advocacy

“I now know how to use a tablet which is not a norm in Malawi because [many believe] tablets cannot and should not be used by a local woman like me,” says woman activist leader Jessie Mwale of Mzimba, Malawi. “But because [of this skill I am empowered and I have knowledge.”  Mobile phones in the hands of women activist leaders can be powerful tools to drive movements and campaigns. Because mobile phones are a personal part of our daily lives, they have the potential to reach and impact thousands more people.
Everywhere at the Human Rights Council (HRC) the catchphrase on everyone’s tongue was “shrinking spaces for civil society”. But what does it mean, really? How are activists grappling with this “shrinking space” in their work? To try and find out a little more, JASS Southern Africa's Maggie Mapondera interviewed activists from as far afield as Mongolia, Brazil and India to learn from their experiences and analysis.
When women get elected, many are hopeful that it’s a step in the right direction towards women’s equality. Yet history and evidence tell us that having more women in office doesn’t automatically translate into real change in women’s lives. Maggie Mapondera, JASS Southern Africa, talks with Egyptian political scientist, Mariz Tadros to explore this further.
“I am officially legal,” gay activist Frank Mugisha tweeted shortly after Uganda’s Constitutional Court ground-breaking decision to overrule the country’s notorious anti-gay bill. Uganda’s LGBTI community and human rights activists the world over rightly applauded the ruling. However, activists are asking: is this enough?
Winnet Shamuyarira and Maggie Mapondera recall seven striking things about the Stop Rape Now peaceful protest in Zimbabwe that saw hundreds of women take to the streets to end violence.
Sometimes you just don’t know where things will end up. In 2009, JASS held a series of movement building institutes (MBIs) in Southern Africa that were attended by feminist activists in the region. These institutes catalysed energy and intent in different ways. The young women from Zambia who participated in the MBIs returned to their homes determined to ensure that their societies and communities transform. As Wala Nalungwe says, “The flame that was lit at the MBIs it would not end there. We did not want that.
"We cannot fight climate justice without upholding the democratic rights of women who are on the frontlines of climate change," writes JASS Southeast Asia regional co-coordinator Zeph Repollo in this analysis piece on climate justice.
From #GrantsNotDebt in the UK to #FeesMustFall in South Africa, New York to Sao Paolo, students are mobilising to fight for their right to education. Long-time student activist, Evernice Munando of the Female Students Network Trust reflects on the big issues for Zimbabwean women students today.

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