The Central Africa Young Feminist Forum was held from 8th to 10th February 2012 in Congo Brazzaville. This Forum was attended by 39 young and not so young feminists from 5 West and Central African countries as follows: 3 from Cameroon; 2 from the Central African Republic; 9 from the Democratic Republic of Congo; 23 from the Republic of Congo; 1 from Chad and 1 from Ghana. Participants included women’s rights activists, women and girls from rural areas; women living with HIV/AIDS, women living with disabilities, LGBTI and sex workers. The theme of the meeting was “Redefining human security, sexuality and young women’s rights in Central Africa”.
Countries in Central Africa have gone through social crisis or conflicts, and the rights of women and girls in these countries have been affected by such events. The issues of human security, violence against women and girls, human rights, sexual rights and reproductive rights of women living with HIV/AIDS also affect girls, young women and women in Central Africa. There is, however, very little information on sub-regional actions on these issues, and even the contribution of young women in this area has not been adequately documented and supported.
This Forum fits into the continuity of country-level action of the African Feminist Forum (AFF)
The feminist movement in Central Africa is still at its embryonic stage.
Three feminists in the Central African Sub region participated in the African Feminist Forum (AFF) but there has not been any collaboration since the Forum or any joint activities in the countries.
There are young feminists in these countries that have begun sharing experiences and working together on certain themes, but who do not have any knowledge of the feminists charter formulated by the African Feminist Forum and lack a framework of sharing experiences and acting on crucial problems facing them as well their peers in the society.
With the growing influence of religious fundamentalism, homophobic laws (in the case of Cameroon and the DRC on homosexuality) and continued violence against women and girls, it is essential for young feminists to meet, share, document and learn from one another. This includes strategising on how to initiate and reinforce the movement at national levels.