Women’s Council asks AkiDwA to help plan FemFest 2020

The National Women’s Council of Ireland is calling on AkiDwA’s  younger members to get involved with it to  help  plan next year’s FemFest Conference for women.

Ellie Kisyombe, the founder of Our Table and a Social Democrat candidate in the 2019 local elections spoke at the  2019 FemFest, which was all about leadership. The fourth FemFest Conference will happen next Winter,  when young women and girls from across Ireland will meet  up to  discuss the  issues that are most  important to them.

The NWCI has asked AkiDwA to help it find girls and women aged 16 to 24 from minority ethnic  backgrounds who would be willing to  take part in a workshop  this year to  help plan next year’s  conference and to ensure that  it focuses on the areas they are most concerned about.

 Topics for discussion are:

  • Access to free contraception
  • Improving young women’s mental health and wellbeing
  • Women’s leadership – what NWCI’s is doing  

Ellie is seen here with Salome Mbugua, the founder of AkiDwa, after a chance encounter in Dublin.

If you are aged 16 to 24;  you have ideas and you would like to get involved with AkidwA and NWCI in planning next year’s FemFest Conference, Please email info@akidwa.ie .  Tell us where you are based and what you would most  like to see discussed at #FemFest2020

The timing Of FemFest planning workshops are  flexible – they can be tailored  to what suits AkiDwA members. NWCI can cover travel costs associated with participation and  it has  a budget for  venue and refreshments.   It can host the workshop at the NWCI offices at 100 North King Street or at  another venue.

So, if you want to take part in the Femfest  planning workshop in October and  you’d like to attend the Conference next year, just email info@Akidwa.ie.

Categories: Events, News

About AkiDwA

AkiDwA as an organisation emerged from regular meetings held amongst fellow migrant women, from 1999 to 2001, initiated by Salome Mbugua, a Kenyan migrant woman who had arrived in Ireland in 1994. The first meeting was held in city centre Dublin, in Temple Bar, in 1999. In 2001, through the support of the Catherine McAuley Centre, Salome mobilised a group of African women to come together to SHARE their experiences of living in Ireland. What emerged from this meeting were feelings of exclusion, isolation, racial abuse and discrimination, issues related to gender based violence were also raised. The group went on to meet regularly and were supported and offered facilitation from outside. AkiDwA sought and obtained funding from the Combat Poverty Agency in 2002 to carry out a pilot needs assessment with African women living in Ireland. The survey elicited over two hundred female participants from seventeen counties. Formal structures were put into place when AkiDwa was registered as a company with guarantee but without capital SHARE in 2003. However, limited funding meant that most work continued to be carried out on a voluntary basis. With a view towards enhancing the integration of migrant women and indigenous women, training modules were developed including programmes on capacity building, cultural diversity, racism and its effects on society. In addition, ‘Train the trainers modules were also developed’. Over the years, the organisation has gained recognition as a leading NGO in Ireland, reviewing key legislation, policy and practice as well as proposing reforms specifically to do with the issues faced by migrant women. AkiDwA consulted with migrant women and other key stakeholders, identifying gender and racially discriminatory practices, to develop evidence based and representative solutions for migrant women in the key identified areas of gender-based violence, gender discrimination. AkiDwA employs the following key strategies to achieve its objectives: networking, policy work and individual and organisational capacity building/development. AkiDwA’s networking strategy is aimed at individual and organisational levels. Policy work is developed from migrant women, identifying their needs in the areas of gender discrimination, gender-based violence and employment. AkiDwA develops legislative, policy and practice reforms to address these priority issues with government and sectoral stakeholders, as well as capacity-building programmes to deliver the on the ground practical support that women require. AkiDwA has developed the capacity of hundreds of migrant women and their communities living in Ireland over the course of its lifetime. Their capacity building was supported through our network, resource centre, outreach and training programmes aimed at promoting participation in their local communities, in civic and political structures and in sectoral and government consultations and decision making processes. Training programmes delivered over the years including targeted capacity building in multiple regions, sexual health workshops, access to education and employment, integration, leadership and political/civic participation sessions.