4 weeks ago

EARTH DAY STATEMENT

Akina Mama wa Afrika (AMwA) launches a directory of African feminists working in climate and environmental justice.

At a time when climate justice, gender justice, and climate financing discourse in Africa is expanding but has suppressed the voices of African women and gender-expansive persons, AMwA as a feminist pan-African regional organization, strives to amplify their art and work and provide them with the tools and platforms to tell their own stories. By documenting African feminist epistemology, AMwA seeks to change African women’s narratives, through oral herstory and conducting feminist research. By documenting and publicizing their lived experiences, AMwA fulfills her mandate to amplify African women’s voices in critical spaces. 

Today we launch this directory to recognize and celebrate African women and gender-expansive persons making a difference through demonstrated exceptional leadership at the community, sub-national, national, and regional levels. It is hoped that this directory will create a space for women and gender-expansive persons to share their experiences, and triumphs and to send a message of encouragement to the next generation of African women to claim their rightful place in history. This initiative makes recognition of the continuous contribution of African women spanning several centuries, in the pursuit of gender justice and climate justice. This reality was recognized by the Paris Agreement, which specifically included the global need to further empower women in climate decision-making. 

Across the world, from twitter spaces to social media, boardrooms, and policy positions to local communities, from science to activism, women everywhere are raising their voices and exercising leadership to disrupt climate change discourse and ensure that their work acts as inspiration for the change required. 

While globally there is a spotlight on the dire impacts of climate change, especially by young climate activists, feminists thinkers, and environmental experts, there is however limited inclusion of their proposals in policy and political decision-making spaces and visibility of their work, art, and creativity. With this year’s theme being, Invest in our Planet, we believe it is imperative to invest in women’s leadership for a just climate transition. We see women’s leadership as a key to ensuring the voices of minoritized groups are heard and are the cornerstone to transforming structures of power to create sustainable change for women, girls, and gender-expansive persons in Africa. 

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