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Unraveling Gender Dimensions in Macroeconomic Policy Frameworks in Africa – AWJ Issue IX

Over the years, Feminist Economists have analysed macroeconomic policies and proposed alternative economic policies that put women’s human rights and gender equality at its center. The women’s movement more broadly is recognising the need for a fundamental rethinking of macroeconomic policy frameworks so that they address the needs and interests of both men and women and address all inequalities.

Macroeconomic policies have a critical role to play in the realization of women’s rights – for instances the allocation of maximum available resources, privatization of public services, recognition and redistribution of unpaid care-work, taxation and financing for development. Without understanding the impact of macroeconomic policies on the advancement of women’s rights and gender equality, development stakeholders will continuously fail to respond to systematic and structural issues that continue to perpetuate inequalities including gender inequalities, thereby risking to continue addressing symptoms instead of the root causes of the problem.

This ninth issue of the African Women’s Journal features rich articles from our members and partners in different parts of the continent on how the current macroeconomic models are impacting gender equality and women’s human rights in the African context. We are convinced that the ability to understand and analyze macroeconomic policies from a feminist perspective will enable activists to advocate for economic policy change that impact on women and girls lives positively.

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African Women in Power/Politics – AWJ Issue VIII

In this issue of the African Women’s Journal, dubbed African Women in Power/Politics, we seek to explore both the individual and collective 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, privilege 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.

Whether we engage at local, national, regional or global levels, we continue to wrestle with power, make our voices heard and bring about lasting change which can be felt by the coming generations. We’ve heard a few of the stories and journeys here in this issue, but ofcourse there are countless others whose stories have neither been told nor heard. May we continue to shape our own narratives and emerge with possibilities that respond to our realities.

Here’s to gender parity in our decision making spaces – including in our homes, and to transformational leadership.

A luta continua!

A snippet of the Journal:

Amina Mohammed shares her personally journey, from growing up in North-East Nigeria to her current position as special Advisor to Ban Ki Moon on Post-2015. She challenges us that it is not enough to simply have a seat at the table, but we must speak truth to the establishment and make that seat count for the countless who are not at the table. She reminds us that each of us must play our part, using our positions of power, small as they may be, to create a just and prosperous world where all people realize their rights and live with dignity and hope.

Annie Devenish takes a closer look at an eco-feminist and ultimately political movement; the Green Belt Movement, as well as the trailblazing woman at its forefront; Wangari Maathai. This case study provides an alternative model of leadership and participation; with women tapping into power through taking control of natural resources and articulating their struggles and concerns.

Bertha Rinjeu introduces us to a number of resilient women who find innovative ways around the threats, public shame and humiliation they face while on their political journeys. She touches on culture, patriarchy and strategies women employ to overcome obstacles placed in their paths to power.

Gavaza Maluleke looks at women fighting both a racist and sexist apartheid in South Africa – in particular focusing on the role of rural women, and the multiple ways in which women can participate and tap into power – both as individuals, and perhaps most importantly, as a collective.

Louisa Khabure delves into patriarchy, political violence and the increasingly monetized nature of campaigns. She presents the nature and extent of challenges women face when seeking political leadership and examines this within the context of a broader political culture in Kenya. She also proposes actions to remedy the ills of the political landscape.

Aminatta L. R. Ngum presents the case of Pauline Nyiramasuhuko, who ironically held the position of Minister of Family Welfare and the Advancement of Women’s Affairs in Rwanda and who was the first and only woman tried and convicted for the crime of genocide as well as rape as an act of genocide by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.

Nimmo Elmi takes a look at the case of women in Somalia relegated to the private sphere despite their active engagement prior to the civil war. Through Serah Kahiu and Sara Longwe‘s reflections of their own political journeys in Kenya and Zambia respectively, we come to understand that the personal is truly political.

Additional Info

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The Africa We Want – AWJ Issue VII

Much of the global development in the past decade and a half has been pegged on the Millennium Development Goals that came to be in 2000 with an expiry date of 2015. As 2015 approaches, efforts are underway to shape a global development agenda – the Post 2015 agenda – one meant
to be inclusive, consultative and participatory.  This agenda also encompasses work around the proposed Sustainable Development Goals, which emerged from Rio+20. As the world deliberates on these agendas, Africa is keen to shape her own – dubbed Agenda 2063. It comes at an opportune time with celebrations of 50+ years of independence, pan-Africanism and the African Renaissance.
In 50 years, what kind of Africa can we envision, and then proceed to achieve? What is the world that we want? Not only for ourselves, but for our children, and their children’s children (if we choose to have them). What are our non-negotiables? What agenda will see us truly transforming the worlds in which we live? What would it take to realize our visions? What factors will enable us not simply to survive, but to thrive?

The seventh edition of the African Women’s Journal will seek to address such issues.

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Pan-Africanism & the Women’s Movement – AWJ Issue VI

Pan-Africanism & the Women’s Movement

In this sixth issue, we continue to keep the African Women’s Decade Alive by stopping to take stock – What has Pan-Africanism meant for the African Women’s Movement, and likewise what has the Women’s Movement meant for Pan-Africanism? Has one impacted on the other, and in what ways? These are some of the questions that are explored in this issue.

Throughout the issue, articles point to the fact that the two: Pan-Africanism and the African Women’s movements work hand in hand and are in fact, inseparable, one cannot move without the other – as Sankara asserts – both are a necessity for the triumph of the revolution.

We open the Journal with “Pan-Africanism” a poetry piece that reflects on what Pan-Africanism is[nt] followed by a piece by Semiha who takes a critical look at the parallels between Pan-Africanism and the African Women’s Movement, and how the latter has furthered the former. Norah shares the hostile context in which FEMNET was birthed 25 years ago, and what FEMNET means to both Pan-Africanism and the women’s movement. Gbenga explores the role of new media technologies in facilitating solidarity, shrinking time and space, advancing the agenda of both movements and provides concrete recommendations for Africa’s Agenda 2063.

Tsitsi argues that Botswana remains a democracy mainly reserved for only half of its population; the men. Camalita examines the case of South Africa – as ‘Freedom Day’ is commemorated every year on the 27th of April, is there really cause to celebrate? Jamillah and Linda argue that Pan-Africanism has contributed greatly to defining what the women’s movement will be to able do for African women as it gives them a sense of common identity and operates within their context. Sara delves into the Gender dimensions in discussing and implementing development – isn’t Pan-Africanism about self-sufficiency and control over our own resources?

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Ending Violence – AWJ Issue V

Women and Men Speaking Out and Acting on Ending Gender-Based Violence in Africa

In this fifth issue (July-December 2012), we will focus on good practices and initiatives aimed at ending violence, with case studies from across the African continent, namely; Kenya, Ethiopia, DRC and Sierra Leone.

We hope you will find this Journal informative and will inspire you to also SPEAK OUT and TAKE ACTION to end ALL FORMS OF VIOLENCE in your relationships, families, communities and societies.

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