By Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah
Black artists and activists have to jump through too many hoops to get resources that could help them do their best work and change the world. Late last year, I received a letter from Purposeful, a feminist hub for girl- activism rooted in Africa, informing me that I had been selected as a recipient of its inaugural Feminist Scholar Award of $50 000.
Purposeful is pleased to share that it has signed up to the UN Global Compact, a global commitment to do business responsibly, aligning strategies and operations with Ten Principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. We are also committed to taking strategic action to advance broader societal goals, collaborating and innovating with others to advance the SDGs. Read our statement of commitment here.
The 10th Africa Conference on SHR is a landmark moment bringing together feminist activists, Governments, UN Agencies, development partners and civil society from across the Continent to learn, connect and build consensus to end violence against women and girls in our lifetimes. ACSHR is convened by the African Federation for Sexual Health and Rights, and hosted by Purposeful in partnership with the Government of Sierra Leone and international collaborators.
In October 2020, Purposeful and partners interviewed 2,239 out-of-school girls, aged between 13–19 years old as part of the Girls’ Circles programme. Their responses affirm what we know – that girls’ lives in Sierra Leone, especially those who are out of school, are characterised by multiple hardships: little to no education; the ubiquity of transactional sex; teen pregnancy; and everyday violence. But also, that to be a girl is to resist, and girls are primed to change their lives for the better when there is a shift in their ability to access and imagine their choices.