Voices of African Women Declaration

This declaration was written in November 2008 by grassroots African women campaigners from Malawi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, Angola, Rwanda and Nigeria who travelled to London to participate in the launch of the Voices of African Women campaign.

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We women of Africa from Angola, DR Congo, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Sudan and Zimbabwe, together with activists and supporters from UK WILPF and diaspora organisations, aware of the negative consequences of neo-colonisation in Africa, have gathered in London in November 2008 to voice our concerns. We take this opportunity to ask the general public for their support and to raise our demands to decision-makers including the international community, national governments and
non-governmental agencies.

We demand:

1. Stop the support of oppressive regimes and call for effective governance from African governments by ending interference from multinational corporations and foreign governments.

2. Free and fully participatory elections, accountability and the imposition of sanctions against governments elected by fraudulent means.

3. The role of foreign electoral observers should not be used to legitimise authoritarian regimes in Africa.

4. An effective and transparent process to monitor and expose the role of international financial institutions and governments in promoting and facilitating corruption in Africa.

5. End the proliferation of small arms and foreign military bases on Africa’s soil.

6. Security, safety and basic human rights for all women, especially Articles 3, 17, 18, 19 and 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to be fully implemented by African governments.

7. A UN special fund for the implementation of women’s rights and empowerment of civil society.

8. A mechanism that ensures resources are made available to civil society women’s organisations by national governments.

9. National consultations with civil society women’s organisations before any national law affecting women is passed.

10. The African Union establish effective monitoring and participatory instruments to be duplicated in each African country overseeing the implementation of regional and international legal frameworks protecting women’s rights.

11. The immediate release of African women political prisoners and activists and an end to the unlawful and false imprisonment of African women across the continent.

12. Stronger punishment for the crimes of rape and other forms of violence against women, particularly in situations of conflict and call for African governments and other agents to invoke UN SCR 1820.

13. Food security be made a matter of national security and the recognition of the fundamental role played by African women in agriculture.

14. The participation of African women in conflict prevention, mediation during conflict and post-conflict peace building as stated in UN SCR 1325 and during constitution drafting.

15. The end of the privatisation of public services including health, education, water and transportation and to make it the responsibility of national governments.

16. An end to the illegal exploitation of African resources by multinational corporations and foreign governments and the role they play in the destruction of our environment and ecosystems. We call for better health and safety regulations in Africa.

The declaration was delivered to 10 Downing Street onĀ 28 April 2009.

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