Exceller Books Celebrates International Women’s Day ’23 to Highlight the Struggle of Contemporary African Women WritersThe programme was conducted virtually on 8th March 2023 and hosted by Ms. Anjita Ganguly, co-founder, Exceller Books.
on Mar 23, 2023
The rise of social media initiated fourth-wave feminism, but even now, women are hardly ever heard and still fighting to find a healthy welcome in many spheres of society. To celebrate this battle and triumph, Exceller Books dedicated this international women's day to the women writers from one of the most unheard places on earth, Africa. In this virtual programme The Struggle of Contemporary African Women Writers, some gifted authors talked about their journey of breaking the glass ceiling set by society to build their narratives and reshape womanhood. In this celebration, Exceller Books did their bit to provide a safe place for the authors to share their stories without fearing to be judged and silenced.
It was inspiring to see so many people joining the session; the participants ranged from India, Indonesia, Ghana, Nigeria, Morocco, Egypt, South Africa, Ethiopia, and Kenya. The panelists shared their thoughts and ideas regarding this issue, and motivated everyone. The programme was conducted virtually on 8th March 2023 and hosted by Ms. Anjita Ganguly, co-founder, Exceller Books. For this day, the special guest was Dr. Chandrani Biswas, HOD, Department of English, St. Xavier's College, Kolkata, and Eminent Panelists included authors, artistes, academician and researcher from African continents.
The programme started with the inaugural speech of Dr. Chandrani Biswas; she talked about the emergence of International Women's Day in North America and Europe and how it gradually spread globally and got acclaimed as an official holiday in certain countries. She talked about the old times when Africa was flourishing under matriarchy, and women enjoyed legal and social equality. She mentioned some famous rulers of ancient times like Queen Hatshepsut, Candace, Cleopatra, Amina, etc. Dr. Biswas also touched upon the literary establishment's neglect of African women writers. Her speech on womanhood and the celebration of womanhood left a significant impact on all the listeners. Amarachi Florence Ndisi, the author of Hugging Diamonds, addresses all the challenges and gaps African women face regarding education, religion, culture, finance, etc. She says, "your duties as a female are already spelled out, and you simply have to sync into the structure." She talks about gender bias in the field of writing and how there is no funding or even mentorship for female writers. According to Ghanaian novelist Nasreen Zankawah, no one believed she could make writing her career, and people considered it "just a hobby." Lady Abeke, the author of Living My Dreams, sketches the challenges of African women through an anecdote. She explains why African women writers shy away from writing and discusses the barriers they have to cross, like polygamy, lack of resources, confidence, and resilience to achieve their dreams. South African author and entrepreneur Kate Izeke says she wrote the book on public speaking because she knows that many people have things to offer but are limited by validation. "You don't need to study English in school to be a writer; as long as you have a message you want to pass to the world, you can go ahead and write," says Kate. Catherine Bosibori shares her experience of being born into an impoverished and illiterate family. Their neighbours were disappointed to see a girl go to school. Despite all the obstacles, she was successful in becoming a published writer. She, too, addresses African women writers' struggles with polygamy, technological challenges, language barriers, and so on.
At the end of the discussion, it turned out that almost all the challenges faced by African women are present worldwide. Women across the globe are going through more or less the same issues. All these women are nothing short of inspirations; they contributed to breaking the wheels that have oppressed women since the dawn of day. Every speaker established equality as the only thing leading us all to a healthy, flourishing future.
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