A season of change: a new approach to leadership committed to shifting & sharing power

At Womankind, our definition of feminism is an inclusive one that takes into account the different lived realities of marginalised people. For us, feminism has always been and will always be about addressing systemic injustices that affect rights, power, dignity and access to and control of resources for women in all diversities. True to these commitments and our strong feminist values, we are delighted to announce a dual leadership with representation from the Global South and Global North.

We proudly present our new co-chairs, Twasiima P. Bigirwa (Uganda) and Siobhan Allen (UK)

A feminist lawyer and writer based in Kampala, Twasiima P. Bigirwa believes deeply in our collective liberation and has made it her life’s purpose to show that another way is truly possible. Since completing an LL.B from Makerere University and an LL.M from Georgetown University, she has worked with several local and international organisations supporting feminist advocacy work on a wide range of issues, from economic justice and climate action to political rights. She currently works with Segal Family Foundation where she heads grantmaking and the overall strategy of the foundation.

“I am looking forward to working with Womankind as we work towards a decolonial feminist praxis, particularly urgent in this current global reality where our collective survival depends on our ability to collectively organise in ways that allow us to undo the long-standing injustices that affect minoritised people,” says Twasiima.

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Twasiima P. Bigirwa (left) and Siobhan Allen (right)

Siobhan Allen holds an LL.B from Trinity College Dublin and is a London-based international lawyer (Global Legal Action Network / Bindmans LLP) whose work focuses on pursuing legal action in partnership with affected communities to challenge powerful actors involved in human rights violations and systemic injustice. She has been a trustee of Womankind since 2017 and says:

“I am delighted and humbled to be part of this new chapter, putting principles into practice with feminist shared leadership. We step into our roles at a time of radical, brave and exciting change for Womankind, and I look forward to working with Twasiima and the rest of the team to take up that challenge.”

With the co-chairship, we are re-imagining and showing how power can be re-defined and shared, a representation of our commitment to collective and collaborative decision-making as we work towards decolonising our future. As we enter this new phase in our feminist journey, we would also like to take the opportunity to thank Maggie Baxter for her leadership as a chair and for the strong foundation she has built. As feminists, we recognise and acknowledge those who pave the way and whose shoulders we stand on.

2022 is also the year we launch our new 10-year strategy. Bigger, bolder, more transformational, this change in direction will have a stronger focus on challenging different systems of oppression by deepening our work on addressing the root causes of inequality, rather than the symptoms – for example, how racism and capitalism work alongside patriarchy to produce gender inequality. Stay tuned – more will be revealed on our strategy in the coming months.

For over 30 years, Womankind has been supporting women’s rights organisations and movements to strengthen and grow. As we move into our new collaborative leadership and strategy, we will continue to re-evaluate and develop ways of working that are aligned with a transformative justice approach and intersectional feminist values. We hope that our work over the coming years will enable us to be part of a movement towards systemic change, healing, justice and a more equitable world for all. Read more

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