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Having faced tragedy as a teenage girl, today Sodfa Daaji is a remarkable Women’s Rights Advocate, who is passionate about Feminist Jurisprudence. Currently, Sodfa is the Campaign Coordinator for the Nala Feminist Collective – guided by the Africa Young Women Beijing+25 Manifesto targeting the political, digital and offline spaces – its areas of work focus on Advocacy, Research and Fellowships. She is also the Executive Director of the African Legal Think Tank on Women’s Rights.
In her latest podcast, Sodfa sits down with the Head of Editorial for Topco Media, Fiona Wakelin, to discuss her 28 year journey within the Women’s Rights space. Sodfa provides insight into women-led research, mainstreaming gender amongst youth clusters, the current digital divide women are facing, and the on-going struggle across the globe for gaining access to justice. She also provides in-depth understandings of ‘The Feminine’, technologically-facilitated gender-based violence, and the liberation of women in disaster-struck regions.
Key takeaways to look out for in the podcast:
- Women-led research efforts are so important in order for women to gain access to all the information and data they need. This way, simplified clusters of data can reach women (especially those facing increased marginalisation) who lack access to educational resources.
- There are so many brave and tenacious women out there who all have a unique story and have faced phenomenal challenges. These women need an empowering platform to be heard and to speak up for themselves. This requires addressing issues related to safe space and access. If this is not resolved, society cannot positively progress into the future.
- Feminism is key to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. However, it must be understood that Feminism goes beyond just Women’s Rights – we need to focus less on guiding frameworks and labels, and more on issues such as inclusivity, mental health, fitness etc.
- With the Digital Divide and 5G, tech has the potential to be a positive influence by providing opportunities for combating oppressive regimes. In the same breath, technology and the online space pose major identity and safety risks for women.
- The liberation of women requires a global movement towards creating platforms for action, taking collective accountability, and the mobilisation of these platforms.
- Covid-19 has had a great impact on women’s activism, presenting both challenges and opportunities. Most importantly, we have witnessed the increased vulnerability of women in all markets. This has exposed the fragility of the system. Thus, we need new, alternative, resilient systems to be put in place.
- We should not accept the structural deficits of the past. Instead, we should rather build something new together as a collective power, and empower one another.
- The agenda of women advocates should include security, peace and humanitarianism. Women peacebuilders also require support systems.
- The Pan Africanist spirit still needs to be unlocked. This is essential to achieve the ‘freedom of mobility’.
- It is important that men educate themselves as they are key players in this fight. Thus, men need to understand the patriarchal issues and oppressive structures that women are facing. This will make sure that longterm change occurs.
Sodfa Daaji is the Founder and Executive Director of the African Legal Think Tank on Women’s Rights, and she is currently a Research Fellow at MS Training Centre for Development Cooperation (MS-TCDC). Previously, she has consulted for the Youth Department of the Council of Europe, and has coordinated the African Young Women Beijing+25 Mobilization for the African Union Office of the Youth Envoy. Sodfa has served as the co-chairperson of the Afrika Youth Movement and in the Youth Advisory Council of United Nations Girls Education Initiative. Sodfa was recognised among the 100 Most Influential in Gender Policy by Apolitical.