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.
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.
Senator Jewel Howard-Taylor captured in her office. The former First Lady was married to President Charles Taylor, who led a civil war and drove the country to utter ruin.
(Councillor) Lois Brutus, former President of the Association of Female Lawyers of Liberia (AFELL), now serves as Liberia’s Ambassador to the United States.
Dora Akunyili (1954-2014), former Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
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.