The coronavirus pandemic has magnified existing inequalities, particularly along lines of gender. In Africa, like in other regions around the world, containment measures including lockdowns, confinement and drastic reductions in sociability have significantly impacted women. Access to paid work and sustainable livelihoods has been significantly disrupted, rates of domestic violence have increased, and access to reproductive healthcare has been seriously curtailed, which points to wider social, economic and emotional breakdowns. But this crisis has also spawned new types of activism and social networks in support of local communities, especially the most vulnerable, with potentially the grounds for long-lasting change.
While African women have and continue to set new standards for women’s political leadership globally, many citizens are disappointed by decades of government inaction, where gender and women’s programmes are often underfunded, and international aid overlooks local needs. So how are the current challenges understood? Will grassroots activism be able to address the scale and foster meaningful change?
This event examines the long history of feminist activism in Africa and its enduring impact on society from an intergenerational perspective. At this critical historic juncture, speakers interrogate current achievements and fault lines as well as the crucial future of African feminist activism.
Hosted by the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa
Thursday 12 November 2020
- Dr Siphokazi Magadla
- Professor Amina Mama
- Professor Dzodzi Tsikata
- Professor Alcinda Honwana
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