How do we plan and build the future we want in a measured and deliberate manner, using current trends and projecting into the future?
FUTURES AFRICA: Trends for Women by 2030. This is a collation of available data, trends and facts that help us better understand and imagine the future of the African woman and the African Women’s rights movement. The report is a result of our Strategic thinking process and an intentional decision to focus on the future when strategising around the future of AWDF. The process involved talking and thinking through large amounts of research, resulting in Futures Africa, the first document of its kind from a process that was as novel as its product. It allowed us to better understand the growing issues within women’s rights– and how those issues may snowball into larger more complex problems in the future.
Futures Africa is a baseline document and contains a wide selection of available and relevant data pertaining to the African Women’s rights movement and African women in general. There were certainly some limitations and gaps within the data collected but the questions in each section encouraged discussion that required more research and underscored the need for more data that pertains directly to African women. The existing data highlights key trends for African Women and this study focused on key areas where positive change can be undertaken in order to help shift the future in a more desirable direction. Social trends like Demography, Urbanization, Mental health and Education as well as Economic trends including Female Labor force participation, food sovereignty and poverty reduction were all captured and analysed. Other trends that were critically examined included Governance and Trends in Internet use especially the growing use of mobile technology on the continent, and its implication on how African Women will interact in virtual spaces in the future.
Although some trends were troubling, it was important to see the impact of women’s rights work over the years and the necessity for new thinking and new strategies. For example, although great strides have been made in the criminalisation of child marriage, data shows that we would need to cover 8 times as much ground in order to end child marriage by 2030. This highlights the need for more advocacy and strategies to bring an end to this flagrant violation of women’s rights . Some data also highlighted the growing importance of young women’s movements and how they have managed to connect and organise over social media.
This study is the beginning of a new and radical thinking about the direction of women’s rights movements and it offers both a daunting and exciting foray into the future. To explore other aspects of our futures research and also see animated versions please visit our futures page (awdf.org/futures)
To see the report in its entirety please click the link below: