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.
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
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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
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.
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
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),
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.
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
With the knowledge,activism, experience and intellectual capacity of those in the room,Harvard became a vessel for collective and individual reflection, harnessing energies,contestation, theorising, pausing for celebration and coming together to collate African women’s narratives. It was also a platform for bringing the United Nations Conference on Women held in Beijing in 1995,its Platform for Action (BPFA) and the 2015 Development Agenda into the room .
The convening brought together thirty three women’s rights and feminist leaders from elevenFrench-speaking African countries to connect and support women’s organisationsfrom Francophone West and Central Africa. As countries in Francophone Africa emerge from conflicts, negotiate for peace and security, as well as transitioning to vibrant democracies, emerging women leaders must be an integral part of the establishment of the structures, systems, legislations and policies that will lead to open, tolerant and inclusive societies
The tweet-a-thon provided a space to invigorate discussions that are happening at global, national and local levels, exploring issues and experiences affecting African women across various contexts. The discussions explored events and phenomena that are shaping discourse; the way we think, the way we act and the way we perceive the future with regards women’s human rights
The Women Steering Innovative Leadership in Africa International Conference was held from the 9th to the 11th of September 2013 at the scenic Bingu International Conference Centre, Lilongwe, Malawi. The landmark leadership conference whose tagline was “Powering the African Dream”, was intended to contribute towards the identification and development of visionary, feminist, transformative and gender sensitive women leaders who are able to engage comfortably in and influence issues of national, regional and international nature.
Shifting the Power through local Philanthropy is a report of a strategic meeting held two months after Zimbabwe entered into a new political dispensation in February 2018, Urgent Action Fund Africa (UAF-Africa) in Collaboration with Global Fund for Community Foundation (GFCF) wanted to create an opportunity to bolster and embolden the work of the women’s rights movement at a momentous time when multiple opportunities present themselves in the country’s political and economic environment.