Heart-Mind-Body

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.
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“If you want women’s votes in 2014 put 75 billion on the table for better ARVs,” was the challenge that Malawian activist leaders put on the table in the run-up to the general elections on May 20. While Malawi’s bid to ensure 50% representation of women in politics was not realized in this election cycle, HIV positive women activists stood up boldly to voice their demands to presidential and parliamentary candidates.
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Young Zimbabwean feminist writer shares how her mother’s resilience inspires her to write women’s stories: "When I tell my mother’s story, I tell it with power and courage, not from the point of view of a sobbing, helpless and defeated being. She is a role model and an inspiration. But most importantly, she is the hero of her own story and not just a victim."
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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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"The things that I now recognize as activism are things I’ve been doing for years. Questioning basic things like the hierarchies in school and the home – recognizing injustices, getting angry about them, and then in small ways starting to do something about them. When you know something’s wrong, you say something because you can’t be silent."
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The reunion with the women we have been working with in Malawi was emotional. Tiwonge, who has been involved since the beginning in 2007, lifted me up in the air as if I was a piece of paper. She is very strong. There were lots of hugs, tears and kisses. It was a reunion of body and spirit.
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