Obianuju Ekeocha speaking at a United Nations conference hosted by the Holy See on maternal health care and the authentic needs of African women Mar. 17, 2016. Photo from COLAfrica video (https://youtu.be/LZ6nioMimCc)

African pro-life advocate urges Canadians to stop funding ideological colonization

By 
  • November 13, 2017

OTTAWA – Obianuju Ekeocha, Catholic founder of Culture of Life Africa, wants Canadians to stop funding feminist ideological colonization she says will devastate African societies.

In a book called Target Africa to be published next year, Ekeocha said she has coined the term “philanthropic racism” to describe what is happening.

“Everybody’s talking about racism and white supremacy,” she said. “I think what is so much more painful right now is the fact there is ideological supremacy that is sanctioned and acceptable and philanthropic racism that is admired and applauded.”

“I think they are trying to solve poverty and end poverty by eradicating the poor themselves or by stopping them from having another generation of children,” the Nigerian-born prolife activist said.

Invited to Canada by Campaign Life Coalition the week of Nov. 6, Ekeocha attended a Parliamentary breakfast Nov. 7 hosted by Conservative MP David Anderson, the Tories religious freedom critic, and an ecumenical clergy prayer breakfast on Nov. 8 at the National House of Prayer. 

In an interview, Ekeocha said she spoke of the radical changes in Canadian foreign aid promoting feminism and requiring countries in Africa and other parts of the developing world to become “more feminist friendly.”

She decried the changes to the 2010 Muskoka Initiative on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health that was respected around the world in favor of programs pushing for abortion, contraception and so-called reproductive rights such as Prime Minister Trudeau’s commitment of $650 million to fund abortion and related services.

“Canada has come into the field, and they’re playing big because they are drawing up really big cheques and giving really massive funds in an area that people have not actually demanded and asked for,” said Ekeocha.

Though they say they are working with local groups, the ones they are working with “are African feminists who are an extension of western feminists.”

“It’s as if the Canadian government is thinking the best thing an African girl can have is contraception and maybe a good job,” Ekeocha said.

“That’s not what African parents are dreaming of for their children.” While they want development, education and good jobs, African parents also want their children to enjoy family life, she said.

While women’s groups have been popular across Africa for the past 50 years, a new kind of African feminist group has emerged since 2006, she said. It is important not to conflate these new feminist groups with the women’s movements that “celebrate women’s irreplaceable roles as wives and mothers,” and “women’s innate capacity to care for and nurture families.”

“Now the feminist movement is the exact opposite in that regard,” she said.

The first recognizable charter came from a 2016 meeting of 100 African feminists in Accra, Ghana, she said. The charter regurgitates “the same talking points as the second and third wave feminists of the west,” the Nigerian-born Ekeocha said. “It could have been written in New York; it could have been written by Gloria Steinem.”

Included in the charter is the “complete dismantling of patriarchy in Africa,” “fighting for bodily autonomy, for choice, abortion rights,” and sexual identity, she said.

The new feminists highlighted goals “diametrically opposed to a lot of African cultures and customs,” Ekeocha said.

The charter used terms that “rejected women’s role as wife and mother,” and is “anti-male,” in a way that is foreign to African cultures, she said.

Yet, Ekeocha said new feminist groups have received shocking levels of funding such groups as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation or George Soros’ Open Societies Foundations and now from western governments like Canada.

“No one in Africa is celebrating the gifts of the Gates foundation,” she said. “We’re ashamed someone is coming to give us condoms and contraceptives. It’s a shameful thing. You rob us of our dignity.”

One group called the African Women’s Development Fund has raised $4 million a year from sources like these, she said. No home grown women’s group has raised anywhere near that kind of money.

“Now they’re going to have Canadian government giving them even more money,” she said. Those feminist groups ready and willing to promote abortion and contraception are a “way of spreading an ideology, not empowering women.” 

“With this money injected into the bloodstream of the African society, the money goes into advocacy,” she said. “It’s lobbying, and in some cases soft bribery. These are funds that will go really directly to change culture. They are not trying to strengthen the people with what they already want, but are coming with new ideas, a new blueprint and they are going to be forcing it down our throats."

“This is ideological annexation if you like, an ideological colonialism,” she said. While many may feel issues of abortion and gender are “already settled in the West, African cultures still find them “foreign” and even “reprehensible.”

“Money moves everything; money opens all doors,” she said. “It’s going to the feminist groups that will take the money and run with it to achieve change, but the change they will achieve is not an organic change, but changes that will entail the breakdown of systems.”

“It is iconoclastic,” she said. “They want to break down what exists in order for them to do with society what they want.

“Canada is on a very dangerous path,” she said. “This is ideological supremacy and it is to be denounced by everyone.” 

The Nigerian-born Ekeocha warns African families and marriages will be harmed the same way they have been in black communities in the United States, where marriage has plummeted and most babies are born out of wedlock. She also pointed to the similar devastation in the townships of South Africa, a relatively wealthy African nation, since abortion was legalized after the ending of apartheid.

Elsewhere in Africa, despite poverty and other challenges, children still have the “luxury” of being born into families with a mother and a father, she said.

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