This research highlights women’s roles and significant contributions to the Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), focusing mainly on the role of Amy Jacques Garvey. Founded by Marcus Garvey and his first wife Amy Ashwood Garvey in 1914, the UNIA sought to improve the poor conditions of African descendants through economic, political, and social independence. Garveyism, Marcus Garvey’s male-centered ideology, permeated the UNIA, shaping the structure of the organization in a way that blatantly favored men and their roles in the political movement. Although women were considered important to the organization, their membership was secondary to that of their male counterparts. While men were to spearhead the mission, women were confined to supporting the men, particularly through motherhood. Amy Jacques Garvey, Garvey’s second wife, increasingly challenged the UNIA’s sexist ideology as her marriage with Garvey dwindled. Her feminist voice gradually gained strength as she became more outspoken in support of leadership roles for women and simultaneously critical of men, including Garvey himself. Jacques Garvey, and many other female UNIA members, used their positions to advance women’s roles within the movement and, in so doing, helped women develop their organization and leadership skills.
"From "Companionate Wife" to Feminist Pioneer: Amy Jacques Garvey's Feminist Prowess Liberates Women in Restructuring the UNIA,"
Of Life and History: Vol. 2
, Article 7.
Available at: https://crossworks.holycross.edu/oflifeandhistory/vol2/iss1/7