Interview with Saudatu Mahdi, Programme Coordinator, Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternatives, Nigeria
1. What are the major achievements of the Solidarity for African Women’s Rights coalition and why?
Over 2010, a personal major highlight for me was the documentation and global meeting that shared practical lessons drawn from innovative approaches for change among partners working on the global project Raising Her Voices.
2. What could the coalition have done better over 2010?
The coalition could have increased efforts to raise more funds for country level work.
3. How do you see the mass mobilisation for democracy in North Africa affecting the way that you may work in future?
The mass mobilization in North Africa shows how important it is to demand for women’s increased and effective inclusion in governance at all levels.
4. What major changes would you like to see take place in the way that the African Union relates to your organization and African Member States?
For the AU Member States, there is a need for concrete peer review and interventions to increase accountability to citizens and compliance with best practices in democracy. Both the votes and voices of citizens must count.
5. What are the greatest obstacles to your focus over 2011 and how do you plan to combat them?
The greatest obstacle in our focus is an electoral process that is void of credibility. In this respect, there’s need for a significant turnover of the current elected representatives. It is projected that 50% will not return to their seats. We are going to embark on voter awareness and mobilization on women’s rights protection and also orientation and capacity building for new representatives.
Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA) is a member of the Solidarity for African Women’s Rights Coalition (http://18.104.22.168). More information about their important work can be found at http://www.wrapa.org
This interview was collected by Andrew Osiany, Pan Africa Intern, Oxfam