Women’s issues: African writers fighting Portuguese colonialism in the 1950’s

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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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)281-300
Number of pages20
JournalIl Tolomeo - Rivista di Studi Postcoloniali
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Decolonisation
  • Resistance
  • Women intellectuals
  • Africa
  • Gender


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