In this Issue #0: Launching African Feminist Standpoint: CAL@10

We are very excited to present to you issue #0 of what we plan on making a regular and popular feature for African feminists! African Feminist Standpoint is hosting and will host a variety of media through an online hub. At the Coalition of African Lesbians, we see the production of media and knowledge as an important tool to advance women’s rights, feminist movement building and solidarity between activists across the continent. Through publishing content produced by and for African feminists, we also hope with this project to support our contributors in experimenting and learning with us: to reflect, analyse, build and play with the various forms of media this platform offers and to amplify the voices of LBQ women. Interested in contributing to the next issue? See our call for submission.

In this issue, we are publishing texts that were produced in 2015 around CAL’s 10th anniversary. We are taking a little step back to reacquaint ourselves with our history and to examine our challenges, struggles and successes before moving forward in 2019. Janet Shapiro, Madelene Isaacks and Donna AM Smith provide invaluable insights into the beginnings of CAL as a formal coalition: read more in Planting a seed, From ALA to CAL, and A radi-CAL journey.

Fikile Vilakazi and Dawn Cavanagh, both former directors of CAL, reflect on the successes and challenges of the first ten years of CAL’s activism, their vision firmly directed towards the future of the organisation. In Defending the Dream, Fikile reminds us that the “essence of the dream has been to make power visible in its various forms and assert that power is everywhere in our lives. It must be surfaced, confronted, challenged, claimed, shared and used for the benefit of everyone and not just a few individuals and groups”. Dawn Cavanagh sees opportunities in moving beyond the politics of identity and single issue struggles that define some of the movements we are working in: go in depth in The CAL Footprint.

Fadzai Maparutsa and Kagure Mugo’s analyses on human rights on the continent and the intersections between sexual and reproductive health and rights and African values are still relevant today in regard to the ongoing struggles around CAL’s observer status and the independence of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights.

Finally, we can not talk about activism without a bit of poetry, love, crushes and personal stories! Hop over the following links to read poems by  Mafe07, Elizabeth |Khaxas, Makhosazana Xaba, Maweunoia and Rosibiwords. And, to round off, lose - or find! - yourselves in the personal stories of our feminist crushes: Sheena Gimase Magenya, Amanda Hodgeson, Shamim Salim, Gigi Louisa, Tjipo Portia Tshegofatso Loeto, Yvonne Oduor and Afrika.

Happy reading!


Today You have spoken Africa Yesterday…rolling stone… red pepper… * Declared… Kill them …Hunt them down… Today… You have publicly refused…. Africa You have commissioned… Never again… Shall I be Hunted…Killed… Not in your name… Africa… Shall I be Raped…Tortured…Arrested…Again… […]

Making African Lesbian Feminist Activism Visible

The Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL) illustrates the triumph of feminist lesbian activism and movement building on a continent where lesbo-, homo- and transphobia are rife. It is within this hostile environment that lesbians and the trans-community are continuously forging innovative […]

African Feminist Standpoint Podcast: Episode 1: Abortion

 This podcast is the product of a conversation that was hosted by the Coalition of African Lesbians (CAL) on the 28th of September 2017. The webinar titled ‘An Autonomy & Abortion Webinar: Demanding full control over our bodies and […]


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