top of page
Arquitectos na Câmara de Lourenço Marques.jpg

The architects

12 architects, 4 countries

birth / death


works activity



Angola, Mozambique



Cape Verde,

Guinea-Bissau, Angola










​The primary objective of the WomArchStruggle project is to systematically document and map the history of women who practised architecture in former Portuguese colonial Africa, particularly Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau and Mozambique. 

This historical exploration is divided into two distinct phases, (1) ​the Liberation Wars period: starting from the arrival of the first woman from the metropolis in Africa in 1953, this phase covers the years of the liberation wars; (2) the early years of New Nations: this phase encompasses the period following the Portuguese revolution of 1974 up to the graduation of the first woman in architecture on the African continent, in 1985.

Furthermore, the project aims to compare the diverse life trajectories of these women, encompassing their personal, professional, and academic paths. The project also seeks to shed light on the motivations behind their migratory experiences. Within this context, it is already evident that there were the forerunners, the experts, the locals, as well as the cooperants and, later, the graduates within the African continent. The contributions of these women are of immense significance to the fields of Portuguese architecture history, gender studies, as well as colonial and post-colonial studies.

WomArchStruggle -Women architects in former Portuguese colonial Africa: gender and struggle for professional recognition (1953-1985) is an Exploratory Research Project financed by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT, Portugal). The project is scheduled to run from March 1, 2023, to August 31, 2024, with a budget of 50 000 €. 

Its PI is Ana Vaz Milheiro and Co-PI Leonor Matos Silva.

This work is supported by FCT – Foundation for Science and Technology, I.P. under the granted research Project “Women architects in former Portuguese colonial Africa: gender and struggle for professional recognition (1953-1985)” [DOI 10.54499/2022.01720.PTDC].

bottom of page