I am a feminist activist and work as Executive Director of the Tanzania Gender Networking Programme (TGNP), a feminist organisation whose vision is to see a transformed Tanzanian society where there is gender equality, equity and social justice. I grew up observing and agitating against inequalities based on gender. As a woman, wife, and a mother, I experienced how my life and those of the people around was muddled by patriarchal relati- ons and psychology. As a result of my work with TGNP, I have and am still learning and acquiring tools for analysis of patriarchy, its interface with all other oppressive social relations, and impact. I believe that a movement to dismantle all these oppressive social relations is not only possible but an ethical obligation. My vision is to inspire others in transformative feminist movement building, as I have been inspired by so many sisters in Africa.
To build a feminist movement in Africa we need to join forces, particularly given the increasing complexity of the context due to globalisation, re-colonisation and the rise of fundamentalisms. The many efforts by individual feminists and organisations need to be linked together to bring forth the needed formidable voice. To do this we also need innovative resource mobilisation strategies for sustainability. Our work as feminists has been made difficult by skewed international, national, community and household resource mobilisation and utilisation strategies which are limited in prioritising the needs of women and men, girls and boys. In addition, the ideology and vision of feminism is yet to be owned and used as a guiding principle and framework in our work and individual lives.
Professionally, the work I do provides opportunities for growth and action. I facilitate, analyse, mentor, train, undertake research and organise for change at different levels. Currently at TGNP we focus on facilitating the building of a transformative feminist movement that is grounded locally. We engage with grassroots women and actors to challenge and demand changes and accountability for women’s needs and concerns from macro and micro policies, institutional frameworks and processes at all levels.
The liberating effect that feminism has and is having in my life provides me with the passion, energy and commitment to work for an alternative and a better world. I hold firm to the knowledge that a sustainable livelihood for all women and men is possible, with the dismantling of patriarchy and all other exclusionist social relations. I draw power from the collective spirit for change within the feminist and women’s movements, from the rich her story of women’s resistance, and from the fact that today more women and girls from all walks of life are becoming aware and are challenging discrimination and oppression.