PhotographyOn Top and In Power with Africa’s Women Take Charge

On Top and In Power with Africa’s Women Take Charge

© Alex Majoli
With Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf being the first elected female head of state in Africa, Alex Majoli decided to capture her and “several other powerful female leaders [that] are pushing to make new laws, change old attitudes and inspire others to follow their lead.” What follows is a curated selection from his submitted collection, Africa’s Women Take Charge (2006).
Kanakuze Judith (1959-2010), a politician and women’s rights activist. She served on the country’s Commission as a gender equality advocate. © Alex Majoli
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, former President of Liberia (2006-2018). A stunning 60% of Liberian voters cast their ballots for Johnson-Sirleaf, making her the first woman elected to lead an African nation. © Alex Majoli

Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor captured in her office. The former First Lady was married to the President Charles Taylor, who led a civil war and drove the country to utter ruin. © Alex Majoli

(Councillor) Lois Brutus, former President of the Association of Female Lawyers of Liberia (AFELL), now serves as Liberia’s Ambassador to the United States. © Alex Majoli

Dora Akunyili (1954-2014), former Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
© Alex Majoli
© Alex Majoli


Akunyili stands in the charred remains of her former office, torched by arsonists in 2004. She had also previously survived a 2003 assassination attempt by gunmen with AK-47s.
Aloysie Cyanzayire, former Chief Justice (2003-2011) oversaw the reinstatement of the Gacaca courts (loosely translated to “justice amongst the grass”), a traditional justice system modernized to handle the huge genocide caseload. © Alex Majoli
Rose Kabuye, retired Lieutenant Colonel, and former chief of protocol fought in the Rwandan Patriotic front. She later became, and remains the highest-ranking woman ever to serve in her country’s armed forces. © Alex Majoli

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