Campaigning is critical to the process of mobilisation for action. We engage in campaigning at the international level with coalitions and movements on a wide range of social justice issues. Many of these campaigns are short term and focussed on specific and immediate actions needed by decision makers and institutions. They are sometimes linked to crises and so responsive and sometimes more proactive and linked to agenda setting work by one or more organisations and groups.

A significant amount of our campaigning work is led by ourselves where the CAL Secretariat and our members work together on an issue to set an agenda, change the conversation and provoke and encourage public discussion and debate and articulate and assert our demands and claims to social justice to decision makers from the household and family through communities and workplaces and into media and social services institutions such as health, welfare and education.

The Autonomy Project

The Autonomy Project is a four-year campaign in Southern Africa, East Africa and West and Central Africa. The Campaign is in various stages of development in each of these sub-regions.  It is a multi-country feminist campaign which is led by women who are marginalised based on sexuality and gender. These include women living with HIV, women working on abortion, lesbian women, trans-diverse women, young women and sex workers. We work with transgender men’s groups in this work.

The central message of the Project is the assertion that as gender non-conforming women we have agency, own our own bodies and lives and have the right to make decisions that affect us and our lives. This autonomy and freedom is critical to our health and well-being and builds our power to, our power within and our power with others to effect the kind of change we seek in the world – a feminist future. A key element of this Campaign is the goal of social justice for all with some focus on sexuality and gender and rights related to these. In this regard, the idea of bodily freedom is key – from [disease, violence, want, fear] and freedom to [choose whether to have sex, when and under what conditions, with whom, how and whether to be pregnant, with what spacing, amongst others.

The Campaign actors are activists and their national and regional formations and organisations as well as communities and movements and policy and decisions makers. The activists organise themselves into collectives and working groups to ensure the work is done and that there is participation, transparency and accountability for the commitments made to advance the shared agenda on autonomy.

The collectives working on these campaigns in countries choose up to 3 priority objectives per year from a menu of campaigning objectives which are based on:

  • Mobilisation
  • Direct Action
  • Building solidarity
  • Consciousness raising
  • Lobbing and influencing decision makers
  • Media
  • Research and knowledge production

This organising and campaigning has a component which focused on well-being, health, safety and security of the activists who are engaged in the Autonomy Project as the campaign increases their profiles and heightens risk and threats that may already exist.