The Strong Woman Behind the Baoulé of Côte d’Ivoire

Global Grazers

Unfortunately, outsiders tend to imagine Africa as one big, homogenous continent. I am sure that, logically, most folks realize these perceptions must be gross generalizations. However, in the absence of more robust information, it’s difficult to imagine this rich continent in all of its diversity.

One of the generalizations I’ve heard over and over again is that Africa is a sexist continent where women are oppressed and disempowered. While this statement, sadly, reflects the reality of many women in Africa (and in other parts of the world), it has always struck me as a deeply flawed and unfortunate generalization.

Some very large West African ethnic groups, including the Akan of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire, are actually matriarchal societies. I thought you might enjoy learning about one of the founding mothers of modern Côte d’Ivoire — a queen named Abla Pokou.

Queen Abla Pokou, Mother of the Baoulé People

The Baoulé…

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