Introduction

Queen Arawelo was a feminist Somali leader in those days. A feminist is described as an individual who supports women’s rights and equality between the sexes.

The Story

Queen Arawelowas ancient queen in Somalia, around 15 AD. Eldest born to a King who only had female daughter, she naturally succeeded him as heir. She was one of the original feminists and believed in empowering the women of her country. Being a female queen was a rarity in those days. But she set out to prove that women could do a great job of ruling a kingdom just as well as men. In a time where Kings were making rash decisions to initiate wars, Queen Arawelo was encouraging her women to become strong and independent. She strongly believed women should not rely on their husbands to be the sole breadwinners of the family. She also demanded that there must be no segregation in both women’s and men’s duties. This led her to actively encourage women to take up masculine roles and become providers for their families. Before becoming Queen, Arawelo and female companions hunted and collected water for their town. This was to prevent them from starving and moving away during the Buraan droughts. She held her town and country together with a strong grasp. Her actions and beliefs were recognised throughout Africa. Queen Arawelo was given gifts as a sign of solidarity from Queen Sheba, in the form of gold and jewellery. Queen Sheba was queen of Ethiopia at that time and ruled the Aksumite Kingdom. During her rule, Queen Arawelo had a disagreement with her husband, as he thought women should only focus on their domestic and child rearing duties. This angered her very much. Her comeback was to command all women of the land to leave their womanly duties.