I live in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, and I am a Lecturer at the University of Ouagadougou in the Department of Sociology. The courses I teach include Gender and Development Analysis; Gender Education and Society, Research Methodology and Urban and Industrial Sociology. In addition to teaching I also supervise the dissertations and theses of students as well as carry out research and publish articles covering a range of issues related to women’s lives, work, and the impact of urbanization on gender relations.
I call myself a ‘feminist’ because I believe that the inequalities, discrimination and violence suffered by women worldwide is not inevitable. I firmly stand by the notion that we have the possibility of transforming gendered relations of power through a sustained confrontation and dismantling of patriarchy.
Looking at Africa today, feminists face the challenge of fighting to eliminate all forms of blatant discrimination and violence against women. They must promote the rights of girls and women in the fields of education, employment, access to basic services, physical integrity, participation in public spheres and decision making, especially social the protection. As feminists, we need to mobilise awareness in women and men to contribute towards a situation where women’s rights are a lived reality.
This process should include ensuring that women in decision-making in state institutions are supported and their voices are profiled. We also need to ensure that we make our own struggles and movements visible in such a way that others may find entry points for join us so that we have a louder voice. Finally, we need to work on the the African feminist movement itself, to ensure that we have a common agenda, that we develop innovative strategies and are able to implement them in ways that are novel.
The African Feminist Charter, as a document of guidance and reference to the struggle of women can serve as a tool for advocacy and mobilization on the cause of women. I believe it can be introduced at different educational levels or be popularized as an instrument of civic education. This should be undertaken through translation into local languages and a wider dissemination and accessibility to all social strata.
My own contribution to the broader objectives of the feminist movements is visible through the research, teaching and also publications I have done. In addition, through participating in broader forums, I am able to bring a feminist voice to a range of different spaces. In my personal life I share a lot of feminist ideas with my family and people around me. I also try to consciously educate my children on gender equality.
I am inspired by the many inequalities, discrimination and violence suffered in silence by an overwhelming majority of women. The vision of transformation, inspires me and motivates me to continue the sustained struggle for justice and equality.