WoMin News

Africa is Living the Climate Crisis Dialogue & Screening

photo 5“Our politicians are selling our lives,” said Flaida Macheze at WoMin’s August 20th panel event, Africa is Living the Climate Crisis. “[They are] selling our water, our land, our fish, out timber, our forests and they are enslaving rural communities.” WoMin gathered over 100 activists from across South Africa and around the continent at the Women’s Jail, on Constitution Hill, to grapple with the state of the continent in the face of a rapidly worsening climate crisis. With speakers: Nnimmo Bassey of Health of Mother Earth Foundation; Flaida Macheze, Mozambican National Farmers Union (UNAC - União Nacional de Camponeses, a member of La Via Campesina), and Khadija Roba from Kenyan organization, Save Lamu. Read more…

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“Hands off our Activists!” – Activist wins court case in Newcastle

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On July 22, activist Lucky Tshabalala and the community of Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal triumphed in a court case of false accusations made against him by an Ikwezi mine manager. The Ikwezi Mining Project’s brutal practices have been on record, with dozens of people forcibly relocated, grave sites exhumed and homes bulldozed to dust. Read more…

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WoMin Newsletter Issue 5: African Women's Resistance & the Search for Just Alternatives

In the stories that feature here, in this edition of the WoMin newsletter, we find the sustained thread of resistance by women from communities across Africa, who are saying NO to large scale destructive projects – mining, oil extraction, fossil fuels combustion, and renewables. In their resistance, leading women activists expose and denounce the land and water grabs, the violation of indigenous rights, the pollution of water and air, and the resultant ill-health of family and community members. They condemn the corporates for false promises and deeply (and often violently) divided communities. And they expose their governments for their collusion with corporates and their absolute neglect of public responsibility and duty. They call on their governments to protect indigenous, peasant and customary land rights. They call for respect for their communities’ right to free prior and informed consent and the power to determine development priorities and pathways. And, in their organising and defence of their communities and their territories, they offer hope and vision for the needed development alternatives and lay the path for a different world. Read more…

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Cyclone Idai | A Call To Action from African women’s movements and allies

African women’s movements and women-led organisations, and our allies in the region and around the world, call on our governments, the United Nations, and African Union to act on the climate crisis to save our people and our planet! Read this Call to Action in English, French and Portuguese here.

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LAUNCH: Women Stand their Ground Activist Guides

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Women Building Power launches THREE ACTIVIST GUIDES to support women and communities across Africa in their struggles for climate justice and sustainable energy futures! Read More...

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Beyond Extractivism: Reclaiming Peoples Power, Our Right To Say No!

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The Thematic Social Forum on Mining & the Extractivism Economy brought together over 500 international delegates from 60 countries representing communities affected by extractivism across the world. From 9 – 11 November, discussions at the forum grappled with the impacts of corporate impunity as well as the ways in which communities are building solidarities and collective power and fighting for the right to say ‘No’ to extractives projects. Read the final declaration of the forum…Read More...

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CALL FOR CAMPAIGN ADVISOR WOMIN AFRICAN ALLIANCE (March – December 2019)

In September 2018, the WoMin team undertook a deep reflection on its programme work to shape the year of transition in 2019. We determined that we have supported some key local campaigns, have played a key role in the emergence of a Right to Say NO regional and global campaign (just building out), and have the beginnings of a strong regional energy and climate justice campaign. However, if we are to fulfil our role as a regional alliance then the regional campaigning, building upon local struggles, and linking these together with an explicit movement building orientation, will need to be a defining feature of the next 5-year strategy. Read More...

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Mogale Declaration: Living the Future Now

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In late July 2018, a group of feminists and climate justice activists met in Mogale, Johannesburg to discuss the global crises confronting us today and the kinds of deep social and economic changes needed to achieve a socially just and sustainable future. Together, they developed a declaration that provides a working frame and clear set of political demands, which can guide efforts to build African feminist just development alternatives. Read More...

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Right to Say No: Fighting Land Grabbing in Uganda

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On November 23 2018, over twenty community activists from Bukinda, and Katikara in Kyangwali Sub-county, Kikubo district in Uganda made their way to Kampala by bus. Their purpose? To demand the government take action on the land grabs and other violations taking place in their communities (Bukinda contains 28 villages while Katikara contains 7 villages). The activists, many of them women, are mobilizing together to defend their land rights against rich elites within government offices, including the Office of the Prime Minister and defence forces, who are grabbing their land. Read More...

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A Visit to South Africa’s New Coal Heartland: Lephalale

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A recent visit to Lephalale, Limpopo Province reveals the devil in the detail in South Africa’s new coal heartland. Read More...

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African Women Rising: Organising for Justice & Development Alternatives

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In every corner of the continent the stories are similar – government-sanctioned, corporate-driven development agendas that prioritise profit and economic growth at the expense of people, communities, and the environment. As the global climate crisis deepens, African women who are feeling the effects in their daily lives are saying: NO MORE! Women are organising in often adverse and hostile contexts to defend their land, demand the right of consent, and denounce the failure of leaders. They’re also coming together to build local, economic alternatives like micro-renewable energy, and agroecology, and craft strategies and powerful narratives of collective resistance from the roots up Read more…

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Women Building Power: First Uganda Feminist School

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For four days, the National Association of Professional Environmentalists (NAPE) and Kwataniza Women Farmers Group with support from WoMin as part of the regional Women Building Power Campaign convened the first national feminist school in Hoima, Uganda. The school gathered 30 women activists from across the country. Together, participants created a space for collective learning and exchange, bringing their own diverse experiences to bear as activists who are resisting extractivism, militarism and mega-infrastructure projects in their communities. Read more…

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feminist participatory action research

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As an African ecofeminist movement building alliance, WoMin is deeply committed to constructing ‘knowledge from below’, creating space for grassroots women to build and advance bold perspectives on extractives and on development more generally. One political tool WoMin uses to foster ‘knowledge construction from below’ is feminist participatory action research (FPAR). FPAR places affected women and their experiences in the very centre, ensuring that campaigns and their leadership, research and other interventions are driven by and benefit grassroots women and not NGO women staffers. .Read more...

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Women Building Power 2nd Regional Campaign Strategy

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The WoMin African Alliance gathered 35 participants from the Women Building Power campaign in Nigeria, South Africa, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Kenya and other parts of Africa for its second Regional Campaign Strategy Meeting in Nairobi, Kenya. For five days in March 2018, participants immersed themselves in an intensive three-day training exposure on energy, its dominant forms, the alternatives and the false solutions, the source of climate change, a climate just agenda and the wider question of whether a renewable energy transition can be achieved under the current development order. The sister participants had opportunity to share their struggles and campaign building efforts in countries, and think through what is needed to tackle the savagery of extractivism in Africa at this time.Read more...

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Claiming the #Right2SayNo: WoMin in solidarity with Amadiba Crisis Committee & Xolobeni

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WoMin stands in solidarity with the Amadiba Crisis Committee who are taking the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) to court over attempts to mine their land in Xolobeni on the Wild Coast in the Eastern Cape. On April 23, 2018, the Amadiba will request the court to rule that the DMR cannot issue a mining license without the community’s consent. This is a landmark case, and if successful, it will set a precedent for other communities affected and threatened by mining in South Africa and across the African continent.Read more...

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Revolutionising the System: The Fight for Climate Justice

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The call from women on the ground is to build a world where people will not need to live with “clouds of coal dust hanging over their heads.” This quarter’s newsletter speaks to how WoMin is working with communities and organisations at national, regional and international levels to create opportunities to build that world collectively, whether through energy assemblies in Uganda or joining in a thousand-strong march on the streets of Bonn….Read more...

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WoMin at the People’s Climate Summit 2017

IMG 20171104 WA0054From November 6, nine women from South Africa, Uganda, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Senegal and Zimbabwe will join thousands of delegates and climate activists in Bonn for the Peoples Climate Summit 2017 and the 23rd UN Climate Conference (COP23). The summit is a powerful opportunity for women activists representing a range of networks, movements and communities in Africa to advance an ecofeminist perspective on the systems of oppression which underlie the manifold crises facing humanity and the planet, and propose the real solutions needed. This year, the WoMin Alliance will participate in a number of spaces and forums with allies and co-convene two workshops at the Peoples Climate Summit 2017 on November 6 and 7:

Read more…

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WoMin Second Annual Feminist School Resource Platform

Cover Photo 1 bwYou can now access the second WoMin Feminist School resource platform, a comprehensive sharing of the process – with critical presentations, readings, reflections and methodology notes as well as vibrant photos and insightful interviews that offer a flavour of the week spent “developing our African eco-feminist craft and strengthening the tools of our resistance!”

Read more…

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Women Making Rights Real: Women Building Power

womin“I didn’t expect that women will come to listen to us and be open to share their testimonies,” says Yvonne Sampear [pictured right], a co-founder and chairperson of Greater Phola Ogies Women’s Forum. The forum first met in November 2016, bringing over 50 community women together. “After the meeting, young and old women came and still come to my house to share their challenges with me. These first meetings opened [our eyes]. There had been no platform for us as women to share, network and connect to the struggles we are facing daily.”

Before the forum started, many women had not made the connection of the environmental degradation caused by mining in their area to challenges they face in their daily lives. This lack of awareness energised Sampear and others to claim a space for learning and information-sharing.

Read more…

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Finding Solutions for a World in Crisis WoMin Newsletter 2 (2017 | March-April)

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The world is in deep crisis. The earth’s systems are on the edge of collapse, and the survival of the majority of the world’s people threatened by resource grabs, ecosystem failure, wars, and climate change. The roots of this manifold crisis lie deep in a political-economic-social system, which is driven by profit, which supports overconsumption by some and underconsumption by too many, which has for centuries dispossessed peoples of their land and waters and forests, and which uses violence to create and sustain itself. The costs of this system are carried by working class, peasant and indigenous women in the global South. Yet it is in the heritage, living practices and ‘development’ hopes of these same communities, the world’s majority, that the alternatives, which the planet and humanity so desperately need, live. The policy tinkering and technical fixes by development organisations in the last decades have ultimately served to reinforce the system and helped to extend its longevity. Now is the time for bold actions and brave solutions, of genuine solidarity, and ultimately the expression of a love for humanity and our beautiful planet. Read more...

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Women Building Power: No Longer a life Worth Living Report

Womin Participatory Action Research Report CoverMining-impacted women from the towns of Somkhele and Fuleni are proud to share a report, No Longer a Life Worth Living on Tuesday 28 March 2017. This report, a part of Women Building Power, is a product of eight months (April – November 2016) of participatory action research (PAR) conducted by women in their communities to identify the issues that women and their families face in relation to water provision in the area and the impacts of Tendele Mine’s activities on water access. A research team of ten women activists (five from each community) led the PAR project. Their work identified several problems their communities are facing related to the mine’s water grabs, the drought and accompanying water scarcity as well as water pollution in the area. The research also addresses the outright failure of the municipality and the national Department of Water Affairs to regulate water licensing, and meet constitutional, legal and policy commitments concerning the water rights of all citizens. Read more...

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WoMin alliance launches crowdfunding campaign for Pan African film on women's resistance to mining & destructive extractives industries

The recent landmark silicosis ruling allowing class actions against South African gold mining companies and the Standing Rock Sioux people’s protests fighting for indigenous rights and opposing the 1,200-mile Dakota Access Pipeline are just two examples of how the extractives industry and its social, health and environmental impacts are prominent issues on the African and global terrain.

 

Watch the trailer here: http://tinyurl.com/wominfilm  |  Hashtag: #NoGoodMinesFilm #WoMinFilm

 

Learn more about Crowdfunding campaign for Pan African film on women's resistance to mining & destructive extractives industries here.

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WoMin Presents: Women Building Power Knowledge Hub

WoMin is excited to present Women Building Power, a cutting-edge and developing collection of research, information materials, and tools which forms the knowledge hub of an emerging African women-led grassroots driven campaign on Fossil Fuels, Energy and Climate Justice. The campaign aims to build a women’s movement to make deep change in the way energy is produced and distributed in our countries and in Africa more widely. Women Building Power resources will support grassroots organising, strategy development, and advocacy at all levels.

Learn more about Women Building Power here.

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‘We want new songs’ – building a movement to dismantle corporate power

“We’re going to celebrate the fight-back, celebrate the resistance that is part of what this [Southern African] region is beginning to wake up to,” one comrade declares in the opening moments of the very first Permanent People’s Tribunal on African soil. The ‘resistance’ she speaks of is evident in the room – from the vibrant banners strewn across every inch of wall space proclaiming ownership of land and resources; reclaiming the struggles against corporate impunity and the violence it engenders; to the hundreds of people crammed into the room. We’re packed wall-to-wall, stomping our feet so hard the floorboards cough up dust and singing in unison (songs in Zulu, Shona, Portuguese, Xhosa, and occasionally a smattering of English), loud enough that the windows shake. Click here to read more

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Women Water Assembly

Our Lives Matter: Women Fighting for Water in Somkhele & Fuleni

“We have been reduced to animals now. Our lives do not matter, that is why no one cares about our suffering over water,” says Mrs Nkhosi from Somkhele. “The water taps are mere decorations now, nothing ever comes out.” On August 12, women representing the communities of Somkhele and Fuleni gathered at a Women’s Water Assembly in Embonambi Kwa Zulu Natal. The Water Assembly was a critical moment for women to reflect on a participatory action research process on women’s experiences of water scarcity in both communities. Women activists also shared findings from the research with key stakeholders, including representatives from the local municipality and WoMin allies – Centre for Environmental Rights (CER), Earthlore, and the Global Environmental Trust (GET), and developed a set of clear demands to inform their strategies going forward. Click here to read more

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WoMin fossil fuels campaign newsletter - April Issue 1

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wWoMin fossil fuels campaign newsletter french

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Women Building Power

Check out Women Building Power, a cutting-edge and developing collection of research, information materials, and tools which forms the knowledge hub of an emerging African women-led grassroots driven campaign on Fossil Fuels, Energy and Climate Justice.  Click here to read more.Women building power logo new finalv2

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AN AFRICAN ECOFEMINIST PERSPECTIVE ON THE PARIS CLIMATE NEGOTIATIONS

The 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has failed African women and their communities before it starts! In Paris, voluntary pledges (the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions or INDCs) by the big polluting countries’ leaders will, at the time of writing, raise world temperatures by a conservatively-estimated 3ºC. It is an untenable outcome for Africa, which will experience average increases of more than 6ºC in this scenario. Given the non-binding nature of the deal, violations are likely, so Africa and its peoples will cook, and tens of millions of Africans will die in the next third century, before 2050. Christian Aid estimates that 180-million African deaths will be attributable to climate change-related disease by 2100. Click here to read more: English / French

WOMIN at COP 21: an information note

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Photo acknowledgement: Heidi Augestad

 

 

 

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About WoMin

WoMin, launched in October 2013, is an African gender and extractives alliance, which works alongside national and regional movements and popular organisations of women, mining-impacted communities and peasants, and in partnership with other sympathetic organisations, to:

 

  • Research and publicise the impacts of extractives on peasant and working-class women

  • Support women’s organising, movement-building and solidarity

  • Advocate and campaign for reforms that go beyond short-term reformism to contribute towards the longer-term structural changes that are needed

  • Advance, in alliance with numerous others, an African post-extractivist eco-just women-centred alternative to this dominant destructive model of development.