5 Stereotypes about African women

I remember the day my parents told me the story of my birth. They were disappointed that I was not born a boy. They didn’t have a name for me and asked the nurse to name me after the saint of the day from the Saint Calendar (Reine). When I first heard that story, I was too young to fully understand why having a boy was so important to them and I remember trying so hard to make up for not being born a boy. I went from being a mediocre student to being the best in my class. I was determined to prove to them that I didn’t have to be a boy to be successful. I tried so hard to make them proud and happy until I realized no matter how hard I tried, I was never going to meet their expectations. The truth is, the preconceived notions about males and females in many African countries, exacerbate disappointment over having a child of a particular sex.  Despite women’s emancipation and an increase in female literacy in Africa, having sons is still widely perceived as better than having daughters.  As an African woman, I often see women being sidelined, mostly portrayed in stereotypical roles that do not reflect their voice, views, achievements, and contributions to society. Here are five stereotypes about African women.

1. Uneducated

The speculation that African women are uneducated is absurd. African women are increasingly beating the odds and defying obstacles in various fields.  Female literacy is rising, and women are increasingly outpacing men’s higher education participation.

5 Stereotypes about African women

2. Submissive

In my experience, a lot of African women enjoy being independent and reject traditional ideas of women just staying home and not having a voice. However, the fact that domestic abuse is still widely accepted in many African countries has made many women feel trapped and helpless. As a result, they give the illusion of being silent and submissive in a society where domestic abuse is normalized.

5 Stereotypes about African women

3. Promiscuous

The way African women dress and dance are of cultural significance, yet, because of their curves and unique features, they are often stereotyped as overly sexual, promiscuous and sexually available. In some cases, poverty, violence, and lack of opportunity have led to promiscuity. However, the assumption that all African women are promiscuous is inaccurate.

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4. Desperate to be brides

In the traditional African experience,  women are expected to get married young. While some African women want to be married and have children, others prefer to enjoy their freedom and independence.

5. Materialistic

All women like beautiful things and crave security. If a woman prefers her man to have money, it doesn’t necessarily mean that she’s materialistic. A lot of African women are emancipated, educated, and independent and do not need to be with a man for money. The speculation that all African women are materialistic is incorrect.

Despite many inequalities and ignorance in the world, there’s no denying that African women are breaking stereotypes now more than ever.

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5 Replies to “5 Stereotypes about African women”

  1. It is true but what I will add is what you want determine your aims and also the steps you take to achieve example been practical you are woman and I am a man what do I have in common attraction and how do I try to get that , by been simply honest ,no attempt to convince you but say the stories you are able have been hearing often three words “I love you” so many things involve that you know.


  2. Thanks so much for your observation,its very true that african cheriched male child than female,the fact still remain that african follow and cherich their tradition most,what I have to say about african women is,unlike what you earlier said that african women when they are a little bit ricger than their husband they find means of geting Independence from their matrimonial home,they become proud,of which is not so from the male counterpert,then african believed that when they die its the male child that can handle their properties,and at thesame time maintain their name,that is one of the african mentality,also gone are the days african belive that male child is useful for them in some areas than female ones,to cap it shut being open this page for the first time,African is all about there culture,but improvement is coming up because women are coming up in times of politics and so many other things.thanks.


  3. thank you very much celestine!!!
    this is Exactly what happens even today. one of the many reasons why Africa is not advancing.
    check out my blog mismatchedwordsdot.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

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