RALF NEWSLETTER

Special Newsletter: Masakhane (March 2022)

The close of a chapter

Special Newsletter: Masakhane

The main story

The Masakhane Project, commonly known as the ‘Autonomy Project’ or ‘The More Than Campaign’ comes to an end on the 8th of April 2022. Since 2014, CAL has been working with LBQ feminist collectives in Southern Africa. When CAL envisioned women’s freedom, agency and autonomy were at the fore. Autonomy, however, became the motto. Through autonomy, women could exercise their agency for particular results in the societies they live. The notion of autonomy was further strengthened by the multiple issues that in-country collectives/activists were experiencing. While the project was expanded in its last years to include the West and Central African region, it was largely implemented in Southern Africa.

The project made use of learning in action as a method to strengthen the capacities of the collectives’ work in Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Swaziland and Mozambique. In other words, the learnings emerged from activists in-country actually engaging directly in conceptualising, planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating a campaign to meet real needs and determine that it is relevant and appropriate for the political, social and economic contexts of that country.

CAL, in furtherance and support of feminist mobilising, supported a campaign that included a march in protest of the attempted control of women’s bodies, in particular, the things women wore. The patriarchally rooted violence saw the collective mobilise to revolt against the harmful notions. 

Over the years, the collectives’ have been central to our achievements in this project. Firmly holding the belief that ‘nothing for us without us’, the collectives have been a guiding source that has enabled the many lives we strive to impact come together and foster change, however minute and even at an individual level. 

 

In 2012, CAL supported a campaign that included a march in protest of the attempted control of women’s bodies, in particular, the things women wore.

Despite the many challenges and reframing of implementation strategies, CAL and the Collectives have worked together to build a hub of knowledge through experiences of queer persons, lesbian, bisexual women, sex workers, women living with HIV and young women. Together, we have contributed to UPR processes and statements, participated in international engagements with activist from West and Central Africa  (WACA), Global North and other South  activist to share analyses on social justice issues- particularly through the lens of [bodily] autonomy and how systematic oppressions need us to do the work of building and thinking about less harmful ways of viewing the world and the dynamics of the world.

In closing this chapter, we pay homage to the work they have done, the impact they have achieved and the many lives they have touched. We acknowledge the difficulty in working the environments in which many women find themselves, defending their presence and protesting their infantilisation and dehumanisation. CAL is therefore in the process of developing a legacy site (website) that will host and showcase the results of this amazing work. The website is scheduled to launch on the 8th of April.

To read previous program updates under the Masakhane project, click here.

 

Together, we have contributed to UPR processes and statements, participated in international engagements with activists from West and Central Africa  (WACA), Global North and other Southern African activists to share analyses on social justice issues

Upcoming events

Legacy Site Launch: 8 April 2021
Register here

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