I stay in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. I am the national coordinator of a young feminist group called Si Jeunesse Savait (If the Youth Knew) that I initiated with some friends in 2001. I have worked as a journalist both the radio and electronic media for 8 years. Currently, I work as a Communications Consultant and I do research into reproductive and sexual health, rights and general gender issues in collaboration with several NGOs of the Great Lakes’ Sub-region. I am passionate about technology, reading, travels and meeting people. I manage to combine my works, expertise and personal interests.
I call myself a feminist because I spend my life on a daily basis showing people that there is no difference between a man and a woman and for that matter men and women should enjoy the same powers, have equal access to resources, opportunities and live a free life devoid of all forms of violence.
One of our greatest challenges as African feminists is the impact of religious fundamentalisms that is increasingly gaining root thereby threatening rights we had fought so hard for. In addition, women’s economic independence continues to be a big challenge because as long as women are denied access to resources, they will not be able to make their own decisions.
In order to shift the status quo, I believe that efforts to including/employing young women should be increased. In addition, if we really want feminism to have relevance to all women, we need to find creative ways of transmitting our message and our work to women living in rural areas, or to women who have no contact with or connection to the feminist movement at the moment. It is imperative that we do more than pay lip service to our commitment to undertake more actions in communities, where women live the realities we are struggling to transform, rather than the usual strategies of elitist speeches and speaking to each other only. I also think we should consider ways to translate our tools such as the African Feminist Charter in the major African local languages to engage communities, but also enable more people to help us refine it and our thinking of what is needed to effect change.
Personally, my contribution to feminist struggles is through my work in the different spaces I find myself in. I started working at a very young age and I have always made a point to fend for myself so that I would be able to challenge or stand up to anyone who threatened my autonomy and freedom, whether it be in my personal or professional.
The one person who truly inspired me was my mother, in particular the way she singlehandedly brought us up, inculcating the spirit of equality between men and women in us.