The Purple Bulb Strengthening African women's individual and collective leadership capacities and forming strategic partnerships to tackle patriarchy and attain gender equality

In this issue, Akina Mama wa Afrika brings you features of key activities undertaken in advancing the feminist agenda, memories of the Uganda Feminist Forum conversation on Sisterhood and highlights about our alumnae in Uganda and beyond.

Together with partners, we continued equipping women in Africa with the necessary skills and knowledge to challenge the emerging issues thus contributing to creating a critical mass of African women leaders for sustained voice and action.

In the wake of the #MeToo movement and the spotlight on sexual harassment in institutions of learning in Uganda, we had a couple of conversations on sexual and gender based violence to situate Uganda in the broader #MeToo movement and deliberate on ways to strengthen the movement against sexual violence in Uganda.

The feminist “fabric” today is tinted with resentment, frustration, and “burn out” leaving the struggle to a few individuals and or/ institutions. Yet more than ever the need for a vibrant women’s movement is critical to addressing the emerging challenges of patriarchy, shrinking civic space, religious fundamentalism, and the gross human rights violations we are witnessing today. Ugandan Feminists came together at the end of the year, having an intimate conversation in celebration of their sisterhood.

We hope that you enjoy reading this edition of the Purple bulb and stay connected with us.

Promoting a Gender Responsive Work Environment That Enables Women to Thrive in the Horticultural Sector in East Africa

The conditions under which women work on flower farms underscore the need for firms to develop comprehensive plans for supporting and advancing women in their careers. Recognizing that change cannot happen without the full engagement and goodwill of frontline leaders and decision makers, women@work campaign spearheaded by Akina Mama wa Afrika with support from Hivos carried out a gender mainstreaming training to enable farm leadership adopt gender sensitive policies and practices that allow women to thrive in the workplace. More about the training.

Building Feminist and Transformational Leaders at Action Aid Uganda

Akina Mama wa Afrika supported Action Aid International Uganda to strengthen the capacities of her staff in Transformational Feminist leadership skills. The five day training brought together 31 (women and men) Action Aid International-Uganda Staff from various districts in Uganda. Read on!

The AWLI Awakened My Passion for Feminist Leadership and Feminism Ideology

We bring you Ms. Dinah Musindarwezo, an international consultant, a member of AWID and former Executive Director of The African Women’s Development and Communication Network – FEMNET. Dinah tells of her feminist leadership journey, how the African Women's Leadership Institute (AWLI) enhanced her knowledge and how she has used this to challenge the status quo through policy influence, regionally and globally. Meet Dinah!

#MeToo?: Building a movement to end impunity on sexual gender based violence in Uganda

The 4th National Women’s Week convened under the theme “Crossing barriers, building bridges: Unleashing collective power. United women can!” On behalf of the Uganda Feminist Forum, Akina Mama wa Afrika hosted a dialogue on the state of activism and accountability on sexual gender based violence in Uganda with the goal of documenting the gains made in combating the vice and strategizing how to strengthen the sexual gender based violence movement in Uganda. This move was in response to one of the recommendations emerging from the last 2017 Uganda Feminist Forum that stressed the urgency of addressing violence against women. Read on.

16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence

2018’s theme for 16 Days of Activism was “End GBV in the World of Work”. It built on the momentum and achievements during the 2017 campaign, when over 700 organizations in 92 countries campaigned around the theme of “Together We Can End GBV in Education”. It also added to the recent movements and grass-root activism calling out sexual violence under hashtags including #MeToo, #TimesUp, #Niunamenos, #NotOneMore, #BalanceTonPorc, among others. Activists gather under the banner “Orange the World: #HearMeToo”. The 2018 goal targeted institutions in which gender-based violence is perpetuated and to push for systemic change and accountability. AMwA, through her #OneAskCampaign, contributed to this by targeting institutions of higher learning since these are spaces where sexual violence has become close to institutionalised. Read all about we took the 16 Days of Activism campaign to Makerere University in Uganda.

Is Uganda Ready for the Conversation on the Minimum Wage?

The gendered impacts of poor wages on women are severe and exacerbate a series of workplace challenges including sexual harassment and forcing women to engage in transactional sex. Further, women are also known to pool resources back into their families, contributing to healthcare and education, poor wages impact the general well being of the entire family. Hivos East Africa in partnership with Akina Mama wa Afrika convened a high level roundtable discussion on the minimum wage that sought to influence and catalyse the minimum wage process in Uganda, looking specifically at identifying opportunities for advocacy on the Minimum Wage Bill. Here's how

Building a Community of Sisterhood with the Uganda Feminist Forum

Recognizing that these gains in Sisterhood, a core Feminist Principle, must be celebrated and that much remains to be done in fostering collective organizing; effectively and consistently weaving and connecting across generations; and cultivating self-love, inclusivity, solidarity and commitment amongst members, the UFF Working Group hosted Sisters to a conversation on Sisterhood on 14th December 2018. The dialogue which brought together about 60 Feminists in Uganda aimed at fostering a functional sisterhood within the Feminist Movement ahead of the larger Uganda Feminist Forum gathering anticipated in June 2019 and was themed ‘Sisterhood is Powerful.’ Here's a sneak peek into what transpired

Maputo Protocol: A Youth Opportunity For Advancing SRHR

July 2018 marked the fifteenth anniversary of the adoption of the groundbreaking human rights instrument, the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (the Maputo Protocol). We nominated one of our alumnae, Patricia Humura, a Tuwezeshe Akina Dada 2017 fellow to participate in a high level meeting that sought to develop an SRHR thematic barometer for West, East and Southern Africa benchmarked on the Maputo protocol. This is her experience.

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