FEMNET – African Women’s Development and Communication Network

Publié le par Milia


Yeah, that’s it! A network meant to bring together as many NGOs, CSOs and CBOs dealing with gender issues as possible for effective, concerted, and coordinated action in Africa. Its aim is to strengthen the role and contribution of African organisations focusing on women’s development, gender equality and human rights in general. It provides a channel through which experiences, information and strategies can be shared among the members for constant improvement.


I interned with FEMNET for 2 months in February and March 2007 in the advocacy programme. The time spent at FEMNET was too short to really get a deep and comprehensive understanding of advocacy work in the region and in this field, but I surely learnt from this experience and add my little contribution to FEMNET’s work. First, that was such a great thing to be the only person from outside Africa, I could really learn about the culture and the integration was made very easy by the very welcoming team. It was extremely enriching to work in an environment with different blueprints, conceptions, representations, working habits, and interpersonal relations.


I understood a lot on the dynamics that foster gender inequality and constant violations of women’s rights in East Africa.


This experience revealed the feminist in me! Coming from a country where women have, to a large extent, their rights respected and enjoy almost the same prerogatives as men, I never felt the need to claim anything or fight for the cause of women. But having been in countries where women’s rights is still a concept that is not broadly understood as fundamental rights, I basically changed the way I considered the position of women in our global society. I actually would like to clarify something about the term ‘feminism’, which is now turned into an old fashioned movement only meant for lesbians and ancient times’ literature authors equipped with a vagina. Well it might seem a little bit excessive, but I’m not exaggerating. Women don’t dare to call themselves feminists anymore, especially among the younger generations. But what is feminism? No more than demanding equal rights for men and women.


And I can claim it out loud: I am in favour of the recognition and respect of women’s rights all around the World (political power, economic opportunities and intellectual recognition). Only then can all the nice speeches calling for more peace, freedom, wealth, education, health, and so on can become reality and stop being mere words pronounced with false conviction and hypocrisy. Porque sin las mujeres, los derechos no son humanos…  


Keep up the good work FEMNET!


Eve Ensler for the ‘Stop Rape Now’ UN joint initiative, Author of The Vagina Monologues

Publié dans Kenya

Commenter cet article

poteet.pocket 25/09/2007 15:54

t'as pas la traduction en fraçais par hasard, parce que je suis nul en anglais....

ima 10/09/2007 09:59

C'est vrai que le terme "féministe" est quelque peu oxidé aujourd'hui. il a sans doute été abimé par l'extrémisme militantiste de certains, et très certainement été perverti par notre monde d'homme (it's a man's, man's world) : décrié, combattu puis tourné en dérision. Dommage. Mais finalement, peu importe le mot ou l'étendard. Respect et reconnaissance des femmes devraient être la base, et partout des gens se battent pour faire vivre ce droit inaliénable. Pour que nos sociétés soient moins violentes, moins frustrées, et simplement plus humaines. Et tant qu'y aura des jeunes femmes comme toi, des rencontres et des échanges pour ouvrir des horizons, et des ONG comme FEMNET pour ne pas baisser les bras, y'a des femmes blessées, dans leur corps et dans leur âme, qui retrouveront courage, estime, rêve et sourire. Et c'est clair que tout ça ne se passera pas sans les hommes.