Akina Mama wa Afrika (AMwA)

Feminist Leadership Development

24th September 2015

For Immediate Release

On the eve of the adoption of the landmark Post-2015 Development Agenda over 140 advocates for the rights of women and girls in Africa are urging their leaders to support targets in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). Indeed, these targets are already in line with existing African commitments that guarantee universal access to a comprehensive package to SRHR services.

The two targets in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals call on governments to:

3.7 By 2030, ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes;

5.6 Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as agreed in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action and the outcome documents of their review conferences.

In a Statement titled African Women & Girls Call on their Governments to Support Gender Equality in Totality in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, advocates note that throughout the negotiation process some African governments have spoken out against inclusion of these targets.  This despite all 54 member states of the African Union having adopted and implemented progressive regional commitments on the right to sexual and reproductive health. [1]

Ms. Dinah Musindarwezo of FEMNET said,“We are urging our Heads of State and Government to stand in solidarity with the millions of African women and girls affected by poor sexual and reproductive health outcomes, and explicitly support the SRHR targets 3.7 and 5.6 in the Post-2015 Development Agenda without any reservation.”

For more information please contact:

On behalf of SOAWR: Kavinya Makau, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and/or Naisola Likimani - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

On behalf of FEMNET:, Dinah Musindarwezo This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and/or Rachel Kagoiya: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ms. Eunice Musiime, Executive Director AMwA1st September 2015, was another bright day in AMwA‘s life. The Secretariat welcomed a new Executive Director Ms. Eunice Musiime to the AMwA team, relieving Prof. Maggie Kigozi of her transition leadership role since the departure of Ms. Leah Chatta-Chipepa in October 2014.

Ms. Eunice Musiime’s assumption of leadership presents AMwA with great opportunities for growth given her vast experience in organizational management and solid track record in using research, analysis and advocacy for gender equality & women’s empowerment. 

Join us in welcoming Ms. Eunice Musiime at the AMwA secretariat and in thanking Prof. Maggie Kigozi for her enthusiastic and diligent leadership through the transition that laid a firm foundation for the new leadership to build on. 

For over two decades, the Great Lakes Region of Africa has been engulfed in armed conflict with escalating instability  and violence. The worst having been experienced in DRC where an estimate of  4million people died as a result of the conflict, which has been marked by gross human rights violations, often directly targeting women by using rape and other forms of sexual- and gender-based violence as weapons of war.  

Economic and livelihood activities have been disrupted and deteriorating conditions have required women to take up responsibilities for households with limited access to viable means of production and equitable access to needed resources. The above described situation is compounded by the fact that , women are not  systematically and consistently involved in local and national decision-making processes, and more particularly post conflict peace negotiation, recovery and reconstruction.   

In order to support and advocate for  women’s meaningful involvement, and to underscore the importance of promoting an active and visible approach to  mainstreaming a gender perspective into the peace building processes, AMwA together with partners have embarked on several activities in  DRC  to ensure that women organize and participate effectively in peace negotiation processes and reconstruction. In addition various initiatives have been undertaken in DRC by different International and Regional organizations mostly women's rights organizations. These are geared towards ensuring that women are involved in all decision making processes and are contributing to the development agenda of their country. AMwA is one of the regional organizations that have implemented activities in DRC in her own capacity as well as with women partner organizations under the ICGLR Regional Civil Society Forum.

With support from the Women Platform administered by Global Fund for Women, AMwA hosted a 3 day workshop at Ishango Hotel in Goma from 5th -7th Of August 2015.  The Workshop that brought together 13 women leaders from various women’s organizations in Goma focused on strengthening women’s network in Goma .

The workshop  which sought to capitalize on the above previous initiatives that AMwA and partners implemented in Goma as well as the momentum already generated by women’s groups in that region and Great Lakes in general aimed at;

  • Strengthening women’s network in Goma for collective, coordinated and sustained advocacy of the women’s agenda.
  • Building the women’s capacity to appreciate the UN Resolution 1325 and Peace Security and Corporation Framework, commonly known as  the Framework , its popularization and   effective monitoring  and review of its implementation 

The workshop commenced with contextualization of the failure to achieve sustained peace and security in the region and an analysis of the issue of peace & security being a cross cutting issue that is interlinked to health, education, economic development, infrastructure and food among others.

Linking International & Regional Frameworks on peace processes to women group’s realities in Goma, the participants were able to engage in debates regarding the implementation of UN Resolution 1325 and the Framework of Hope. Through these debates the women leaders were able to identify what has worked, what has not worked and what they needed to do to ensure that they effectively contribute to the implementation of these frameworks.

Reflecting on the struggles Congolese women have endured to contribute to bringing peace in the region especially in North Kivu and linking it to the documentary Pray the Devil Back to Hell, the women leaders identified the challenges that made it difficult for them to attain the intended goal-PEACE.  Some of the challenges sited included; failure to document their struggles; lack of coordination; commitment resources both human and financial.

The safe space created allowed for candid and sisterly conversations around the real issues that tore apart the vibrant women’s movement of the early 2000 that had mobilized the women’s movement even without fund and regardless of their differences in ideology, culture and education levels. The women thus appreciated the need for collective organizing; bringing them to the realization of re-organizing themselves and reviving the women’s movement (Sauti Ya MamaYa WaCongoMani) in Goma.

In that regard the women leaders sought to develop a 2 year Action Plan on the priority issues that needed to be addressed in relation to their effective participation and contribution to the implementation of the Framework of Hope and UN Resolution 1325. High on this agenda was the need to re-kindle Sauti Ya MamaYa WaCongoMani.

The revival of Sauti Ya Mama Ya WaCongoMani has been a long awaited dream for many African women most especially the women of DRC. It presents an opportunity for us as African women to mobilize ourselves and support our sisters as they take lead in addressing the priority issues of concern to them.

For more Information contact;

Program Officer, Ms. Patience Ayebazibwe This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Communications & Advocacy Officer, Irene Kagoya  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.