Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti

(25 October 1900 - 13 April 1987) Nigeria


Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti known as nigerian feminist and political leader who became the leading advocate of women’s rights in her country during the first half of the 20th century. She founded the abeokuta Women's Union, one of the most impressive women's organizations of the twentieth centur, with a membership esitimated to have reached up to 20, 000 wowmen, which fought to protect and further the rights of women. Her awards include the Lenin Peace Price.

Growing up Funmilayo was the first female student at her secondary school Abeokuta Grammar school that she attended from 1914-1917. After further studies completed in England Funmilayo returned and became a teacher at the same school. It was there where she organised the Abeokuta Ladies Club which consisted of educated christian women. In further years the group became more political and feminist in its orientation, and allowed more diverse groups of women to join, accomodating even those women who were impoverished and illiterate. In 1946 the Abeokuta ladies name changed to Abeokuta Women's Union, and membership was to all women. Ransome-kuti became the first president of the Union.  Under Ransome-Kuti's leadership the AWU became a national organization changing it's name to Nigerian Women's Union, futher becoming Federation of Nigerian Women's Societies. Along the years the society campaigned against price controls that limited the incomes of market women, they also fought against a special tax on women put in place by a local ruler. The organisation created educational opportunities for women and girls, enforced sanitary regulations, and the provision of health care and other social services for women.  These helped improve the living standars of women in Nigeria and eliminate the causes of poverty. Ransome-Kuti went on to lecture in several countries about the conditions of Nigeria. 


Portrait of Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, Graduation. Date unknown.
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Funmilayo ransome-kuti

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Wedding of Albertina and Walter Sisulu. Present as well was Nelson and Winnie Mandela. From Wikimedia Commons,
Albertina Sisulu along side her husband Walter Sisulu anti-apartheid activist and member of the African National Congress. From Wikimedia Commons,


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Works Cited

“Albertina Sisulu Timeline 1918 - 2011.” South African History Online,