Malawi

Mirriam Munthali is a dynamic and brave woman activist-leader from Malawi who is using her voice to speak out on the issues that matter most for women from all walks of life, challenging everyone from fellow church members and her local chief to government officials. Read this inspiring story from Mirriam's own words.
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In Malawi, the struggle for gender equality and an end to sexual violence has become linked to a public health crisis: HIV/AIDS. According to a 2013 report by the Malawi government, Malawian women are over one-and-a-half times more likely than their male counterparts to contract HIV.
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This report brings you stories and insights from across the JASS network. Here, you'll read how different women see their world and the innovative ways they are challenging abuses of power and building deeply democratic alternatives.
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The Our Bodies, Our Lives Campaign for Better ARVs has grown from strength to strength since its inception in 2012. JASS Southern Africa gathered over 18 Malawian partners and allies to reflect on three years of organizing alongside the women activist leaders who drive the campaign within their communities by standing up and speaking out for alternative ARVs, better healthcare and the resources to sustain their lives and livelihoods. For the women, the tangible fruits of this campaign and more than a decade of HIV-AIDS organizing are a strong marker that a movement is not built by one organization but through the learning, sharing, exchange and collaboration of many.
Over 40 women activist leaders came together to blow the lid open on sex, sexuality, power, and the silence and stigma around pleasure and women’s bodies at 2 regional Malawi Feminist Movement Builders Schools in the northern and central regions of the country.
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Increasing women’s political leadership has been on the top of gender equality agendas since the mid-1990s. But women’s rights advocates also recognize that, while having more elected women is important, governments are no longer the sole locus of power and decision-making. In this article we ask, "Where is the real power sitting?"
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“If you want women’s votes in 2014 put 75 billion on the table for better ARVs,” is the challenge that Malawian activist leaders have put on the table in the run-up to the 2014 general elections. While Malawi’s bid to ensure 50% representation of women in politics may not be realised in this election cycle, HIV positive women activists are standing up boldly to voice their demands to presidential and parliamentary candidates.
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Thirty women activists met at the JASS Malawi Feminist Movement Builders School to dig deep into feminist analysis, principles and practice. For one woman activist leader, the school embodied, ‘revolutionary change, I know that this change begins with me and if I work with my sisters, we can make a better world.’
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In this thought-provoking article, Hope Chigudu shares her inspiring words on the importance of "planting seeds of empowerment in a disempowering context" as she describes the journey of Malawian HIV positive women's courageous fight for decent for health care resources and the rewards that came with it.
Can feminist leadership principles and practices help change current top-down leadership models on the African continent? If social transformation is our vision for the future, business as usual is not taking us there. Rarely do we ask, “What kind of leadership do we want to create through and with women?”
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