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Julia A. Clancy-Smith

Tunisian lawyer activist and writer was born in Halq al Wadi La Goulette the port for Tunis to Tunisian Jewish parents from the large Taïeb clan Zeiza Gisèle Élise Halimi s gender made her unwelcome at birth Her father Edouard an Orthodox Jew of precarious economic resources had desired a second son Despite or perhaps because of the fact that her parents had no formal schooling and distrusted education and books Halimi evinced a passion for reading and studies from early on which she satisfied through the public library in Tunis Since most of the family s meager income went for her older brother s schooling Halimi s prospects for high school seemed dim at best so she took a scholarship examination and earning the highest grade was able to attend lycée which eventually opened the door to a university education in France Before studying law she had two other ...


Josephine Dawuni

judge, women’s rights advocate, and civic leader, originally from Togo and active as an adult in Ghana, was born Annie Ruth Baeta in Lomé, Togo, on 7 October 1918. Her father, Reverend Robert Domingo Baeta, was a teacher and minister and her mother, Henrietta Baeta (née Sedode), was also a teacher. On 10 January 1953, Annie Ruth Baeta married Fred K. A. Jiagge; they later adopted a son. Jiagge began her early education in Lomé, and later went to live with her maternal grandmother, Julia B. Sedode, in Keta, Ghana (then known as the Gold Coast), to be educated in English. In 1938, she attained a teaching certificate from Achimota College, and taught until 1944. In 1946, she began teaching an adult domestic science class to help improve the literacy rate among adults in Keta.

In 1947 after passing the London matriculation exam Jiagge ...


Elizabeth Macharia-Mokobi

Botswana lawyer and women’s rights activist, was born in Francistown in northern Botswana on 4 December 1959. She was the second of nine children born to Rufus Oka Kabiwa (1930–1990) and Imeldah Mishodzi Molokomme (b. 1940). Her parents were teachers by profession. They raised a large family on strong values of sharing, community, and mutual respect. Having learned how to read at the age of three and a half, Molokomme was sent to school by her parents, at this unusually tender age. Her formative years were spent in primary school at Tchangati, Sebina, and Mathangwane. In 1970 she entered secondary school at St. Joseph’s College Kgale, a Catholic mission school on the outskirts of the capital city, Gaborone. Described as having been a brilliant student, she graduated with a first-class examinations classification in 1975.

Molokomme then enrolled at the University of Botswana to study law She graduated ...


Nell Irvin Painter

Sojourner Truth, born a slave in Ulster County, New York, a symbol of women's strength and black women's womanliness, is summed up in the phrase “ar'n't I a woman?” Known as Isabella VanWagener until 1843, she changed her name and became an itinerant preacher under the influence of Millerite Second Adventism.

In the 1840s Truth encountered feminist abolitionism during her stay in the Northampton (Mass.) Association of Education and Industry. There she met Olive Gilbert, who recorded The Narrative of Sojourner Truth: A Bondswoman of Olden Time, which Truth published in Boston in 1850. During the 1850s and 1860s sales to antislavery and feminist audiences of this narrative provided Truth's main source of income. Truth attended the 1851 Akron, Ohio, convention on women's rights in order to sell her book. The chair of that meeting, Frances Dana Gage wrote the most popular version of ...