Southern Africa - What's New


Urgent Actions & Appeals

JASS welcomes you to become a part of this work: learn, reflect, debate, make connections, get involved and TAKE ACTION.

Regional

HIV/AIDS: What Does "Access" Really Mean? The 21st International AIDS Conference kicked off in Durban, South Africa, and gathered 18,000 people including scientists, researchers, policymakers and celebrities around the theme, Access and Equity. However, the conference’s high registration and participation fee meant that the majority most affected by HIV particularly, poor women, were excluded from attending.
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?

Blog Entries

JASS' WInnet Shamuyarira reflects on a Cross Movement Dialogue that brought together women activists from Zimbabwe, Malawi and South Africa to identify and map the key actors, politics and policies driving the “closing space for civil society” and increased backlash against women activists in Southern Africa.
The fires we light are not fires to set alight police cars, they are small cooking fires we make in our township backyards to feed the children when there's no electricity. The fires we light are not fires to set alight our neighbor's small-time business, they are rare passions we ignite in each other to soldier on, set up vending stalls and make a living against all odds.

Resources

This beautiful new Barefoot Guide, published by JASS-ally The Barefoot Guide Connection, dedicates Chapter 1 to JASS’ movement building work with HIV+ women organizing for health justice in Malawi.
Katswe Sistahood and JASS Southern Africa have joined forces to help young women and girls in Zimbabwe use popular performance art to challenge taboos surrounding sex, sexuality, and women’s bodies, while also organizing for support, protection, and change in a context of corruption and violence against women and girls.

Women Crossing the Line

Jamillah Katombo
In 2013, we lost a courageous leader in our community– Jamillah Katombo–an outspoken HIV+ Muslim grassroots activist. Jamillah dedicated her life to breaking the silence around HIV/AIDS in her community in Zambia, organizing scores of women to speak up about their status and demand access to quality treatment. We honor her by sharing her story.