Stories of Girls’ Resistance

East and Southern Africa

From Burundi, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi Mozambique, South Africa, Sudan to Uganda, the Eastern and Southern Africa series documents 14 stories of resistance across region.

Narratives are shaped over time. Nothing is ahistorical and it is crucial to have nuanced about articulating the evolution of narratives along with how political moments, tectonic shifts in other spheres of life, influence and shape these over time.

In Eastern and Southern Africa, girls’ resistance and feminist movement building and organising has been shaped by the various historical, thematic and movement struggles, and is central to these struggles. Such include the struggle to fight colonial rule and occupation, specific country, and sub-regional civil wars, struggles for democracy, struggle for human rights and other specific struggles related to girls and their rights such as access to education, access to representation in political life, access to land and productive resources, tackling gender-based violence in the public and private spheres, and the renaissance on feminist organising with a focus on cross generational solidarity.

These stories highlight the role and centrality of girls in shaping the economic, social, political, and cultural aspects of the Eastern and Southern Africa region. The stories articulate, in detail, the role of girls in fighting apartheid, shaping policy on various issues, reimagining a different reality for themselves without discrimination, violence, and oppression rooted in patriarchy and maledominance. The stories also articulate the daily lived realities of girls across Eastern and Southern Africa, a reality shared by girls across the world. These stories provide nuance and politicise the agenda and bring clarity as to the role of girls in shaping narratives, creating a powerful recognition of the need for women and girls to exercise sovereignty over their own agendas.

Despite NGOisation across the region, the stories provide evidence and breathe life to what we already know: women and girls have always been agents of change and central to activism and social movements. The stories clearly present a conceptual frame on how the feminists movement shaped by and for girls’ activism and formal and informal groups have been central to shaping our collective futures.



The Eastern and Southern Africa stories of resistance was curated by the Catherine Nyambura in partnership with three story collectors: Lusungu Kalanga, Rachael Mwikali, and Nebila Abdulmelik. And had the support of Fena Gitu, musician, and Hilda Imali Ngusale, illustrator.