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2023 RWA General Assembly

The RWA General Assembly was strategically organised at a time world leaders were going to COP28 and served as a powerful platform for over 400 rural women from ten African countries to unite and amplify the voices of rural women, addressing the pressing issues of the climate emergency and other crises they face. The three-day event was marked by insightful discussions, illuminating presentations, and meaningful reflections.

The General Assembly of the RWA unfolded with profound insights and impassioned discussions, addressing urgent challenges and shaping the narrative for a resilient future. Day 1, themed “Re-imagining our world,” featured impactful presentations, tackling issues like corporate devastation in the Amazon, land ownership inequalities in South Africa, and the need for radical food, seed, and land politics. Day 2 delved into feminist agroecology, climate justice, and geopolitical shifts in Africa, addressing gender inequalities in the global food system and the impact of conflicts linked to extractivism. The morning session of Day 3 reflected on the RWA’s 14-year history, emphasising political awareness, addressing ongoing crises, and launching a book on gender-based violence. The declaration made by women participants underscored resolutions for rural women empowerment, advocating for solidarity against capitalism, poverty and unemployment. 

Breakout sessions throughout the Assembly provided a detailed exploration of key thematic areas, allowing participants to engage with the realities of land situations and violence faced in Southern Africa. The sessions, led mostly by rural women, covered topics ranging from youth involvement and alliance-building to zero-waste initiatives and feminist agroecology.

Feedback from our sisters revealed the impactful nature of the event, with reflections from sisters of every country chapter highlighting increased activism, empowerment, and a strengthened sense of sisterhood among attendees. They were able to voice and document a declaration of their demands straight from the grassroot.

Finally, the RWA General Assembly emerged as a beacon of unity, empowerment, and advocacy for rural women across Africa. The diverse discussions, reflections, and breakout sessions facilitated a deeper understanding of challenges and empowered women to contribute effectively to building a resilient and united movement. The commitment to envisioning a better future, challenging systemic issues, and promoting solidarity was palpable throughout the Assembly, reinforcing the RWA’s role as a transformative force for positive change in the lives of rural women.

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