RALF Newsletter: 2021 in Review

We offered to you, in our first newsletter of 2021, love – what we think we look like when we’re in love and what love looks like as a decolonised practice. We end this year with the same offering, one of love. We may not have walked quite as courageously without it. 

Of course, in this last edition of the newsletter for 2021, we remember in love and gratitude some of the work we’ve done in aid of love – for you, for the movement and for freedom. 

Autonomy Project: Western and Central Africa

In this video series activists from Benin, Democratic Republic of Congo and Burkina Faso introduce us to their work, locate LBQ Women’s advocacy in their respective countries and talk to us about autonomy.

The feminist disruptor series: A Handbook

The Handbook is a small collection of abstracts taken from the different issues of The African Feminist Standpoint. These pieces have been curated to speak to and showcase the expansiveness and depth of Black feminist thought -and the women and gender non-conforming people who birth them and share them with us.

Download the handbook here

Joint Statement with ARASA on Kakuma Camp, Kenya

At the 68th ordinary session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) CAL presented a joint statement with the AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa (ARASA) on the human rights abuses suffered by LGBTI refugees in Kakuma Camp in Kenya. 

“Cultural essentialism poses an existential threat to work to engender a culture of human rights in Africa. Culture and heritage continue to be thought of as static and unchanging, as opposed to dynamic and responsive to the needs of different social actors.  All too often, in the quest to preserve and restore cultural traditions, which were permanently altered by colonialism and ongoing neocolonialism(s) states impose a cultural and moral homogeneity on all its citizens that does not reflect the diverse history of our continent and the people that live in it.  Restricting the full access of sexual and reproductive rights is counter to the historic cultural diversity that has now been warped by colonialism” 

Read the full statement here 

CAL @ CSW and The Global Youth Summit

The 65th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) conference focused on women’s full and effective participation and decision making in public life as well as the elimination of violence particularly in light of the current global pandemic. The World YWCA and YWCA Australia hosted a virtual parallel event at CSW65 titled “Diversity as a Driver: LGBTIQ inclusion in feminist and social movements” at which CAL was represented on the panel. The parallel event’s objective was to reflect on the power of inclusion and diversity in feminist and social movements through the lens of LGBTIQ experience. 

Read a write up of the webinar here
Watch a recording of the webinar here

On the 24th of April 2021 CAL was invited to facilitate and participate in the Global Youth Summit (GYS) which ran from the 23rd to the 25th of April 2021. CAL, in conjunction with four phenomenal African feminists  hosted a breakout session titled, “LGBTQIA+ Feminist Advocacy and Well-being during COVID-19 and beyond: Insights from Africa.

Read a write up of the webinar here

CAL Writes

Politics of Money in Feminist Activism: A Pan-African Feminist, Lesbian Exploration

“We have, for over a decade, understood that power lies at the heart of the multiple systems of oppression within and under which women live. Power, whether viewed through a feminist or a Marxist perspective, can not be adequately understood without grappling with and understanding the role and manifestation of money in our feminist activism”

Read the Politics of Money in Feminist Activism: A Pan-African Feminist, Lesbian Exploration here

Sexual Rights in Africa Part 1: Anti-gender rhetoric & Harmful policy

“In the last decade we have witnessed a global rise in anti-gender and anti-rights movements and rhetoric in the public discourse that has been exacerbated by the COVID 19 pandemic. On the African continent, anti-gender and anti-rights discourses have resulted in the promulgation of harmful laws and policy…”

Read Sexual Rights in Africa Part 1: Anti-gender rhetoric & Harmful policy here

The African Feminist Standpoint

“If issue #3 of the AFS was to help us to understand what wellbeing is, issue #4 is a direct study of the ideas, values and institutions that make us unable to be well – and to see and name quite clearly how institutions of oppression are designed to keep us from freedom, autonomy and the feminist futures we dream of” 

Click here to read issue #4 of the AFS

Click here to read previous issues 

AFS Issue #5

Issue 5 of the AFS is called ‘The Cost of Freedom’ and explores Economic Justice and the effects of capitalism on our lives and activism[s]

Initially set to launch in December 2021, the date has been moved to January 2022. Stay tuned!