The Coalition of African Lesbians’ (CAL) strategy (2019-2023) is focused, as a culmination of past years of work, on three pillars of work, ‘Think’, ‘Build’ and ‘Influence’. These pillars succinctly encapsulate CAL’s focus on feminist activism through a sexual politics lens. CAL’s thinking work, which involves consciousness-raising and producing knowledge in and of different forms, is primarily done by and within the organisation’s research and knowledge management portfolio.

Our core research objectives at CAL are to produce knowledge that strengthens feminist  advocacy and activism on the continent, and to contribute to increasing feminist research output in Africa. Our research focus is on exploring and examining cross-cutting themes and issues within gender and sexuality with a feminist lens. Specifically, we have worked and continue to work on such topics as, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), violence against women and girls, women’s political participation, feminist leadership and movement building, intersectionality, economic justice, and feminist analyses and perspectives of care and well-being. Our research analysis is underscored by a commitment to an analysis of intersecting forms of oppressions, and how women’s autonomy is denied or obstructed by hegemonic power.

CAL subscribes to the five basic principles in feminist research methodology1:

  • Women and gender are the focus of analysis in our research,
  • Consciousness raising is vital to our research and knowledge production,
  • We value the knowledge shared by research participants as expert knowledge and reject the subject and object relationship in non-feminist research,
  • We are concerned with feminist ethics throughout the research process,
  • Our intention is to challenge and to change power relations and inequality.

Our research outputs include research reports, toolkits and guidelines, papers and thinkpieces, book chapters, and context overviews and analyses. In addition to producing research, CAL also conducts knowledge production workshops and training for the women and collectives with whom we work.

1   Principles developed by Judith Cook and Mary Margaret Fonow (1986).