by Diane Audrey Coulibaly (AQYI Fellow).

I am Diane Audrey Coulibaly, an independent LGBT+ activist from Côte d’Ivoire and a recipient of AQYI’s Mawulisa grant.

Africa is undergoing a “cultural decolonization” in the sense that strong actions are being taken more and more by modern societies to counteract ancestral traditions that bathe women in misogyny.

Because of the erroneous and twisted interpretations of religious writings, the submission advocated has made women a debased and constantly demeaned being.

The Women’s Month highlights the actions taken to give a real place to African women on the social, economic, political and family scene.

The African feminist movement is still far from being inclusive and this month brings us as LGBT+ women to question ourselves on this place that we do not occupy and that is denied to us because of our sexual orientation. Our struggles are far from being carried and supported by our sisters and we seem to be “not real African women”. This month exacerbates this feeling because no one looks at us to understand our realities that the work that will be produced at the end of the project One Coffee, One Book will relate in all their truth and sincerity, with the aim of deconstructing stereotypes and other misconceptions distilled in the homes.

If we commemorate this month, it is to remind the world that we are also women and that although our struggles seem different, they are no less common and universal, namely the total equality in rights.

During this month, we must go beyond celebrating women’s achievements, sometimes as extraordinary works when it should be self-evident, to mark a real stop in order to understand the current struggles, to reorient them if necessary, but above all to ensure the relevance of the actions taken and their real impact.

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