women’s Union along with Eniola Soyinka (her sister-in-law). This organisation is said to have once had a membership of 20,000 women. Among other things, she organised workshops for illiterate market women, while continuing to campaign against taxes and price controls.

Funmilayo Ransome Kuti: Why she kicks ass

  • She was a teacher, political campaigner, women’s rights activist and traditional aristocrat who served as one of the most prominent leaders of her generation.
  • Her political activism led to her being described as the doyen of women’s rights in Nigeria, as well as to her being regarded as “The Mother of Africa.”
  • Her feminism and democratic socialism lead to the creation of The Abeokuta women’s union (AWU) and later Women’s International Democratic Federation (WIDF), organisations and movements that aided Kuti to promote women’s rights to education, employment and to political participation. 
  • Early on, she was a very powerful force advocating for the Nigerian woman’s right to vote and was described in 1947, by the West African Pilot as the “Lioness of Lisabi” for her leadership of the women of the Egba clan that she belonged to, on a campaign against their arbitrary taxation.
  • She launched her organization into public consciousness when she rallied women against price controls which were hurting the female merchants of the Abeokuta markets. Trading was one of the major occupations of women in the Western Nigeria of the time.
  • In 1949, she led a protest against Native Authorities, especially against the Alake of Egbaland. She presented documents alleging abuse of authority by the Alake, who had been granted the right to collect the taxes by his colonial suzerain, the Government of the United Kingdom. She also oversaw the successful abolishing of separate tax rates for women.
  • In 1953, she founded the Federation of Nigerian Women Societies which subsequently formed an alliance with the Women’s International Democratic Federation. She was for many years a member of the ruling National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons party, as the treasurer and subsequent president of the Western NCNC women’s Association. However, she never truly ended her activism. In the 1950s, she was one of the few women elected to the house of chiefs. At the time, this was one of her homeland’s most influential bodies.
  • She founded the Egba or Abeokuta Women’s Union along with Eniola Soyinka (her sister-in-law). This organisation is said to have once had a membership of 20,000 women. Among other things, she organised workshops for illiterate market women, while continuing to campaign against taxes and price controls.
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