As the year 2018 trudges on, something extraordinary is happening in the world. We continue to witness more and more local organizing and meaningful regional and global solidarity by gender activists and advocates, uniting in their collective struggle to shame discrimination and resist oppressive forms of patriarchy. From fighting sexual assaults and harassment – through the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements – to the radical voices calling for transformational social and economic alternatives that tackle inequalities – through the #FightInequality campaign – there is definitely a heightened awareness on women’s human rights.
One by one, gender consciousness and feminist consciousness is slowly illuminating the dark corners of sexual abuses in different industries and sectors – from our homes to educational institutions, world of sports, hospitals, boardrooms, courtrooms, C-level executives, state house, celebrities, hospitality, parliaments, united nations agencies and even in the military.
This continues to solidify again and again, what women activists and advocates have been speaking out all along – women and girls must be respected as equal human beings – not forgetting the numerous, documented researches and analysis – all pointing to the agency of women’s power and ability to act and transform the world.
Clearly, “time is up for discrimination and abuse against women. The time has come for women to thrive.” as so well stated by Christine Lagarde, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) at the 2018 World Economic Forum.
Another extraordinary thing happening in 2018. FEMNET is turning 30 years! Definitely a cause for celebration and also a moment to reflect on our collective gains, analyze persistent hurdles, as we chart our next 30 and 50 years together.
As documented in Our Herstory, FEMNET founders were visionary and inspired to set up this Network, deeply convicted that Africa can only be transformed when African women are at the center of all its progressive actions. Their voices must be heard as they advance equality, sustainable development and peace; they must be visible in the corridors of power; they must have the capacity to organize effectively to initiate and influence the development agendas; they have to participate in implementing the decisions made and equally share and enjoy the benefits of development. Above all else, FEMNET Founders intended that FEMNET should provide a common platform for all African women to acknowledge and celebrate our diversities as a source of power and hold each other up in solidarity and sisterhood against all odds as we work together to improve the quality of life in Africa for every person.
As we celebrate FEMNET @30, we would love to hear from you our members and partners – what do you MOST celebrate as a member of FEMNET? What would you like to see DIFFERENT as a member/ partner? Individually, what can you offer to CONTRIBUTE to FEMNET’s vision and mission?
Please send your responses on email to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out other updates and news in this first E-Bulletin in 2018. We look forward to an exciting and busy year ahead as we endeavour to realize our vision for ‘An African society where gender equality is achieved and women and girls enjoy all their rights and live in dignity’.
Do keep us posted even as you join these and other exciting activities for together we will make the much-needed difference in our continent! We thank you for your continuous support and wish you all an exciting and successful 2018!