I am a feminist activist who is in the business of mobilising resources to support and sustain (in both financial and material terms) the efforts and initiatives led by African women to advance the rights of all women in Africa. I currently work as the Director of Programmes for the African Women’s Development Fund based in Accra, Ghana. In practical terms, I fundraise, train, mobilise, convene, advocate, make grants and manage staff. Occasionally, I even manage to write something (though not as much as I would like)!
Feminism is as much a part of my identity as my name, gender, race and so on. I don’t know what else I could be but a feminist. Otherwise I could not survive the daily assault from every corner, in every setting, on every aspect of womanhood (of me). How could I not be a feminist? How could I not embrace the one thing that told me I mattered; that I am a human being who deserves respect and dignity? How could I not be a feminist? Feminism is that revolution that showed me how to dance.
We need to tackle the shocking normalisation of violence against women’s minds, bodies, spirits and sexuality. In doing this we find ourselves dealing with the onslaught of fundamentalisms of all kinds. The crisis in Africa from weak economies, weak political and civil institutions, global marginalisation and the contempt of most African political leaders for citizens all culminates in increasing levels of impoverishment and hopelessness for many in Africa, but especially for African women.
I have chosen to work with African institutions that are committed to strengthening feminist activism and leadership, and providing the financial, technical and material resources needed to build a strong and autonomous movement. In my personal life I have tried to maintain economic self-reliance and continual education on feminist scholarship and management practices. I see raising my daughter with respect as part of my feminist work.
There is always a lot more work to be done. For that we need courage, belief and love for ourselves and each other as women and Africans. We also need a whole lot of organising for conceptual clarity, political savvy, mass mobilisation and constituency building, and transformatory leadership development. Let’s not forget that huge stash of cash – mobilised from within the movement! Above all, we need things that inspire us. For me that includes music, communing with myself, being with loved ones, the written word, the many women (and men) that I meet in the course of my work, the beauty of Africa, and my daughter