Ubuntu is the African cultural propensity to display empathy, equality, integrity, peaceful coexistence, and humanism for the purpose of establishing and sustaining a fair and compassionate community. The word “Ubuntu” is derived from the Nguni (isiZulu) proverb Umuntu Ngumuntu Ngabantu, which means “a person is a person because of or through others” (Tutu, 2004, pp. 25-26). Across African cultures, the ideology of Ubuntu emphasizes interconnection, shared humanity, and the collective understanding that stems from a profound connection (Mbiti, 1969). Ubuntu is the awareness of a collective innate tendency to embrace fellow individuals and to cooperate and act with the greater purpose of collective betterment. The essential purpose is concerned with the establishment and preservation of positively reinforcing and strengthening relationships that respect the individual's right to dignity (Nussbaum, 2003, p. 2). In the absence of Ubuntu, sociocultural trajectories in Africa frequently fail to integrate and uphold equality, necessitating the establishment of a solid foundation for our shared humanity. Traditional African cultures are increasingly eroding. Violence against women and children is common to humanity regardless of culture, tradition, political landscape, or the environmental economic context. The focus on Africa in this issue of thirteen articles addresses how women and girls across the continent have become victims of violence. The articles argue that African cultures must embrace the philosophy of Ubuntu. This special issue aims to illustrate that an individual and communal adherence to the ethical norms of Ubuntu can be the path for accomplishing the desired expansion and reinforcement of realistic societal and human flourishing.
Baloyi, Elijah and Siwila, Lilian Cheelo
"Violence against Women and Girls in Africa in the absence of Ubuntu,"
Journal of International Women's Studies: Vol. 24:
4, Article 1.
Available at: https://vc.bridgew.edu/jiws/vol24/iss4/1