Masimanyane Women’s Rights International is an international advocacy and empowerment organisation working with local, national and global partners to strengthen women's rights, reduce HIV/Aids and eradicate violence against women.
Our organisation evolved from the Masimanyane Women's Support Centre, which was established in 1996 to address the critical issue of violence against women.
Community driven and community focused from the start, Masimanyane originally centred our attention on the development of communities and its leaders, and strenghtening their role in reducing the unacceptably high levels of violence against women and HIV and AIDS.
And while gender activism remains central to our work, Masimanyane has over the past 20 years developed extensive expertise in training, leadership development and advocacy for policy change.
We are one of the few grassroots organisations in the country with expertise in international human rights norms and standards and their application at the local level. We have also developed strong expertise in the application and monitoring of the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of discrimination against women (CEDAW).
Masimanyane has worked regionally since 1996 when it became part of the Amanitare Sexual Rights Network established in Uganda. We started our international work after writing the first NGO shadow report for the UN CEDAW convention.
Over the past two decades Masimanyane has paid special attention to developing and expanding our expertise on all aspects of CEDAW, and has trained women’s groups across the world in shadow report writing.
Masimanyane works closely with numerous international organisations, and currently has partners in 55 countries throughout the world.
African women across the continent face the challenge of patriarchy which is embedded in every system within African society. It dominates our economic, social, cultural, religious, and traditional systems and serves mainly to oppress women. Our challenge comes from the fact that patriarchy, colonization and our political systems (e.g. apartheid) has robbed us of a true sense of our power as women.
DR LESLEY ANN FOSTER