Debating Ideas is a new section that aims to reflect the values and editorial ethos of the African Arguments book series, publishing engaged, often radical, scholarship, original and activist writing from within the African continent and beyond. It will offer debates and engagements, contexts and controversies, and reviews and responses flowing from the African Arguments books.
The feminist writer and activist, Rosebell Kagumire, offers her thoughts on the current priorities in this 10-minute vlog. She calls for urgent and regular gender equality evaluations, including to measure the impacts of Covid-19 on women’s legal, social and economic rights and political representation. She argues for ‘inclusive consultation’ and the centring of women’s and youth voices in male-dominated and technocratic policy processes. Women’s rights cannot progress without economic justice and attention to the needs of women in the informal sector. At the same time, both in policy and civil society, programmes aimed at ‘deconstructing’ and to ‘give alternatives to toxic masculinity’ are essential to end violence against women.
Rosebell is a champion of new approaches to policymaking that connect activists, academics and policymakers and bring people in movements and at the margins to the policy table. In her words: ‘We need to find the bridges between scholarship and our policies’ and to ‘engage activists working with scholars to amplify necessary changes.’ Watch the vlog here.
Rosebell Kagumire is a feminist writer, communication specialist and activist. She is the curator and editor of African Feminism, an online writing platform that brings together feminist writers and activists across Africa. She co-edited Challenging Patriarchy: The Role of Patriarchy in the Roll-Back of Democracy, which was released earlier this year and tries to broaden the notion of women’s political participation beyond, for example, seats in parliament. She’s mostly outspoken on social accountability, active citizenship, women’s rights, the rights of migrants, and social justice. Rosebell was honoured with the Anna Guèye 2018 award for her contribution to digital democracy, justice and equality on the African continent by Africtivistes, a network of African activists for democracy. In 2013, the World Economic Forum recognized Rosebell as one of the Young Global Leaders under 40. She holds a master’s degree in Media, Peace & Conflict Studies from the United Nations University of Peace in Costa Rica.