Department: Modern European Languages
This study examines feminism and tradition in Africa as presented by two African feminist writers: Mariama Bâ in Un chant écarlate and Une si longue lettre and Régina Yoau in Le glass de l’Infortune and La révolte d’Affiba. The feminist movement began in Africa as a result of the overbearing nature of tradition which has been there right from the onset. Different people have different beliefs in the society where they live and develop themselves. Indeed, these traditions and beliefs reflect the behaviour of the people, especially that of women. Thus, many African feminist writers continue to denounce the bad aspects of this tradition which tend to destroy and reduce the personality and rights of the African woman. They see feminism as an adequate response to the burden of the African woman. The selected writers offer a repertoire of the ills that befall the African woman. In fact, they decry these evils and exhort the African woman to change the condition of her existence as well as things in Africa. In the selected novels under analysis, the authors establish the link between tradition and the deplorable personality of the African woman. Hence, they demonstrate that the African man takes advantage of tradition and patriarchy to relegate the status of the woman and therefore feminism remains the instrument of change. The purpose of this study is to show how the African tradition tends to reduce the personality of women in Africa, highlight the contribution of feminism and feminist writers in improving the personality of women, and the success already achieved to show that the status of women has greatly improved. Therefore, to make an objective analysis of this study, our approach, following a textual analysis, is socio-criticism, because, the society has greatly informed these novelists. We will also use the feminist approach, since the novels in our corpus are feminist works. This research recommends the formal education of the African woman, an awareness and solidarity for women, revolt against negative aspects in the African tradition in order to guarantee improved status of the African woman.