‘Towards a Feminist Consciousness’: Digitalising Leadership


  • Sara Soumaya Abed African Leadership Centre, King's College London




Leadership, Transing the nation, transing gender, Cyberfeminism, Decentralisation, Erasure, Decision-Making Processes, Consciousness Transcending Boundaries, Alternative Tool, Political Love, Subverting Mis/readings


This article examines the ways in which transnational and queer feminisms could conceptualise (new) meanings of leadership that are grounded in collectivism. Through being in conversation with the co-founders/running members and collaborators of Towards a Feminist Consciousness, a Pan-African queer feminist online platform from Western Sahara, this paper attempts to interrogate how their leadership praxis challenges the conventional thinking of leadership. The article demonstrates that Towards a Feminist Consciousness’s collective leadership turns cyberspace into a powerful communication instrument to establish mutuality and solidarity networks -transcending the boundaries of the nation and gender. First, the paper emphasises how their leadership emerged to challenge their erasure through decentralising knowledge production, which is usually restricted to certain geographical locations. It further addresses how hierarchal power relations could be negotiated through participating in the decision-making processes, thus allowing the alternation of power and influence. Second, the article highlights that facilitating open dialogue could solidify feminist consciousness transcending boundaries. In doing so, collective leadership processes are established through expert and referent power. Expert power is exhibited through theorising their lived experiences under the Moroccan occupation, while referent power is rooted in establishing mutuality based on their shared purpose and aspirations. The article lastly draws on emotional leadership as an integral element when theorising Towards a Feminist Consciousness’s leadership praxis through the prism of political love as the way forward.

Author Biography

Sara Soumaya Abed, African Leadership Centre, King's College London

Sara Soumaya Abed is a feminist researcher interested in exploring the intersections of queer theory and feminist political economy, social movements and cyberfeminism, performance studies and sex work through the lens of labour rights and security studies. She is on the -AWDF project- Leading Feminist Voices in Africa Fellowship Programme at the African Leadership Centre (ALC), King's College London and Nairobi. She was previously a fellow of the ALC's Peace, Security and Development Fellowship Programme for African Women. She was also a visiting fellow at the African Gender Institute (AGI), University of Cape Town. Sara holds an MA in Human Rights from University College London (UCL) and was part of Operation Anti-Sexual Harassment & Assault (OpAntiSH) that confronted the rising tide of gender-based violence against women in Tahrir Square in Egypt during the 25 Jan. revolution.




How to Cite

Abed, S. S. (2023). ‘Towards a Feminist Consciousness’: Digitalising Leadership. Leadership and Developing Societies, 8(1), 1–24. https://doi.org/10.47697/lds.35370011