Contributors are invited to write on the topic above from either a research or an activism perspective. Abstracts and contributions must be written in English and in a style accessible to a wide audience. Please submit abstracts to louhaysom@mweb.co.za or admin@agenda.org.za.

No later than 24th July 2017

ABOUT AGENDA
Agenda has been at the forefront of feminist publishing in South Africa for the past 30 years and raises debate around women’s rights and gender issues. The journal is designed to promote critical thinking and debate and aims to strengthen the capacity of both men and women to challenge gender discrimination and injustice. The Agenda journal is an IBSS/SAPSE accredited and peer reviewed journal.

ABOUT SAT (Southern African AIDS Trust)
SAT is an innovative organization with a regional footprint contributing to improved systems for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of girls, adolescents and women in Southern Africa. We work to empower girls, adolescents and women to participate in inclusive and equitable systems for health at local, national and regional levels. SAT is inspired by its values and vision of a world in which resilient communities across Southern Africa enjoy good health and wellbeing free from stigma and discrimination. The ultimate goal is to contribute to improved health and well-being of girls, adolescents and young women in more equitable and inclusive systems for health.

GUEST EDITORS: Vicci Tallis and Claire Mathonsi

Conceptual Rationale:

At a global level the imperitive for reaching gender equality is entrenched and driven by the Sustainable Development Goals (5 and to some extent 3 and 4), launched in 2015 as a follow on from the MGD’s. The goal of SDG 5 is to chieve gender equality and empower all women and girls by 2030. Sub-goals include
• End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere
• Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation
• Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation
• Recognize and value unpaid care and domestic work through the provision of public services, infrastructure and social protection policies and the promotion of shared responsibility within the household and the family as nationally appropriate
• Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision making in political, economic and public life
• 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
• Undertake reforms to give women equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to ownership and control over land and other forms of property, financial services, inheritance and natural resources, in accordance with national laws
• Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women
• Adopt and strengthen sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls at all levels

Africa has her own vision of … Agenda 2063 – “the Africa we want to be” and other instruments such as the Maputo Plan of Action on SRHR – which is seen as very progressive. The contradiction is that the Africa Bloc often pushes a more conservative agenda at a global level – highlighting the shrinking space for civil society in general and for women’s rights and gender specifically.

This edition of AGENDA seeks to interrogate the best way for us to impact on the lives of women and girls in Africa – thinking about feminist activism, women’s movements and advocacy on specific rights that may or may not be contained in international and Regional instruments.

It also aims to interrogate ways to shift action on gender equality and ensuring women’s rights:

• Measuring African commitments against the SDGs. Identifying progressive instruments that take us further than the SDGs.
• With a background of some progressive legislation why does the Africa Group push a more conservative agenda at global LEVEL. What are the sticking points and how do we address these?
• Is there currently a shrinking space for civil society especially Women’s Rights & Gender – how can we increase agency and voice?
• Does gender discourse really speak to women’s realities (in all our diversity) and does it provide solutions that will fundamentaly impact? Is gender equality feminist?
• How do we, or do we need to rejuvenate the women’s movement? How do/have young women fit into that? What is our role in gender equality discourse and action
• What, if anything, did the MDGs do for women’s rights, women’s lives and gender equality? Did this as a Northern agenda really tackle the issues of women in the South?
• Maputo Plan of Action on SRHR – is it a feminist agenda? How do we deal with instruments being watered down at regional and country levels.
• What are the views and actions of African post-modern / post colonial feminist thinkers?
• Links to activism from other regions – how can we build global solidarity around global targets?