In January of 2017, seven of us embarked on a journey to Malawi, the Warm Heart of Africa, to work and learn in various development agencies across the country. With work ranging from women’s economic empowerment, to agricultural infrastructure growth, government policy review to village data collection, our eyes and hearts were opened up wide. Despite all having studied International Development and knowing the facts and figures surrounding the depths of injustice in today’s world, it wasn’t until we began living and working amongst citizens of the Global South that we were moved to see that the issues ran far deeper than we ever imagined, especially for women. We had spent much of our youth and young adult years studying, reading, researching and debating these issues, yet there was so much we still did not know. So we got to thinking, how much less did the average person know? And what would it mean if they could know what we now knew?
It was then very simple. We would spread the word.
Women and men of all ages are beginning to passionately fight for the equality of women in first world countries. But we must go further. We believe in a feminist ethic that extends beyond the borders of the Global North and rallies for the rights of women who are experiencing a much deeper and more brutal system of oppression.
We have known, loved and strive to be Acacia Women; women who, like the trees, have an unstoppable strength, beauty and ability to bring life in the most hopeless situations. So, there in Malawi under the yellow-blossoming branches of an Acacia tree, the movement was born.