Contributors are invited to submit manuscripts on the above topic from either an activist or research perspective. Abstracts and contributions must be written in English and in a style that is accessible to a wide audience. Please submit abstracts to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deadline: November 8, 2021
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 ADVOCACY ACCELERATOR
The Advocacy Accelerator is an innovative pan-African platform that accelerates locally driven advocacy by focusing on key stakeholders within the advocacy ecosystem. The Advocacy Accelerator envisions a world where strong, coordinated, country-based advocacy drives improvements in health and development, leading to better government policies, more effective use of resources and greater accountability to commitments. The Advocacy Accelerator aims to strengthen local advocacy capacity and ownership by disrupting power dynamics, identifying, and tackling inequities and systemic challenges, in order to build an inclusive, effective advocacy ecosystem. We foster greater alignment and collaboration between advocacy sectors and movements that learn from and value peer-to-peer learning and homegrown knowledge from the African experience. We strengthen advocacy capacity to amplify the voices of and the wider advocacy ecosystem in Africa to conduct context-specific advocacy that achieves durable results. We share strategies from across the advocacy continuum, and work to support intersectionality, solidarity and inclusion between sectors, facilitating the creation and peer-to-peer spread of advocacy knowledge, resources, expertise and approaches, disrupting traditional models of development. As part of our think tank mandate, we conduct research and track trends and practices to respond to advocacy needs of advocacy agendas, movements, particularly marginalised groups.
GUEST EDITORS: Claire Mathonsi – Deputy Executive Director, Advocacy Accelerator; Humanities, University of Cape Town & Dr. Vicci Tallis – Content, Facilitation and Training lead, Advocacy Accelerator; Research Fellow, Humanities, University of Pretoria
Advocacy must be based on an analysis of what needs to be changed and why… this analysis must be feminist because only feminism gives an analysis of patriarchy and how it is linked to the structures and relationships of power between men and women that perpetuate violence, poverty — the crises that confront us. Peggy Antrobus, founder of DAWN in Evans 2005.
Beijing +25 has been an opportunity to reflect on how far we have come in realising Feminist Futures, and what it will take for us to push forward. In doing this there is a natural spotlight and reflection on our strategies and tactics as feminist advocates and activists. However, there is no one clear understanding of Feminist Advocacy, and the concept and practice has not been sufficiently theorised: whilst we pay attention to the issues that we address as feminists, we pay less attention to the practice of ensuring transformation and an end to patriarchy.
Through the Advocacy’s Accelerator’s (AAC) work on feminist advocacy, it has explored, challenged and discussed a definition of feminist advocacy as being rooted in feminist principles and philosophy – and both the problems and solutions are seen in addressing, challenging and refashioning power. Kirsty Evans provides a useful understanding of the concept as a starting point:“Feminist advocacy is concerned with patriarchy by advancing women’s rights. It has various uses and manifestations, from lobbying strategies at the World Trade Organisation ministerial meetings to the reform of gender-discriminatory policies. Feminist advocacy strategies are targeted to changing key decision-making processes and policies that infringe on women’s rights”(Evans 2005).However, we find this definition to be narrow in its focus on advocacy that focuses on decision making processes and policies.
Given that the field offeminist advocacy and particularly African feminist advocacy has not been widely studied and documented there is need for an interrogation of what the term Feminist Advocacy means in an African context. Many feminist and women’s rights organisations use the term with different explanations of why it is indeed Feminist Advocacy. Advocacy in Africa is largely seen as northern and donor driven. Power dynamics within the African advocacy ecosystem depend on systems of power that allow for the retention and accrual of power. This poses certain questions – for example, is the trajectory of African feminist advocacy indirectly steered by the North? As a result, has it become intellectually orientated to meet theoretical needs of the North? Is the extraversion of intellectual life the result of vertical collaboration between African scholars and their northern counterparts? Should there be more horizontal discourses among Africans to produce African feminist advocacy theory which responds to the unique needs of Africa?
This system allows for power to reproduce itself unless we challenge these power systems allowing for locally driven advocacy. It is within this context that the documentation, discussion and contribution of African feminist advocacy needs to be recognised as a key contributor to the challenge and transformation of power systems. Therefore, a key purpose of this special issue journal will be to interrogate the limited theory and understanding of feminist advocacy to see whether it is adequate to theorise feminist advocacy in a pan African context.
The gradual mainstreaming of “feminist issues” such as violence against women, access to abortion raises challenges for feminist advocacy according to Miller – including the narrowing of the framing and disregarding the expertise of women most affected to identify, articulate and fight for their (our) own issues. (Miller 2008). We will explore if this is the case in Africa –and look to whether so called “gender mainstreaming” is an example of successful feminist advocacy (ie, shifting focus to a gender agenda) that has in fact backfired.
Embedded in feminist advocacy are concepts such as solidarity and coalition building and – and these can be at a local, national, pan African or global level. The global / transnational level is seen as a critical element for success (Braun&Drieling 2019) – less attention has been paid to solidarity across Africa in advocacy and this is a missing piece of our understanding.
This special edition will call for articles, essays and reflection pieces that articulate positions and experiences on the following suggestions and any other relevant issues:
- Is all work on gender inequality feminist advocacy?
- How can we theorise feminist advocacy? How do we further theorise from Afro-feminist perspectives?
- What is the difference between feminist advocacy and feminist activism.
- What is the meaning of feminist advocacy leadership?
- What examples of pan African solidarity has resulted in national and regional change? How can we harness our movements?
- How can we track the trajectory of advocacy agendas to understand the influence of donors?
- What can we learn from the philosophy and principles of feminist advocacy?
- What are the strategies and tactics we have used for transformation? Are/how can these strategies (be) infused with feminist ideology?
- What actions are needed to shift along Beijing +25 agendas?
- How has COVID-19 shaped and changed feminist advocacy?
- Given the technological divide (for women, resource poor countries) is there a place for digital advocacy in feminist advocacy and tactics?
- How does intersectionality intersect with feminist advocacy?
- What is the impact of feminist advocacy?
- How has the SDG agenda influenced our feminist advocacy agenda especially around socio-economic transformation?
- Case studies of feminist campaigns
- The importance of feminist advocacy as part of the agenda towards feminist futures.
The endeavour of feminist advocacy is critically important and aptly captured by AkinaMama waAfriKa(AMwA) who say that “the goal is to strengthen African women’s leadership capacities to contribute substantially to new forms of activism, expanding spaces, transforming pedagogies, and projecting alternatives to advance women’s rights in Africa, ultimately contributing to a qualitative difference in the lives of women in Africa” (African Women’s Leadership Institute for Eastern and Southern Africa 2019).
African Women’s Leadership Institute for Eastern and Southern Africa, 2019, ‘Strengthening
Feminist And Transformational Leadership for a Just and Secure Africa’, Report by
African Women’s Leadership Institute for Eastern and Southern Africa.
Evans, K 2005, ‘A guide to feminist advocacy’, Gender and development, vol. 13, no.3, pgs. 10 –
2, available at:https://www.tandfonline.com/action/showCitFormats?doi=10.
Miller, J 2008, ‘Violence against urban African American Girls. Challenges for feminist
advocacy’, Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, vol. 24, no. 2, pgs.148-162, Sage Publications, doi:10.1177/1043986208315477
Braun, YA & Dreiling, MC 2019, ‘Networking for women’s rights: academic centers,
regional information network and feminist advocacy in southern Africa’, International Feminist Journal of Politics, vol. 21, no. 1, pgs. 89–110, doi.org/10.1080/14616742.2018.1460213
Submission Guidelines for Agenda Journal
The following guidelines are intended to assist authors in preparing their contributions.
Agenda invites contributions from feminist and gender scholars, activists, researchers, policy makers, professionals, educators, community workers, students and members of womxn’s organizations and organizations interested in and concerned with gender issues.
Submissions should contribute to developing new thinking and fresh debate on women’s rights and gender equality in Africa and other developing countries.
Writers need to:
- Write in an accessible and understandable style;
- Inform, educate or raise debate;
- Try to pin down reasons for contradictions and point out differences of opinion;
- Provide an analysis and an argument;
- Be logical;
- Be sensitive to but not uncritical of how gender, class and race affect the reporting of an event;
- Ensure the introduction encapsulates the contents of the piece and that it attracts the reader’s attention by either making a controversial statement, providing a thought-provoking or new insight into the subject;
- Utilize a gender or feminist lens.
We publish articles in various formats, which range from 6,000 words for more theorized articles, which form the main reference pieces in an issue, to shorter pieces with a minimum of 1,500 words.
Formats of Contributions
- Article (6 000 words max) should be based on new research and contain analysis and argument.
- Briefing is an adaptable format for writers to write on a wide range of subjects (2 500 – 4 000 words)
- Focus examines an aspect of a chosen theme in detail (4 500 words max)
- Profile looks in detail at an organisation, project or legislation, or a person (2 500 – 3 500 words)
- Report-back covers reports on meetings, conferences workshops etc
- (1 500 – 4 000 words)
- Review typically reviews books or films (1 500 – 3 000 words)
- Interview can record a conversation among a group of people or a one-on-one interview in which the writer asks the interviewee/s questions on a subject (1 500 – 3 000 words)
- Open Forum is a vehicle for debate and argument, or pieces which deal with argument and difference of opinion on a subject/issue (2 500 – 4 000 words)
- Perspective is an adaptable format in which writers are able to use a more personal reflective, narrative style (1 500 – 3 000 words)
Contributions should be submitted in the following format:
File type: Microsoft Word
Size: 10 pt
Line spacing: single
Referencing: Harvard style
All submissions should have the following:
Abstract: 200 – 300 words
Keywords: approx 5 keywords
Bio: 100 – word author biography, including email address
Bio picture: head-and-shoulders photo in 300 dpi jpeg format
Contributors are encouraged to provide photos and/or graphics to illustrate their submission
Selection and Editing Process
All submissions are peer reviewed. Articles, briefing and focus pieces go through a double blind peer review process, while all other contributions are reviewed by at least one member of Agenda’s Editorial Advisory Group.
Reviewers comment on the suitability of a text for publication in the Agenda journal, as well as provide comments to help develop the piece further for publication if required. Contributors will be asked to rework the paper accordingly.
On resubmission, the piece will be assessed by the Agenda editor and a final decision made regarding its publication in the journal.
Please note that Agenda reserves the right to edit contributions with regard to length and accessibility or reject contributions that are not suitable or of poor standard.
Agenda also invites the submission of poems on the topic of women’s rights and gender.
Please note, as per Agenda’s policy, writers who have published in the journal within the last two years
WILL NOT BE ALLOWED to publish – to allow new writers to publish in Agenda.