AFRICA FREEDOM PRIZE FOR CHIMAMANDA NGOZIE ADICHIE – A LIBERAL FEMINIST
The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom awarded the Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie with the Africa Freedom Prize. In her award-winning works, Adichie relentlessly addresses the central social grievances and political challenges of our time. As one of the most important intellectual champions of women's rights, she inspires people around the world in their pursuit of freedom.
What if we raise the bar for men? Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s acceptance speech of the Africa Freedom Prize
“Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is the long-lost, undogmatic voice of liberal feminism in the 21st century. She represents the success and self-image of a new generation of African women writers who are increasingly making their voices heard on the world literary stage. In her fight for freedom and self-determination for women, Adichie contributes to the consolidation of liberal values and goals - not only in Africa, but all over the world ”, explains Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz Paqué, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, the jury's decision. As a recipient of the award, Ms Adichie wrote and presented the speech “What if we raise the bar for men?” which challenges the societal language of shame that teaches young girls to devalue their bodies and young boys to suppress weakness in favour of dangerous displays of power.
Together with the host of the event, South African journalist and media personality Redi Tlhabi, Adichie explored issues including how toxic masculinity is showing its true face in the Western political space, how the languages of culture and the practices of tradition undermine the female anatomy, and why African political leaders often choose quiet diplomacy when society calls for change in specific countries.
“Men can do better, and we as a society must expect men to do better. And so, when we say GBV (gender-based violence); let us also be specific about which violence is currently an epidemic in the world today. It is male violence against women. We should talk honestly and openly about it. We should change mindsets about it, implement laws that severely punish it. And we should raise the bar for men”.