In Feminism Is For Everybody bell hooks talks about consciousness-raising groups, where women would organise to meet and discuss matters of sexism and patriarchy. These would often be someone’s house, a café, anywhere that could safely host a group. The idea was that in order to fight the patriarchy, one would need to learn how it worked and affected them. In the last few decades, these sites have become more expansive, finding homes on various corners of internet and inviting larger groups of women to learn from each other. One such site is the recently founded Tanzania Feminist Collective, which consists of women and non-binary people, with the “goal of wanting to provide education on rape culture, misogyny, women’s rights, and the nuances surrounding bigotry and how this is harmful to the fabric of Tanzanian society.”
National responses for the COVID-19 pandemic have not focused on those on the margins of society; among which are girls and women. Given this fact, creating space to express the gendered impacts of the pandemic felt necessary. Moreover, sharing some of the strategies that have been adopted by grant-making organizations that center to mitigate these impacts are imperative.
The Ashake Foundation was founded in 2013 with the aim to offer support to a forgotten population group in Nigeria: widows. They have since made an impact in a myriad of ways to about 2200 people in 14 different communities in Abuja. We sat down with the founder, Mayowa Adegbile for an insight into the day-to-day running of the Foundation, what she envisions for the future as well as the effects the COVID-19 pandemic has had.