I am the owner of a consultancy firm Studio Calabash Ltd. I specialize in designing strategies for lobbying, advocacy and for public education programmes. This includes conducting action research, mapping intervention strategies to mitigate disaster and disease and writing copy and scripts for radio, television, community theatre and billboards. My experience includes designing programmes for radio, newsletter and TV. I have also been an anchor woman on two programs “UKIMWI na Jamii” and “Jamii yetu” produced for DTV/Channel Ten and special programs/documentaries on CTN, ITV, TVT/TBC, TVZ, Radio Tanzania, Radio One and Radio Clouds FM.
Being a feminist is not only a state of mind or of the decisions and actions we take but it is also a state of ‘being’, of being emotionally involved in the feminist ethos, of the awareness that a feminist is a person who has a sense of responsibility to change society by contributing even in a minute way of dismantling patriarchal structures and helping to build societies which are based on Rights; Justice; Equity; Knowledge and Strong Women’s Movements. It is recognizing that there is gross injustice against marginalized groups and accepting that all of us have a role to play in bringing change!
A feminist is a person who has compassion and who believes in sisterhood.
As feminists in Africa, our challenges include the lack of consensus over various issues such as Own Choice Sex Work, defining it as exploitation of women and not taking the time to analyse the difference between own choice sex work and human trafficking. In addition, we have a situation where civil society organisations have become sources of employment; sources of income instead of being platforms to lobby and advocate. We also compete as women’s rights groups for funding which in turn fragments us. Finally, we have to contend with a hostile mainstream that perceives feminists as frustrated, unhappy women a perception which we haven’t attempted to change.
We need to increase our networking efforts at the continental level not only through conferences, but through information technology. We also need to create space for dialogue so that we can build a foundation of unity to achieve our goal.
In my own life, I have forged this agenda by initiating discussions in the organizations in which I’m a member. I have produced radio programmes and written extensively, as well as trained marginalized women (and men) on movement building; human rights; lobby and advocacy.