IN a remarkable display of feminist solidarity, the WomenNOW! 2023 Summit culminated in a resounding call for collective action against racism, gender inequality and gender-based violence.
Held from November 30 to December 2, this immersive summit, which took place in the picturesque setting of Victoria Falls, marked a significant milestone in the ongoing fight for women's empowerment and rights.
The core intention of the summit was to design, develop, and demonstrate the collective impact of black women and girls in addressing crucial human rights concerns.
Under the overarching theme of “Addressing Common Challenges, Implementing Shared Solutions”, participants immersed themselves in constructive discussions and interactive sessions aimed at dismantling systemic barriers.
The summit made a resolute commitment to combat racism, economic inequity, gender disparity, and the violation of sexual and reproductive health rights and bodily autonomy.
One of the notable additions to this year’s summit was the introduction of The WomenNOW! Institute. This concept seeks to prioritise the critical concerns regarding the health, well-being, and freedom of Black and African women and girls across the continent and in the diaspora.
Functioning as an organisational hub, the WomenNOW! movement acts as a catalyst for learning, networking, and the creation of shared strategies and solutions, all aimed at forging a more equitable, powerful, and inclusive future for women and girls worldwide.
Throughout the gathering, the WomenNOW!2023 Summit encompassed a diverse array of activities, including panel discussions, workshops, and interactive sessions.
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Experts from various fields came together to share their insights, experiences, and expertise, fostering an environment of intellectual growth and collaboration.
Their collective wisdom and passion ignited a spark of inspiration, encouraging participants to challenge the status quo and envision a world free from oppression and discrimination.
The summit's significance extended beyond its immediate timeframe. As it concluded, the echoes of empowerment and advocacy reverberated, leaving an indelible impact on the ongoing International Conference on Aids and sexually transmitted diseases in Africa, which will convene in Harare from December 4 to 9.
The WomenNOW!2023 Summit has undoubtedly set the stage for meaningful discussions and policy changes that prioritise the sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice of women and girls, particularly those of African descent.
To fully comprehend the transformative power of the WomenNOW!2023 Summit, it is essential to acknowledge the profound impact it had on the attendees.
With a turnout of 170 delegates, the summit attracted individuals, who share an unwavering commitment to building solidarity and ending the violation of women's and girls’ rights.
The diverse identities within the African Descent community were embraced, as participants recognised the importance of inclusivity and intersectionality in the pursuit of equality.
The visionary of SisterLove Inc, Dazon Dialo, explained that, the WomenNOW!2023 Summit serves as a beacon of hope in a world still grappling with gender inequality and systemic injustice.
It stands as a testament to the strength and resilience of women and girls, who refuse to be silenced.
Through collective action, shared solutions, and unwavering determination, the summit has paved the way for a future where all women and girls can thrive, unhindered by discrimination or oppression.
As we reflect on the WomenNOW! 2023 Summit, let us draw inspiration from the incredible women and girls, who have come together to effect change. Their voices, experiences and unwavering spirit will continue to shape the discourse surrounding gender equality, leaving an indelible mark on the path toward a more just and equitable world.
Mahlaba is a feminist and very passionate of uplifting black women and girls.