Agenda Feminist Media (AFM), a women’s media project based in Durban, will be casting a critical feminist eye on the state of democracy, twenty years into the “new” South Africa, through a feminist dialogue it will be hosting jointly with the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) on the 24 March 2014. In doing so, it will add to the burgeoning national critique of the “state of affairs” in the country which 2014 both as an elections year and one marking two decades of a “new era” in the country’s history, as well as a general sense of “crisis”, have inspired. 
The feminist dialogue is in keeping with AFM’s mission, since its founding in 1986, to ensure the inclusion and assertion of women’s views in every aspect of South African life. The AFM has tracked women’s writings, research and activism and their impact or otherwise on national policies and legislation since the late 1980s. The feminist dialogue coincides with the publication and celebration of AFM’s 100th issue titled “Who’s afraid of Feminism? The state of gender equality 20 years after the democratic transition”.

The dialogue to be convened in three video conferencing venues of the HSRC in Durban, Cape Town and Durban will include a broad array of stakeholders and speakers who will examine critical instances of gender inequality, discrimination and exclusion impacting in various ways on women in South Africa, while also noting and celebrating gender equality gains. Four central areas of concern have been identified for discussion viz gender-based violence, sexual identity and orientation, women’s poverty and access to land and resources and women’s access to health rights and services, particularly sexual and reproductive health rights and services.

Feminist researchers and activists leading the discussions include Professor Amanda Gouws of the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) as the keynote speaker, Sithembiso Mthembu of Her Rights Initiative, Nonhlanhla Mkhize of the Durban Lesbian and Gay Centre, gender rights activist Lisa Vetten and feminist researcher and activist Susan Nkomo.

Key issues identified and interventions proposed by participants at the feminist dialogue will be referred to the CGE which will be holding a National Summit for similar purposes, in April 2014. AFM, together with the HSRC, hopes that the dialogue will capture the many views and suggestions of feminists and organisations working towards the eradication of gender inequality, at the same time inspiring the creation of many spaces and platforms for taking forward the issues it raises. All members of the public are welcome to attend.

The dialogue will commence at 9.00am and conclude at 1.30pm.

Please see contact details below for directions and contact numbers to confirm attendance.

Venues in Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town (Videoconferencing facilities: see below) :-

Cape Town : HSRC, 12th Floor, Plein Park Building (Opposite Revenue Office), Plein Street, Cape Town. Contact Jean Witten, Tel (021) 4668004, Fax (021) 461 0299, or JWitten@hsrc.ac.za

Durban :  First floor HSRC board room, 750 Francois Road, Ntuthuko Junction, Pods 5 and 6, Cato Manor, Contact Ridhwaan Khan, Tel (031) 242 5400, cell: 083 788 2786 or RKhan@hsrc.ac.za

Pretoria : HSRC Video Conference, 1st floor HSRC Library Human Sciences Research Council, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria. Arlene Grossberg, Tel: (012) 302 2811, e-mail: acgrossberg@hsrc.ac.za

Agenda : Shireen Ragunan admin@agenda.org.za Telephone (031) 3047001
For more information contact: Shireen Ragunan – 031-3047001 / e-mail: admin@agenda.org.za