Today marks the start of International Women’s Month, and this year is also the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day on the 8th of March.
The reasoning behind all of these events is to celebrate and acknowledge women’s history and achievements that are overlooked and devalued in history books. Take for example, we all know about Socrates, but not of Aspasia, a woman philosopher who played a vital role in ancient Greece.
Many times we in the diaspora feel crippled by inaction. We feel that unless we move back home, wherever that may be, we can not do much to help the situation. At best we end up liking activism pages on facebook and/or other social media activity. Social media helps us become more aware of pressing global issues but ideally we do more than follow causes we support.
One way to help is to support organisations that are actively campaigning for improvement. We can follow them on twitter and facebook and sign up for their newsletters, this isn’t insignificant because the more people know about your work the bigger chances are for support. We can support financially by donating a one-off or monthly fee. And we can volunteer. I reckon most of us can at least donate some money if not time.
In honour of international women’s month here are 7 African women’s organisations to support.
1. FORWARD – FORWARD campaigns to tackle gender based violence and in particular female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage
2. African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) – AWDF supports local, national and regional organisations in Africa working towards women’s empowerment
3. South London African women’s organisation (SLAWO) – SLAWO works with African and other ethnic minority women and their children who have been affected by domestic violence
4. Orchid Project – The Orchid Project has a simple vision: a world free from female genital cutting
5. The Stephen Lewis Foundation – The Stephen Lewis Foundation supports community-based organizations working to turn the tide of HIV/AIDS in Africa
6. WILPF and Voices of African Women – WILPF is the oldest women’s peace organisation. WILPF campaigns for peace, justice, equality and the full enjoyment of human rights for all.
7. Akina Mama Wa Afrika – Akina Mama wa Afrika is an international, pan-African, non-governmental development organisation for African women based in the UK with an Africa regional office in Kampala, Uganda.
Would you like to add any organisations – yours perhaps even?