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15 May


On Sunday 17 May 2020, we will observe INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST HOMOPHOBIA,
BIPHOBIA, INTERPHOBIA & TRANSPHOBIA – A worldwide celebration of sexual and gender diversities.

INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST HOMOPHOBIA, BIPHOBIA, INTERPHOBIA & TRANSPHOBIA was created in 2004 to draw attention to the violence and discrimination experienced by lesbian, gay, bisexuals, transgender, intersex people,​ and all other people with diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or expressions, and sex characteristics.

It was originally known as International Day Against Homophobia, the founders then established the IDAHO Committee to coordinate grass-roots actions in different countries, to promote the day and to lobby for official recognition on May 17. That date was chosen to commemorate the decision to remove homosexuality from the International Classification of Diseases of the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1990.
For many years, in Germany, May 17 had been unofficially labeled​ as a “Gay Day.” Written in the date format 17.5. This was related to Paragraph 175 of the Penal Code, the rule dealing with homosexuality. Paragraph 175 was a provision of the German Criminal Code from 1871 to 1994. It made homosexual acts between males a crime.

The first International Day Against Homophobia took place on May 17, 2005. The same year, 24,000 individuals, as well as organizations such as the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA), the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC- ), the World Congress of LGBT Jews, and the Coalition of African Lesbians, signed an appeal to support the “IDAHO initiative”. Activities for the day took place in many countries, including the first LGBT events ever to take place in the Congo, China, and Bulgaria.

It was in 2009, that transphobia was added to the name of the campaign, and activities that year focused primarily on transphobia (violence and discrimination against transgender people). LBT organisations then launched a new petition in cooperation with it, this was supported by hundreds of NGOs​ from 75 countries, including France. It was that year that France became the first country in the world to officially remove transgender issues from its list of mental illnesses.
IDAHOBIT is now celebrated in more than 130 countries, including 37 where same-sex acts are illegal.

Many African countries are still in the process of achieving equality through the decriminalization​n of LGBTQI. We are aware of many countries where being ourselves to choosing whom we love, is a crime and is punishable by death. This is why IDAHOBIT is so important as it reflects the progress our community has made and shows accurate proof of why such archaic policies should be abolished. It s also a day for activists from other countries who might have more freedom to be, can assist in creating platforms,​ and provide support to the communities living under threat.

In Africa, we will be following @AFROQUEERPODCAST, as they are hosting the AfroQueer IDAHOBIT Festival, via their Instagram page.
The festivities will start at 1 PM East African Time. The festivities will be featuring creative Queer artists from the continent and beyond. Expect music, poetry,​ and talks from various artists including Dope Saint Jude, Alasarah, and many more.
More information on Afriqueerpodcat-

Other resources for support and solidarity-


In South Africa, the Queer Wellness Centre was opened in January-


Uganda- FARUG-

In solidarity,​ we stand.

Respect, to our warriors in Malawi!

11 Feb


My three passions in life are Women, Africa, and the arts. A few weeks back we stood in solidarity with the warriors in Malawi, who decided to take a stand against gender-based violence. I reached out to the organizers to see how as a Pan African feminists we could show solidarity and try and help create awareness for the amazing work that they are doing.
I was led to a powerful young force, named Ulemu Hannah Kanyongolo. Ulemu, meaning ‘Respect’ is a 22-year-old feminist, she is the founder and president of the Young Feminists Network, a network which serves as a platform for young feminists to engage in dialogue and activism for social justice. The Network currently has 66 members with chapters in 3 cities; Blantyre, Lilongwe, and Zomba. With such a powerful name, she can only receive the respect she deserves as she works on being the change that is needed in the world.

Ulemu Hannah Kanyongolo

Through our work as activists, we are all faced with many challenges, regarding our safety, which is governed by policies and laws, that have been set out according to patriarchal principles. In Malawi, the situation is no different, as feminists, particularly the young feminists, one of the major challenges they face is the misconceptions about feminism. As Ulemu stated, ‘a lot of people seem to misunderstand what feminism is and what it seeks to achieve, some because they lack access to information and others because they don’t agree with feminism and deliberately misrepresent it at any given chance. Such misconceptions include the fact that feminism is a movement that seeks to get rid of men or to make women more dominant than men. This ignores the basic premise of feminism which recognizes the oppression women have faced since time immemorial and seeks to deconstruct the patriarchy which upholds this marginalization of women’.

She went on to say that, ‘people believe feminism is unAfrikan. However, this is also a misconception. Although the theories and conceptualizations of feminism may have originated in the West, acts of resistance to the patriarchy have existed in Afrika for centuries. Therefore, it isn’t anything new. ‘

Within the activism space, whether you are based in Africa or the USA, funding is always an issue, and of course in Malawi, it is no different. A lot of funding opportunities apply to registered organizations only, which makes it hard for informal feminist movements to get funding for their operations.


The Malawi women in March 2020.

On 1st February 2020, the Young Feminists Network in collaboration with PEPETA (an online community of young female SRHR activists from DRC, Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe) and over 20 other organizations and individuals organized the “Take It To The Streets” march against VAWG (violence against women) in Malawi. When we go up against the patriarchy, we are always met with resistance, in their case they were denied police protection from the relevant authorities and this was a major obstacle because this effectively meant the march couldn’t take place. Like, true warriors, they did not let this minor obstacle stop them from pushing ahead, they could not hold an official march so they were able to mobilize large numbers and in Blantyre they held a rally, in Lilongwe and Mzuzu they managed to march regardless.
Despite all the deliberate hiccups, in the end, they still managed to achieve their goal of raising awareness on the issues and calling for action from various stakeholders.

The PanAfrican warriors from Zambia, Kenya, and SA, showed solidarity with them through social media and various press. This also brought attention to a sexual assault case, in Blantyre. They were able to set up a time and visited a warrior, Vanessa Chilanga. Vanessa is a woman who was sexually assaulted by a gang of men in Blantyre. She was visited and they are currently creating platforms and strategies to help and support her and other survivors.

What can we do?
We need solidarity with our warriors from across the world, particularly on our continent. To assist the Young Feminists Network or the feminist movement in Malawi in general, please continue to follow their work and stand in solidarity with them and help amplify their voices by sharing what is happening.
As we know International women’s day is approaching so strategic collaboration would also be great and essential. Do you have any platforms, events or stages that we could collaborate on?
Let us get the conversation started. We can start small, with our feminists in the SADC region, we are all in the same time zones, so what is stopping us?

How to get in contact with The Young Feminist Network in Malawi-
Instagram @yfn265
Twitter @yfn265

Ulemu Hannah Kanyongolo- @ulemuhk

Rosie Motene @rosiemotene

In solidarity,​ we stand!!!!


FARUG- Freedom and Roam Uganda

30 Jan


Lesbian, bisexual, and queer (LBQ) women in Uganda are not considered a “key population” in national health programming.

On a recent visit to Uganda, I met up with the forces behind Freedom and Roam Uganda (FARUG). As my three passions in life are women, Africa, and the arts, I need to share information, with the hope of creating awareness and possible Pan African synergies, to help our warriours in east Africa.

Freedom and Roam Uganda (FARUG), was established in 2003. It is a Lesbian, Bisexual and Queer (LBQ) diverse persons and womyn’s rights organization based in Uganda. This feminist organization reinforces feminist culture and principles, equality of womyn as stipulated in human rights and international instruments.
They challenge male chauvinism, patriarchy, and cultures that aim at oppressing womyn. They also create womyn autonomous spaces, challenge heteronomativity and forge sisterhood and solidarity.

FARUG is also the oldest Lesbian, Bisexual and Queer womyn organization that has been actively leading and organizing on sexual orientation and gender identity through lobbying, dialogue to create and facilitate greater visibility and voice.
Their vision is to create a society in which the rights, freedom, and equality of LBQ womyn are guaranteed and there is no discrimination based on sexuality or gender identity.
Their mission is to empower LBQ womyn in Uganda and jointly advocate for the respect, protection, and fulfillment of their rights.
Their main goals include creating and sustaining a healthy and vibrant LBQ community that is respected, well informed, competent, and committed to individual and community development.

The NGO is structured with strong values and objective:
* Commitment
* Transparency and accountability
* Openness
* Responsiveness
* Teamwork
* Mentoring

* To advocate for an environment in which the rights of LBQ Womyn are respected and protected.
* To promote and advocate for equal access to friendly, non-discriminative & inclusive services to LBQ womyn.
* To promote Socio-economic rights and empowerment of LBQ womyn in Uganda.
* To strengthen FARUG’s institutional capacity to be a more accountable and effective organization.

Contact details:
Telephone: +256392176977



9 Jan


My three passions in life are Womxn, Africa, and the arts.
On a recent visit to Lusaka, Zambia I met up with one of the countries warriors, Anita Kay Holland a.ka. The Feminist Witch. I had been following her on social media for a few years as we first crossed paths after she asked me to be a curator on her feminist platform.
Whenever I travel to an African country, it is my mandate to meet at least one feminist and see how we could assist each other through lucrative synergies with the hope of creating awareness on our feminism, activism, and work. Anita is one of the organisers of the Women’s March that will be held in Lusaka on 18 January 2020.


The Women’s March is a worldwide Feminist March. It is a womxn-led movement providing intersectional education on a diverse range of issues and creating entry points for new grassroots activists & organizers to engage in their local communities through training, outreach programs, and events. The Women’s March is committed to dismantling systems of oppression through nonviolent resistance and building inclusive structures guided by self-determination, dignity, and respect.

The 2020 March.
Everyone will be marching under the key statement “no womxn left behind” various forms of discrimination leave different womxn behind and so the march aims to have a position for any womxn who feels discriminated to bring out what they are marching for. However, for the march to be successful, it needs core objective and it is for this purpose the main goals this year are to address:

1. Ending period poverty:
This will be done by petitioning parliament for tax-free pads.
The plan is to petition for tax-free pads to ensure that people who have menstrual cycles don’t have to feel the burden for buying expensive pads and that a period shouldn’t hinder them from reaching their full potential

2. Rape and Rape Culture:
In a recent article, the First Lady of this country made very
disheartening remarks regarding rape. She stated that women’s clothing is to blame for how they are raped. This idea has been an old favorite​ in Zambian culture and the ripple effect is, it has gone into our police system since culturally we have been conditioned to believe that one’s style of dress is the main contributing factor of rape.
This idea takes the blame away from the rapist who should be taught not to rape in the first place and pushes it on the victim while the rapist gets coddled by society because “it’s not his fault she made him do it with her clothes” The march will educate people with strategic posters and women dressed in strategic clothing such as miniskirts to show that our dress code is not a reason for rape.

3. Inclusive Education:
Zambia is a country that uses its identification as a Christian nation to normalize and put out a lot of bigotry and hate speech. Many groups are freely discriminated against and are made to feel afraid for their lives every single day. The LGBTQI have for years been discriminated against in this country and many people from the international community at large have seen how rife the hate for these specific groups. There is a need for the whole country to also call out the homophobic, transphobic and the whole blanket of discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation. The march will provide a platform for this by allowing members of the LGBTQI and allies of the community to march in solidarity. Knowing the nature and sensitivity of this country and in a bid to provide safety for the LGBTQI marchers, posters will have enigmatic messages for example just the words “pride” or the signature rainbow flag.

4. Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights:
For many years the reproductive health right of womxn, Gender non-conforming persons, Trans Men and the Intersex community have been sidelined. Issues such as fibroids, cysts, endometriosis,
dysmenorrhea, Breast cancer, and cervical cancer are all issues that are not paid attention to. On the sexual health rights side, the Zambia healthcare system has a law that states only women above 25 must be allowed to have contraception, if they are younger, they must be married. Although there are claims that this was abolished, it still happens. Many younger people are made to feel guilty and are bullied by medical care officials for going to seek sexual health rights instead of making sure they are safe. This deters young people from accessing these rights and hikes up the disease and pregnancy rates amongst young people. This year’s march will highlight sexual and reproductive health rights and make sure discrimination and ageism in the medical field stops. Discrimination also falls into the issues of unwanted pregnancies and abortions. Women should be given the right to choose and therefore it must be free and safe for them to have an abortion regardless of their reason.

5. Health Care for all:
Healthcare isn’t easily accessible. Medication for conditions like breast cancer usually runs out and can be quite costly. The key
theme is no womxn left behind and so healthcare discrimination will be tackled to ensure that womxn in hard to reach areas and vulnerable groups of womxn can have access to healthcare. It should be our aim to ensure that healthcare products don’t run out.

6. Sex Worker’s Rights:
Sex work has been around for centuries. It is not a recent development but in Zambia, it continues to be treated as a taboo. Therefore, sex
workers are usually subject to discrimination at healthcare facilities, their safety isn’t protected if they are beaten, raped or assaulted because of their line of work, they aren’t able to afford and aren’t given adequate access to condoms and contraception and so they are at risk of sexually transmitted diseases and infections such as HIV/
AIDS and they are also at risk of pregnancy. This year’s march will call for the protection of sex workers and will ensure that their rights to healthcare, safety, and protection are highlighted.

7. Disabled Womxn:
Disability is a topic that is not always spoken about and is surrounded by heavy discrimination and stigma. Many buildings and facilities aren’t accessible to disabled persons and that hinders them from doing a lot of things like getting an education, a job or even doing their grocery shopping by themselves. Our ministry of health also doesn’t make sure that disabled persons are provided with aids for their disabilities like wheelchairs, hearing aids and so on. Sign
language is rarely taught in school curriculums and as a result, disabled persons aren’t able to have what is needed for them to live a quality life and reach their full potential.
This year’s march will highlight the discrimination disabled persons are subject to and will make sure they represented at the march.

In solidarity.

To stand in solidarity with our warriors, let us create awareness as well as the issue that they face n their country.

The Twitter handles:

For more information on sponsors, volunteering or media inquiries, please contact


The Uganda Feminist Forum.

28 Aug


My three passions in life are womxn, Africa, and the arts. I was humbled to be invited and represent South Africa in 2019, Uganda Feminist Forum, which was in Jinja, Uganda. 

Background on UFF:
The Uganda Feminist Forum (UFF) was born out of several national and regional processes aimed at strengthening the effectiveness of the feminist movement at the national and regional level. In 2005, womxn leaders and activists came together at a historic gathering in Jinja, Uganda under the auspices of Actionaid Uganda, Uganda women network and Akina Mama Wa Afrika. The meeting sought to map a way forward for the women’s movement in Uganda in the aftermath of a series of setback which culminated in the government ban of the play “The Vagina Monologues”. It was evident that serious intervention was needed to create space spaces for feminists on the continent. Thus the African feminist Forum was established and convened in Accra on November 2006. The Jinja participants joined forces with AFF and became the Uganda feminist Forum.

I documented the AFF, the link can be found here..

The UFF adopted the Charter of Feminist Principles for African feminists, which was developed by the AFF and provides the philosophical, aspirational and principle values that all who are members must uphold.
The charter can be found here:

The African Feminist Charter


This years forum was held 30 July to 1 August under the theme- ‘Silencing Our Fears and Fearing Our Silence”.The delegates included feminists and activists from across Uganda. there was also a Pan African delegation that included me, representing South Africa and Zimbabwe, Rwanda, India, and Kenya were represented.

My journey.
Please note that I have not added any names out of safety and respect for the delegates. 
I left South Africa in the early hours of July 30th, I connected via Nairobi, Kenya. On arrival at Entebbe airport, Myself and another delegate were collected and we embarked on our road trip to Jinja. The road trip took us an approximate three hours as we traveled in a northeast direction, we were blessed with experiencing the magnificent Ugandan landscape.
On arrival at our secret location, we were met with the wonderful staff from Akina Mama Wa Afrika. We checked into our cute chalets, equipped with two large beds, lounge, bathroom, all overlooking the majestic Victoria Lake.
In the dining hall, we began to meet the rest of our feminist tribe.

Day 1.
We began the day with meditation and African yoga. The session was led by one of the delegates, who is a certified yogi and a trauma healing and self-defense expert.
This was the perfect way to begin each day as it centered us for the next 10 to 12 hours. 
The day began with introductions, acknowledging the Feminist charter and discussion sessions as well as solutions.
The room was made up of feminists, lawyers, farmers, entrepreneurs, sex workers, doctors, activists. Powerful testimonies were shared by a few who had attended the first forum, it was noted that a lot of progress had been made from the initial forum, certain ignorant members walked at the presence of women who represented the LGBTQI community.


Through the discussion and panels, we looked at topics such as how do we handle life transitions from death, womanhood, pregnancy, menopause, etc. We focused on the lack of finance and resources that are made available to womxn in Africa, through a session titled- “Silence in the Economy”. We unraveled the shocking truths of womxn being paid half than their male counterparts especially in the private sector, one of the delegates highlighted the fact of womxn missing in critical spaces. An explanation was made of how tax is crucial for womxn to have access to social securities and the impact of Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) to womxn. In Uganda, they lose to about 2 trillion UGX, approximately​ $541 960 000,00, to IFFs a year. This could fund the country’s​​ health budget.
For centuries, womxn have occupied spaces in the home, such as taking care of the aged, children, family and household, this constitutes as unpaid care work, we explored both the practical and theory behind it.

It was a powerful space where we learned from each other. From my perspective it was two-fold, I learned and understood the challenged from a Pan-African perspective and also learning from the younger feminists in the room.

The session which was led by women who represent Sex Workers of Uganda dealt with the challenges and realities. Through their participation at a South African conference held by Sonke Justice, they were able to benefit and gain additional knowledge. Understanding the need to invest capital in the industry, thus creating the sex workers conference. The positive outcomes led to empowered members on a financial and educational level. One of the women graduating with a Ph.D.
The next session we unpacked the economics of African feminism under power versus politics. The day also allowed for tributes to Sella Nyanzi and other Ugandan feminists who fought before us.

The second part of the day focused on packaging resistance in our territories. We all understand that many communities are aware of our rights but many of us cannot fight for them.
The rights of the Queer feminist were a centre point, which is an issue that resonates across the continent. We all need to create spaces and communities which allows for a safe and free living for all, that gives everyone respect without being questioned about one’s sexuality.

The quote for this session:
‘We ask not to be tolerated but to be respected as we unlearn rudely and patriarchal ideologies that are attached to the LGBTQI community.’

We looked at inter-generational feminism as we all acknowledge that there has been a historical muting of women through patriarchy. 
The quote of the session-

Feminism is a collective responsibly.

Day 2.
We started the day with meditation and Yoga and then broke into sessions of groups, with more panel discussions. Finding resolutions and way strategies that we need to apply in our personal spaces.
I sat on a panel with Maggie Kigozi, an investment Promotion Expert, an Entrepreneur, a farmer, and a feminist. She is Chairperson of the Africa Scout Foundation and Joyce Nangobi Rosemary, the founder of the Slum Women’s Initiative for Development in Jinja. I unpacked the realities and challenges from a South African perspective​ and why it is​ necessary for Pan African​ synergies within the feminist​ spaces​ so that we can learn for other territories​.

The last day culminated in a visit to the Nyonga Women’s Shelter and the Slum Women’s Initiative For Development (SWID).  
The Her-stories can be found here:

The Nyonga Women’s​ shelter:

​​For more information on how you can assist, please contact​ Akina Mama Wa Afrika


Slum Women’s​ Initiative​ For Development (SWID).

14 Aug


In Augst 2019, whilst attending the Ugandan feminist Forum in Jinja, I had the wonderful opportunity of meeting the force behind SWID. As my passions in life are women, Africa, and the arts, I had to share my experience and journey.

What and who are SWID?
It is a community based nongovernmental organization that was founded by Director Joyce Nangobi and a small group of 30 passionate grassroots women who took it upon themselves to mobilize community members against the unjust, routine evictions that were taking place in the slum settlements of Walukuba Masese Division of Jinja, Uganda.
Their motto- For Grassroots Women, By Grassroots Women

Their Her-story:
Slum Women’s Initiative for Development (SWID) is a grassroots community based non-governmental organization that was established in 2003 in the Walukuba Masese Division of Jinja, Uganda. SWID promotes the development of community structures in slum and rural areas to help poor people obtain land, shelter and basic services in order to improve their overall well-being.

Their mission
” To improve on the quality of lives of people in Jinja Urban slums and Rural communities through empowering them to meet their social, political and economic needs in a sustainable manner”.

Their vision
“An empowered community with a home for every woman”

Peer Exchange 522
Thir victories:
Grassroots Women-Focused Savings & Borrowing for Land & Housing

Like many nations around the world, Uganda suffers from inequitable land, housing, and property policies and practices that subjugate women. While women bear 80% of the food production labor, have higher rates of poverty, are most susceptible to violence and are at greater risk of contracting HIV. Recognizing both trends, they have chosen to focus their efforts on women’s security of tenure through individual and joint land title and homeownership, which cannot happen without savings and credit schemes offered at reasonable interest rates of 2%. 
Nevertheless, there has been a gradual change realized at the grassroots level resulting from the efforts of SWID in empowering women with knowledge on their land rights and advocacy skills through organizing local to local Dialogue training, meetings, and paralegal training. A combination of these has provided a very firm foundation for grassroots to advocate for what they feel is their constitutional right from the responsible authorities. A platform has been provided through which grassroots women in particular dialogue with their local authorities, community leaders and others about developmental issues that can bring about a positive change in their communities and livelihood. This is a fundamental advocacy tool that undermines all practices of abuse of women’s right because it is a strong, collective and informed voice of grassroots women.
The members have initiated a savings and credit scheme through which they save and borrow through a revolving loan that has seen many women acquire land and housing, start-up business, pay school fees for their children and improve on their living condition with limited or no support from their husbands. Through their campaign,
“The Road to Acquisition of Land, Titles, and Housing by Grassroots Women”,
SWID has seen vast improvement through:

* 9.1% of its members improve on their housing
* 38 grassroots women have contributed funds towards the acquisition of land titles, increased bargaining power that has increased the willingness of Jinja Municipal Authorities, Jinja District Land Board and Area Land Committee to support grassroots women’s secure land and Titles in their individual names.
* There has been an improvement of women’s negotiating capacities, participation in community development forums and interaction with their local authorities. To achieve this, SWID is strengthening its partnership base with government and civil society organization.

Another success story:
Before SWID’s intervention, Walukuba/Masese Division had several problems affecting women including land grabbing as a result of traditional beliefs that deny women the right to inherit land and property after losing their spouses or parents, discrimination and stigma among HIV positive women, a wide gap between leaders and community members, and a lack of knowledge of legal rights. After SWID’s intervention through the revolving loan scheme, members were able to secure a loan from SWID that they use to construct a house. Before, many were living in a poor shelter roofed with asbestos that has been classified as a known human carcinogen (a substance that causes cancer). The original houses were meant for single occupancy and therefore were not suited for large families. The new houses are constructed with guests rooms that could be rented out as a sustainable method for the members to repay their loans.


Health and home-based care
The home-based caregivers of SWID visit nearly 100 patients twice per month. The majority of women in the group are widows, single mothers, sole income earners and those living positively. They have mobilized simply because the need to assist the most vulnerable populations has not been met by the local government. SWID allocated part of its already overstretched programming budget to provide shoulder bags to the caregivers. In these the women carry a few first aid supplies-latex gloves, washing soap, alcohol, and brushes-and they wear an apron which immediately identifies them as home-based caregivers. The Home-Based caregivers provide care and support to the terminally ill people such as PLWHA, diabetic people, people suffering from cancer, and the elderly, at their homes through counseling, provision of basic necessities to the vulnerable people for example food, provision of diagnostic and nursing care, health education about HIV/AIDS, physical care including provision of referrals to health units.
In addition to home-based care, most caregivers also participate in the drama group that aims to educate and sensitize communities about HIV/AIDS since drama and music can reach a larger number of people across diverse age groups. Because the social stigma attached to HIV is still high, the drama group (composed of those who tested both HIV positive and negative) sensitizes communities in Jinja district on issues involving HIV transmission and prevention, positive living, sanitation, nutrition, land and property rights, inheritance laws.
Peer Exchange 240

Their partners:
Nationally, SWID has partnered with Uganda Land Alliance and at a community level, SWID is working with Jinja District Land Bard, Jinja Municipal Council, the physical planner, Jinja District, and Area Land Committees.


Contact them. 602
Jinja Uganda
Tabingwa road , walukuba jinja plot 45.