Southern Africa - Feminist Knowledge & Communications

JASS is committed to knowledge generation that documents women’s experiences and gives voice to feminist knowledge and thinking from community-based activists and political educators to researchers and academics across the region.

Exclusion of women’s voices in mainstream media, silence on stigma and taboos, and  widespread misinformation in relation to sex, sexuality and reproductive rights are critical issues for women across the region. In countries like Zimbabwe where basic rights to freedom of speech and expression are compromised, activists have little space to advocate on larger platforms. Vast inequality and differences in access to technologies mean that women organisers have to think out-of-the-box to find the right tools to fit their contexts and make noise to catalyse action.

Patriarchy and violence play out on women’s bodies from women living with HIV in Malawi who are suffering the painful effects of poor ART treatment to LBTI organisers in Zimbabwe who experience harassment at the hands of the state. In this context women’s voices are silenced; their experiences are erased. JASS centres women’s storytelling and personal sharing to harness women’s creativity, create solidarity and ground movement-building agendas in the issues closest to women’s hearts.

Amplifying women’s voices

JASS is building a regional cadre of feminist communicators and writers able to amplify the activism of women from the ground up to national and regional levels and to shape discourse and agenda on women’s rights.

Through the Feminist Tech Exchange process, diverse women activists learn ICT skills, think strategically about how and when to use different tools and share them within their communities to enhance organising strategies. Women who had previously never used email or internet-based technologies have created YouTube videos and shared their stories and their work on self-made blogs and other platforms.

I am only a grassroots woman but [now] I am empowered with the skills on technology especially the use of the Blogs, Facebook, twitters, and Flickr. ~ Malawian organiser, Mirriam Msewa

Shaping the field

JASS is committed to knowledge generation that documents women’s experiences and gives voice to feminist knowledge and thinking from community-based activists and political educators to researchers and academics across the region. This approach recognises women’s knowledge and experience as valuable and powerful and this is what serves to strengthen JASS’ analysis and action.

JASS engages a dynamic network of feminist thinkers, practitioners, scholars and activists to document women’s stories that infuse our work with fresh ideas about collective power and women’s rights in Southern Africa.

Regional Writeshops are facilitated by JASS to support the production of content and build analysis. In these processes JASS raises women’s documentation and communications capacity, and equips them with the tools to enhance visibility, influence public opinion and contribute to social transformation.