Akina Mama wa Afrika (AMwA)

Feminist Leadership Development

Disney Princesses Anna and Elsa caught the world by surprise when their sisterhood and friendship completely undermined the traditional idea of true love in the hit film Frozen. Rather than a romantic kiss saving Anna from becoming eternally frozen, her sacrificing herself to save her sister from being killed is what ultimately cured her. This reversed the curse due to the heroism and love that was involved in the sisterly act instead of a romantic kiss from a prince. Saving Elsa was a form of platonic true love that seems to be commonly left out of the dialogue surrounding love. With Valentine’s Day coming up, romance between loved ones will likely take the spotlight and unfortunately leave out other forms of love. Valentine’s Day, however, is not solely about romantic love and partners, as it is also a time for reflection on feminist love and sisterhood. Just like in Frozen, sisterhood and platonic love with friends or family is able to manifest itself in the best ways.

Sisterhood and feminist love is about supporting other women and girls in their endeavours and February 14th is a perfect time to meditate on and participate in this idea. Love of any kind encompasses what Valentine’s Day is truly about and this means that platonic love and support between women is also included in this dialogue. Valentine’s Day does not have to solely surround romantic love and men. Instead, it can be used as a tool to empower women into understanding self-love, being comfortable without a significant other, and be fulfilled by their loving female friends and family members. Even women with a romantic partner are able to take part in this in order to become empowered as well. It is a perfect opportunity for uplifting your sisters and yourself while also celebrating sisterhood. Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to actively engage with one another on how women can support each other in self-love, care, and feminism.

A section of sisters at the recently concluded Uganda Feminist Forum

On Valentine’s Day, self-love and care is especially important to partake in. Self-love and care is prioritizing yourself before anyone else and their belief systems or opinions. One reason why this is good to reflect on is due to the many harmful ideals about women, significant others, and love. Rather than being subjected to these ideals surrounding women needing men, women should instead actively engage with their friends and fellow feminists to combat this notion. Spending time and energy with other women and engaging in feminist discussions regarding these notions is the perfect way to reject them. It will not only promote a feminist lifestyle, but it will also provide confidence and empowerment to yourselves as strong, independent women. Relatability is reassuring and comforting for many, especially including discussions on womanhood, patriarchy, oppressions, and feminism. Engaging with other women regarding topics like this is a great way to have self-care. This will support confidence and encourage growth in not only yourself, but also your female friends and family members when you spread your newfound confidence and happiness.

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare,”

Audre Lorde

No matter if you have a romantic partner or not, this feminist love approach to Valentine’s Day is an effective way in spending time with your fellow feminists in order to uplift one another, feel confident, and discuss feminism in a safe and loving environment. There is always room for sisterhood within celebration and this is the perfect opportunity to participate in it. Think of Elsa and Anna’s sisterhood and love for each other and translate this into your interactions with your circle of women and feminists in your life.

Compiled by Hailey Dash

Communications Intern

Akina Mama wa Afrika