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Imagine a centre for women by women! A space which tells stories of the African woman, equality, democracy and feminism. A place open to all those advancing women’s rights, including women movements and allies in the youth, labour and disability movements.
On Wednesday 2 February 2022, one of FOWODE’s founding members and Executive Director of UNAIDS Winnie Byanyima was hosted by Robert Kabushenga on 360 Mentor Africa to talk about the journey towards an Equal future and the Imara Women’s Centre. During the conversation, Byanyima reminisced about how growing up with a mother who was an activist showed her what collectivism can do especially for women. She called upon everyone to embrace the Imara Women’s Centre as a safe space for all women
She went on to share about Imara Centre being an initiative to advance women’s rights, and described it as a “place where we can stand and have our independent voice”. It is envisaged as both a visible embodiment of women’s independent organising, and a vital practical base from which to advance the struggle for gender equality.
Using this Centre, the women’s movement will model a safe and empowering space, and support activism for zero acceptance of sexual and gender-based violence, for women and girls’ safety, dignity, voice, and agency. The Centre will press national institutions to respond to women’s safety and security needs and campaign for national budgets to resource in full the prevention of violence against women. With the Centre, the women’s movement will have an independent and authentic voice through which the work towards women’s equality can be sustained.
Economically, the Centre will operate a social enterprise that will enable us to generate our own resources to sustain work on gender equality, and women and girls’ rights. Byanyima pointed out that “Poverty widens the inequality gap between men and women.”
FOWODE already secured land and construction plans for the Center.
Byanyima welcomed everyone to donate towards the cause proudly sharing that beneficiaries from FOWODE’s programs have already started contributing.
“Buy a brick for as low as ush.5,000, join us by just a small contribution. Our aim is that 20 percent of the funds for the building are from the women’s movement,” she appealed to listeners, adding, “We want you to join us in a team for the launch and ground breaking. We must leave such a space for our young women. They must find a solid ground”. The groundbreaking event is slated to take place in March 2022, at the site of the Centre in Kasangati.
Contributions can be sent to: