Home > Catalogue > Il Tolomeo > 23 | 2021 > Women’s Issues: African Writers Fighting Portuguese Colonialism in the 1950s

Women’s Issues: African Writers Fighting Portuguese Colonialism in the 1950s

Noemi Alfieri     CHAM - Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal    



This essay approaches the literary production by female intellectuals who opposed Portuguese colonialism in Africa, recognising their active role in history, as well as the cultural and political processes that influenced their writing and its repercussions. Experiencing multiple forms of subalternity – of class, race and gender – women like Alda Espírito Santo, Alda Lara, Noémia de Sousa Deolinda Rodrigues and Manuela Margarido were committed to the creation of new ways of writing and forms of conceiving the world. Playing a fundamental role in the literary, political and cultural environment of the second half of the 20th century, they circulated in spaces in which they questioned male hegemony, discussing gender issues and exercising multiple forms of resistance. This article will consider how the demands of women in the process of political decolonisation have often been reduced to the label of ‘women’s issues’, the idea of unification of struggles having been privileged instead.

Dec. 20, 2021
Oct. 20, 2021
July 20, 2021

Keywords: AfricaDecolonisationGenderResistanceWomen intellectuals

Copyright: © 2021 Noemi Alfieri. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.