By Charmaine Pereira
The focus of Feminist Africa 22 – “Feminists Organising” – implies a vision, a sense of alternative possibilities of greater social justice alongside the liberation of women from all sources of oppression, and collective feminist energies being mobilised to bring about change in this direction. How have feminists in Africa organised and what are the ends to which feminist organising is directed? What strategies are used to pursue which goals and what trajectories of change are envisaged? How do we effect change within ourselves, even as we strive to change relations and conditions at local, national, regional, and/or global levels? Whose voices are privileged, heard or silenced in the course of feminist organising and in what contexts?
Across the African continent, and from pre-colonial times to the contemporary era, women have organised to further their interests in social, cultural, political and economic domains (see e.g. Daymond et al., 2003; Sutherland-Addy and Diaw, 2005). The fact of women’s organising is one of the many motifs featuring in the vast panorama of the Women Writing Africa project, a project that set out to retrieve the buried voices of women in their varied responses to the social and political forces in their lives. Such retrievals entail considerable organising and imagination in themselves, involving multiple planes of thought and collective action.
Fifteen years since the launch of the first issue on Intellectual Politics in 2002, this special editorial marks the end of the first stage in Feminist Africa’s life. The shared founding principle behind FA is the understanding that building strong and independent feminist movements is necessary for the liberation of our continent. Movement-building demands the mobilisation of multiple energies that work to demystify, resist and overcome the sex- and gender-based oppressions at work in our lives and communities, and in the institutions we inhabit.fa22_editorial
Editorial, Feminist Africa Issue 22: Feminists Organising - Strategy, Voice, Power, Journal