African Women: How we must struggle to end our own oppression

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Last month Secretary General of the African People’s Socialist Party, Gaida Kambon, provided some insight into the ways that women collaborate in our oppres­sion.
 
This is a very important sub­ject, as African women often find ourselves idealizing our condi­tions, which can intensify our vul­nerable position within this society, instead of busting down the things that contribute to our vulnerability.
 
The oppressor leads assaults on us that convince us that we are valued less than women of other nations which leads to an attack on our family units, especially if they don't adhere to the bourgeois idea of the nuclear family that consists of two parents, two children, a dog and a house with a picket fence.
 
We also have to contend with the assaults from within our own nation, which range from back­ward ideas to practices that were imposed on us through colo­nial domination.
 
However, we need to start seeing ourselves as the first line of defense against our oppression, by recognizing what we should be struggling against.
 
For example
 
A sister that enters into a re­lationship with a brother who is no good for her just because she succumbs to bourgeois societal demands that shames her for be­ing single, is complicit in her own oppression.

A sister comrade that doesn’t correct a brother comrade on his chauvinistic behavior when carry­ing out Party work, is complicit in her own oppression.

An African woman who choos­es to fight against the idea of the “male gaze” and racism is com­plicit in her own oppression—be­cause even if you get men to stop looking at you or white women to like you, the conditions of African people will go unchanged since capitalist-colonialist domination remains unchallenged.

Most importantly, when we let petty—bourgeois intellectuals dominate the discussion on is­sues pertaining to African working women, then we are collaborating in our own oppression.
 
We allow white nationalist ide­ology to define our experiences and undermine our ability to be organized when we recognize these and other glaring contra­dictions and choose to retreat instead of challenging them face-on.
 
We also undermine our own capacity, as full members of the Af­rican nation, if we continue to sub­scribe to the beliefs that “women must be seen but not heard” or that  “behind a strong man is a strong woman.”
 
Instead we should be stepping out front ready to lead on work that will forward the freedom and liberation of African people.
 
We should not relegate our­selves to the place of allowing mediocrity to ruin the work just be­cause we have been socialized to believe men must lead.
 
Because here’s the thing-we take back our struggle when we build revolutionary movement where African women can truly find our liberation.
 
We must not accept that things are the way they are just because this is the way things have been.
 
This is an idealistic and dan­gerous view that will never lead to revolutionary conclusions or free­dom for African women or the Afri­can nation as a whole.
 
As members of the African People’s Socialist Party we be­come schooled in the theory of African Internationalism, which requires us to look at the world just as it is.
 
We are challenged to look at the material conditions we are faced with and find solutions for any contradiction that may arise.
 
So when we see that sexual violence and abuse inside our communities continue to be an almost silent topic and how pov­erty disproportionately affects us when it comes to housing, food, childcare and access to healthcare, we must take ac­tion to organize and struggle to overturn our relationship to the system that has created these circumstances.
 
These are things that we can struggle against and destroy if we take up an objec­tive stance which identifies the problem and work to find solu­tions for them.

We should be strug­gling for  a new world where the circumstances, like the ones identified in this article, do not exist; where we can truly be equal participants in a just, free society where African people can use our resources to benefit the masses of our people.

What is needed is a revo­lutionary transformation which starts in the struggle to under­stand ourselves and the world around us; raising our understand­ing about our relationship to im­perialism and capitalism.
 
Ultimately the resistance by the African working class to the capitalist system will lead to its destruction and that resistance must include African women if it is to ever succeed. Do not stand by—Join in NOW
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