This report, “Fire in the rain, UAF-Africa’s feminist response to COVID-19”, centers the organizing led by AWHRDs, African womn’s rights organizations and feminist movements in the critical years of the first, second and third wave of COVID-19 across Africa. In the report are highlights of UAF-Africa’s internal reflections based on defenders’ experiences on critical elements to sustaining African feminist movements – the good life and power fostering economic justice for womn; relationships and power infusing healing and regeneration in organizing; resources and power influencing better and more money for AWHRDs; love and power centering love and care as a political project crucial for fueling passion and all positive expressions of power.
L’action d’UAF-Afrique est alignée sur les approches féministes et alternatives du contrôle et de la gestion de l’eau, qui sont axées sur les besoins des personnes les plus marginalisées dans la société – les femmes africaines issues des communautés pauvres – et qui sont au coeur de cette recherche. Le présent rapport souligne l’urgence du combat des femmes pour l’eau et met en exergue l’intersectionalité de la problématique de l’eau qui touche à la production alimentaire, à la santé, au logement, à l’assainissement et au changement climatique. Il met en lumière l’importance du renforcement des mouvements sociaux et de la convergence des luttes aux niveaux local, régional et international. Certains des aspects clés de cela sont entre autres l’éducation politique féministe au niveau local, les réunions stratégiques pour renforcer la solidarité, influencer et construire de puissants contre-récits à travers une campagne continentale pour la justice de l’eau.
The work of UAF-Africa is aligned with feminist and alternative approaches to water control and management, which focus on the needs of the most marginalised in society – African womn from poor communities – and this is at the heart of this research. This report emphasises the urgency of womn’s struggle for water and highlights how water is an intersectional issue that cuts across food production, health, housing, sanitation and climate change. The report puts a spotlight on the importance of strengthening social movements and connecting struggles at local, regional and international levels. Some of the key aspects of this include feminist political education at grassroots level, strategic convenings to enhance solidarity, influencing and building powerful counter-narratives through a continental water justice campaign.
Feminists in Africa continue to build and evolve our movements in our quest for the world we want. We are imagining possibilities for our movements and for feminist organising. This, in the midst of a new crisis —the novel COVID-19 health crisis, an extension and deepening of the endemic economic, social and political crises of our time.
Les féministes africaines continuent de construire et de développer nos mouvements dans notre quête du monde que nous voulons. Nous imaginons des possibilités pour nos mouvements et pour les organisations féministes. Et ce, au milieu d’une nouvelle crise — la nouvelle crise sanitaire de Covid-19, une prolongation et une exacerbation des crises économiques, sociales et politiques endémiques de notre temps.
People living at the margins of society, falling within the low-income bracket, lacking social safety nets of public health, maternity and childcare services are the ones who are negatively impacted by COVID-19 the most. Using a feminist lens, UAF-Africa focused her grant making efforts on these groups. This bulletin highlights how we shifted the focus of our grant making processes to support these group of people to deal with the impact of COVID-19.
In December 2012, Urgent Action Fund-Africa (UAF-Africa) took the bold decision of transitioning into a “virtual organisation” (VO). This decision was in many ways radical and intuitive. Almost eight years later, we find that the concept is still both fascinating and intriguing for many of the different actors we interact with. This document shares what that experience looks like.
UAF-Africa implemented a 2-year project through which she worked with Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) from Tunisia and Egypt, to explore their experiences with online activism. Research was conducted through which 15 WHRDs were interviewed to explore their experiences of violence online.
Over the past year, the Urgent Action Sister Funds have collectively turned an intersectional feminist lens to the tidal wave of new restrictions on and existential challenges to civil society and human rights activism, colloquially known as the “shrinking civic space.” Looking with this lens we see the gendered impacts the “shrinking space” trends have had. And, we see the sheer ingenuity and fierce resilience that feminist activists have shown under great duress.
With the objective of strengthening women’s struggles, in 2014 we produced International Standards for Women’s Rights as Related to the Environment and Territory, and Women, Territory, and the Environment- State of the Art in Latin America. Based on our commitment to collective knowledge creation, in 2016, we published the book Women Defending Territory. Participatory Experiences in Latin America, the goal being to bring to light women’s participation in processes of prior consultation
A rapid response grant maker such as UAF-Africa has a unique advantage of providing financial and knowledge resources to women’s and women-led NGOs in the fastest time possible. There is that strategic moment that women human rights activists must seize expeditiously to respond to a Hope has a conversation with Jessica about her experience as UAF-Africa’s Executive Director, (March 2009 – February 2011)JessiCA nkuuHeHope CHigudu16
2015 will be an unprecedented year for social innovation. This optimal environment has been enabled by a number of trends and technologies that have increased available capital, participation, intelligence and creativity in the design of social solutions. Based on our research and observations, and combined with the feedback of the 2014 Leadership Council members and Classy Awards Nominees,
The world has changed in important ways for women’s rights and gender equality since the Fourth World Conference for Women in Beijing in 1995, an epic event that produced a globally-agreed ‘roadmap’ to gender equality and that remains a reference point for governments and for women’s movements alike until today. Changes have been uneven at best, mirroring the complex path that social transformation requires and the call to action for a more holistic approach.
The funds raised from this innovative venture will go a long way towards providing for women and girls across Africa so that they too can achieve their dreams. Secure your space in this book and honour the woman whose story should be heard across the globe. Give her a place in history to inspire another woman,another girl who needs to believe she is extraordinary
In this issue of the African Women’s Journal, dubbed African Women in Power/Politics, we seek to explore both the individual and collec-tive experiences of past, aspiring or current women in power/politics. The articles speak to some of the persistent and structural as well as emerging obstacles and challenges women face as they wrestle with power, privi-lege and politics. Authors also present alternative strategies for ensuring visionary, transformative leadership. We stop and take stock and give room for personal journeys and reflections.
We are proud to present a brief overview of the key moments spanning the life of Urgent Action Fund-Africa to date. We have undergone several important and critical changes and shifts over the years. We have celebrated and learned from our successes and challenges. In the spirit of continuing along this trajectory, we take this time to remember and document, as feminist practice, the herstory of our organisation.
Africa has taken the international film industry by storm. A movement of African women filmmakers has started on the continent; unfortunately that revolution has not found its way to Zimbabwe. The African woman is an important subject, her struggles and triumphs are unique. This has led to her story being appropriated by male filmmakers. Critical women’s voices like Judy Keene (Kenya),
This programme is charged with reaching African women and providing them with the information and knowledge they require to access our grants as well as other related resources, both in Africa and overseas. This is achieved through use of a multiplicity of platforms and channels, from social media to physical meetings and convenings. Through this programme UAF-Africa has been represented not only on social media site
On a day to day basis, in public or private spaces, we are impacted by the Beijing Platform for Action, a road map to equality.We, at UrgentAction Fund-‐‑Africa (UAF-‐‑Africa), connect with the Beijing World conference in a special way because we were conceived as a result of some of the discussions that took place at the NGO Forum held in Huairou, north of Beijing and attended by 40,000.
The convening will prioritise and attempt a methodology that gets participants out of the most-travelled ways of thinking, to stimulate women leaders to be more curious and explicit about experiencing their leadership differently-we all know that reproducing the same old strategies will not likely transform society. The convening participants will be encouraged to embody new ways of being, seeing,thinking and acting in order to plant and ultimately harvest transformational change in their spheres of influence and countries.
The event, organized by Urgent Action Fund–Africa (UAF-‐‑Africa), in close collaboration with The Human Rights Program at Harvard Law School and Ford Foundation, marked the much-‐‑anticipated progress that builds from the objectives of the Post 2015 Development Agenda and the +20 Beijing Review Process.Building on the two frameworks that shaped and instructed the thinking and actions on women’s leadership, the convening affirmed and reclaimed gender equality as a powerful requisite towards sustainable development.
This report offers an analysis of the key dynamics social movements are grappling with across Africa. It poses questions about what is happening in Africa and how human rights defenders (HRDs), and gender non-conforming people, are responding to, influenced and impacted by this environment.
Women and girls are Africa’s untapped potential. The issues, factors and actors that inhibit their freedom to thrive are numerous, complex and constantly evolving. Yet, women are not passive; they have resisted oppression, spoken out for the silenced, marched for change and advocated liberty, justice, dignity and rights against forces that are resistant to a shift in the present inequitable power structures; a shift in the status quo.
In the last four years, UAF-Africa has sharpened her grant-making mechanisms. We were the first and only grant-maker to review and disburse a grant within two hours. Days into the Tunisian revolution, before the dust had even settled, the Fund decided to conduct an outreach mission to the country. We wanted to express solidarity with and gain understanding of the women behind the revolution and ensure that their voices were not lost in the