Decades ago it was popular belief that a woman’s place was in the kitchen, her body for sexual pleasure and her purpose was for rearing children.

This belief has become nothing but a myth as women keep rising and proving they are so much more in their respective fields, one being politics. Some notable African women have navigated their ways in the murky waters of politics, making it accessible for generations after them.

These brave women have stood their ground in the face of gender based attacks and have surmounted challenges on their way to the peak of their career. Here are five African women in politics who inspire us:

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

She was the former president of Liberia and the first elected female head of state in Africa. Her political journey wasn’t an easy ride. She was jailed in 1985 for sedition as a result of a speech she gave which wasn’t  in favour of the political party in power. She started her presidential campaign in 1997, eight years after she was announced Liberia’s president. She held the office for two consecutive terms.

Ameenah Gurib- Fakim

She was the former president of Mauritius. The first woman elected president and the third woman to have served as Head of State. Gurib-Fakim is the sixth president to govern the country. Her tenure lasted for three years (2015-2018), She resumed the presidential office at age 55.


Joyce Hilda Banda

Banda who’s a Malawian politician began her political journey with the Democratic progressive party before founding the People’s party  in 2011. She became the president following the sudden death of President Bingu Wa Mutharika. She was Malawi’s fourth president and the first female president. In 2014 Forbes named her as part of the 40 most powerful women in the world and the most powerful woman in Africa.

Saara Kuugongelwa

Kuugongelwa is the fourth and the present prime minister of Namibia. She is the first female to hold the position, before her appointment as the prime minister she was the minister of finance for twelve years.  Also, at the young age of 27 she was appointed Director General of the National Planning Commission, a position in rank of a minister.

Virginia Etiaba

She is the first female governor in Nigeria’s history. She was the governor of Anambra State, Nigeria. She was initially the deputy governor of the state and resumed the office of the governor when the governor of the state, Peter Obi, was impeached.

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