African Feminisms and Grant-Making: In Conversation with Amina Doherty

I had the great privilege this week to meet some powerful women from across Africa, and the world, at a meeting convened by Just Associates (JASS) to discuss among other things, feminist movement building across southern Africa.

What I found most refreshing was the openness of the space, and those involved within it. I also had the fortune to finally meet Amina Doherty, who brings a young, fresh and politicised perspective to funding and resource mobilisation for women’s organising. The Founding Coordinator of the Young Feminist Fund (FRIDA), Amina – who has since moved to other professional spaces – carries within her years of experience navigating the difficult terrain of funding African women’s initiatives.

In the interview, I ask her questions around whether she thinks funding is a progressive strategy for African women’s organising, and how to ensure donor accountability and openness when it comes to grant-making. Our conversation is enriching and diverse and also moves into our own personal reflections about our positioning within women’s organising. One part of what Amina talks about the particularly resonates with me is this;

“At the end of the day, there is a real importance about documenting our stories within academic canon because we have been so left out of academia and academic spaces and it’s important that as African women, as black women, our stories are in those spaces which have traditionally been spaces of privilege; that our voices are there and our experiences are documented as part of that.

At the same time, it’s so important that we understand lived experiences and living feminisms, as we call them; that we see that, that we document that in other ways, in ways that are more accessible. And that we have conversations because I think these conversations will never be in the universities. They won’t be in the canon, but they will reach someone somewhere who at this particular moment needs to hear two African feminists talking…”

Thank you Amina for making the time at 11 pm to have this conversation and to enable more people to tap into your wealth of experience.

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