‘I strongly oppose the idea that Africa’s key characteristic is her poverty. She is more the victim of her riches. Today a sick woman in a village risks dying because the nurse who has the medicine won’t treat her because she can’t pay. That is what it has come to, what we’ve learned from the system.’
– Bamako, Aminata Dramane Traore
For decades, governments and international financial institutions worldwide have consistently adhered to an economic model rooted in the legacies of colonialism, imperialism, and neoliberalism. This model, which forms the foundation of the global economic and governance frameworks, and are championed by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have trapped previously colonized countries in an endless cycle of crises. The most vulnerable groups, particularly women, have borne the brunt of these consequences, enduring heightened economic instability such as fluctuation of prices, failures in the regulation of economic actors in the public interest, and an increased burden of unpaid care work due to inefficiencies in provision of critical public services such as health care, education, social protection.
Amid these challenges, a new economic paradigm is emerging both at the national and global levels, driven by the demand for alternatives, a call to reclaim the public sector from the private sector, and an insistence to completely overhaul the current global order and restructure the global financial architecture and international trade regimes. This emerging framework acknowledges the urgent need for economic policies that prioritize the well-being of people and the planet and address systemic inequalities.
As the IMF and the World Bank prepare to convene on African soils in Marrakesh, Morocco this October, 2023 for the first time in decades, we must come together to denounce their neoliberal policies and the impacts they have had on us. We believe that our collective voices can play a role in shaping a more inclusive and equitable economic framework – one that takes into account the unique challenges faced by women and marginalized groups in Africa.
We wish therefore to invite African feminists, and women’s rights organizers from a diverse background across Africa to write and submit a letter addressed to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.
We invite you to submit a letter that shares a story(ies) of your individual lived realities or the lived realities of communities with whom you are working that describe how the policies of the IMF and World Bank have impacted you/ them. This letter should also include specific policy demands that can contribute towards substantial and revolutionary change.
The goal is to contribute towards the global organizing and demand for a transformative change that is steeped in boldly interrogating the current status quo and lays the foundation for a just future. In this future, economic policies prioritize the rights and essential needs of individuals and communities, especially women in Africa, and the well-being of our planet.
How to Participate
- Share Your Story: Write a heartfelt letter expressing your experiences and challenges resulting from current macroeconomic policies such as debt, tax, trade rules, government spending, interest rates. Describe how these policies have affected livelihoods, access to healthcare, participation in business/ trade, accessing education, access essential goods and services, among others.
- Include Your Policy Demands: Clearly what you would like the IMF and World Bank to do/ your government to do.
- Sign Your Letter: If possible, provide your name(s), location, and any relevant affiliations or organizations you represent. Your participation will enhance the collective impact of this initiative.
- Submit Your Letter: Send your letter to email@example.com with the subject ‘Letter to the IMF & World Bank’ by September 30th , 2023. Letters can be hand written and scanned, or typed.