A Confluence of Visionaries: CHARM AFRICA Consortium and RFLD Forge a Path Towards Equality

In a historic meeting of passionate advocates for human rights and gender equality, Mrs. Memory Bandera, the Lead Representative of CHARM AFRICA Consortium on Human Rights and Civic Space, joined forces on September 18th, 2023 with Mrs. AGUEH Dossi, the President of Réseau des Femmes Leaders pour le Développement (RFLD), at the RFLD Office in Porto Novo. This collaboration sets the stage for an inspiring feminist retreat organized by RFLD, marking a critical step towards driving meaningful change in the realms of human rights and women’s empowerment.

The CHARM AFRICA Consortium is renowned for its unwavering commitment to defending defenders and promoting human rights across the African continent. As a beacon of hope for marginalized communities, the consortium focuses on creating an enabling environment for civil society organizations and activists. Mrs. Memory Bandera, as the Defend Defenders lead representative, embodies this dedication and brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the table.

Seven consortium partners from across the African continent are collaborating to strengthen the effectiveness and resilience of journalists, media professionals, social media producers, human rights defenders, civil society activists and their organizations, in order to advance more democratic and free societies.

The CHARM Africa program focuses its work on countries in sub-Saharan Africa where civil liberties are hampered. However, there are still spaces for expression, organization and action, including pockets of resistance that can be supported to strengthen human rights and democratic freedoms.

CHARM AFRICA is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

The Consortium for Human Rights and Media in Sub-Saharan Africa (CHARM AFRICA) aims to promote and protect human rights and media freedoms in sub-Saharan Africa.

The partnership between Réseau des Femmes Leaders pour le Développement, CIVICUS, Civil Rights Defenders, DefendDefenders, Fojo Media Institute, The Wits Centre for Journalism, and Magamba Network recognizes the role that a free and active media and civil society play in protecting strong, inclusive democracies and promoting sustainable national development.

RFLD, a feminist organization dedicated to advancing the rights of women and girls, has been a trailblazer in driving gender equality across Francophone Africa. Mrs. AGUEH Dossi, as the President of RFLD, embodies this commitment and has been instrumental in leading impactful initiatives that challenge societal norms and strive for a more inclusive society.

The meeting between Mrs. Memory Bandera and Mrs. AGUEH Dossi was a convergence of visionary minds. It served as a precursor to the much-anticipated feminist retreat organized by RFLD. The agenda of the meeting was to deliberate on key themes that will be addressed during the retreat, strategize on collaborative efforts, and ensure that the retreat is a resounding success in advocating for the rights of women and girls.

The retreat, which is set to commence later this week, aims to foster dialogue, build alliances, and chart a roadmap towards a society that upholds gender equality and women’s empowerment. The expertise and insights brought by Mrs. Memory Bandera from CHARM AFRICA Consortium will undoubtedly enrich these discussions and inspire impactful actions.

One of the primary goals of this collaboration is to leverage the strengths of both organizations, combining their expertise in defending human rights and promoting gender equality. By working hand in hand, CHARM AFRICA Consortium and RFLD aspire to drive a transformative agenda that dismantles gender stereotypes, challenges discriminatory practices, and advocates for an inclusive society where women and girls thrive.

The meeting today was marked by a shared commitment to fostering a world where every individual’s rights are respected and where gender does not define opportunities or outcomes. This collaboration holds the promise of a brighter future, where the voices of women and girls are amplified, and where human rights are upheld as an inherent and undeniable part of our humanity.

As the world eagerly awaits the outcomes of the feminist retreat organized by RFLD, it is evident that this partnership between CHARM AFRICA Consortium and RFLD will play a pivotal role in shaping the discourse around human rights, civic space, and gender equality in the days to come. Together, they stand united, prepared to bring about a transformative shift that will reverberate throughout the continent and beyond, igniting change and inspiring generations to com