FEMNET – the African Women’s Development and Communication Network is a pan-African, membership-based feminist network, based in Nairobi, with over 700 members across 46 African countries. Its vision is an African society where gender equality is achieved and women and girls enjoy all their rights and live in dignity.
FEMNET exists to facilitate and coordinate the sharing of experiences, ideas, information, and strategies for human rights promotion among African women’s organisations through networking, communication, capacity-building and advocacy at the regional and international levels. Since inception in 1988, it has played a leading role in building the women’s movement in Africa and ensuring that women and girls’ voices are amplified, and their needs, priorities, and aspirations are prioritised in critical policy dialogues and outcomes that have a direct and indirect impact on their lives.
FEMNET has established her niche as a nucleus serving to mobilise African women and girls to influence, lobby and advocate for the domestication and implementation of commitments made by African governments to the advancement of gender equality and realisation of women’s rights.
These commitments include the global and continental declarations on gender equality and women’s rights that African governments are signatories to such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and Girls (CEDAW), Beijing Platform for Action (BPfA), ICPD Programme of Action, and the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development (SDGs) at the global level, and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa (Maputo Protocol) at the regional level.
Every year, FEMNET organises teams of diverse African women participants to attend the African Union summits and amplify the voices of women and girls to influence outcome documents. Similarly, FEMNET participates in the annual Global Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York by mobilising participants from member countries to represent the plight and agitation of African women towards gender equality and women’s empowerment.
FEMNET was instrumental in spear-heading the stand-alone Goal 5 on Gender Equality within the Sustainable Development Goals 2030, thus pushing a substantive focus on women and girls within the SDGs framework. It also conducts, alongside its partners, various campaigns against gender-based violence, including #Justice4Liz, #BringBackOurGirls, #Justice4BankMum, and #FollowTheProtocol.
FEMNET is a founding member of the Steering Committee of the Solidarity for African Women’s Rights (SOAWR) Coalition and NGO CSW/Africa, and a member of the Women’s Major Group.
Despite its success and impact, FEMNET is also confronted by a number of challenges. These include diminishing resources to fund its work, shrinking civic spaces for NGOs to operate in, lack of political will to implement necessary instruments and policies on gender equality and women’s empowerment, and social-cultural barriers that impede the impact of its work.
Click here to make a donation to FEMNET.
This is the twenty-seventh NGO profile of my #NGOs4Africa Campaign.