AAWORD is active in the field of GENDER research for the development of the countries in the Continent. It tries to put forward research on women in order to make visible women’s look on African realities.
|Its main activities are :
- the conduct of studies on women’s issues in relation to gender and the conduct of awareness and advocacy actions;
- the organisation of training sessions on research methodologies, gender, advocacy technique and other themes;
- the initiation of girls to research and strengthening of their skills;
- the publication of study results in book form;
- advocacy with public authorities and with regional and international bodies, for gender mainstreaming into development projects and programmes;
AAWORD has many achievements among which we can mention the gender publications, communications in different areas, and a large bibliography on women.
The publications include :
- « Women and Rural Development »,
- « Women and Reproduction in Afrique »,
- «Women and the Mass Media in Africa »,
- «Women and Democratisation in Afrique : Challenges and Prospects »,
- «Gender and HIV/AIDS in Africa », «Women and Violences in Africa »,
- «Gender neo-liberal Policies in Africa »
- «Perceptions and representations of African women/men of the equality between men and women ».
- «Le Féminisme face aux défis du multiculturalisme / Actes des travaux du 5ème congrés des Recherches Féministes dans la francophonie plurielle» (only in french)
Adding to these is the publication of a quarterly liaison bulletin, Echo, to popularize the internal activities of the Association.
On the communication and training front, AAWORD has organised workshops and seminars on “gender and researches”, “gender and globalisation”, “gender and economic education, “gender and research methodology” etc.
The advocacy activities too were not outdone. AAWORD took an active part in the preparation of the 1995 Beijing Conference, the presentation of women’s opinion on the World Bank, the African Women’s Observatory on governments, the African financial and commercial institutions, the Commission on the Statues of Women (CSW) and the African Women Caucus.
It is worth noting here that the contestation, by feminist researchers of economic science which completely conceals the non commercial output of women, compelled them to examine, with a critical mind, all the social sciences, call into question the policies of financial institutions and reject the mode of economic development that these institutions proposed to poor countries. The postulates of anthropology, history and psychology, psychoanalysis, sociology and law, were de-mystified by feminist researchers who reproach these sciences for transmitting, under a pseudo-scientific language some important prejudices against women profoundly concealed by “natural” complementarity of the social roles between men and women.
Advocacy has therefore been conducted with a focus on policy makers, regional fora (African Union) and International organizations (United Nations) with a view to taking account of gender in development plans and programmes.
In terms of lobbying, AAWORD has joined forces with national, regional and international NGOs to bring pressure to bear on governments and policymakers and to set itself up as a pressure and proposal group.
A youth leadership programme for female researchers was also launched in 2002 to enable the African female youth to meet, exchange ideas, learn to work together on some crucial issues for the African youth, design some future bearing projects and participate in strengthening the knowledge of the female youth in research. It is in this vein that a large number of African female youth researchers benefited from this programme.
AAWORD has worked for the promotion of gender equality (equality between the sexes) and the use of the concept of gender as an analytical tool of social relationships. It has also enormously contributed to the debate on development issues and the dissemination of the results of extensive research works in Africa.
At the continental level, AAWORD has:
- contributed to sensitizing African governments on the importance to be given to women in development programmes and in all political and policy decisions,
- played a catalytic role in women’s movements at the African and international level by creating a global awareness of gender issues in relation to social, economic and cultural development in Africa. Through AAWORD many Women of Africa, the Caribbean and the Third World have developed a profound commitment to gender issues;
- promoted the creation of Women’s networks and provided technical support and advisory services in relation to issues of Gender in different Ministries in Africa.