Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was recently awarded the 2020 Africa Freedom Prize by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF).
The FNF is an independent organization that works to promote liberal policy and politics around the world. Since 2016, it has annually awarded the Africa Freedom Prize to “outstanding personalities who provide decisive impulses for the development of liberal civil society in African countries.”
Chairman of the Board of Directors, Professor Karl-Heinz Paqué, explains the jury’s decision to choose Adichie as the 2020 Africa Freedom Prize winner:
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.
In a virtual event, Adichie accepted her award with a powerful speech titled “What if we raise the bar for men?” in which she challenges the societal language of shame that teaches young girls to devalue their bodies and young boys to suppress weakness in favor of dangerous displays of power.
Adichie concludes with a global call to action for new examples of masculinity:
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, we should implement laws that severely punish it, and we should raise the bar for men.
Watch Chimamanda Adichie’s full acceptance speech below: