Skip to main content
gender justice

Women Making Change

Gender justice around the world

Published on 15 October 2019

Written by Fiona Buchanan

In September the Scotland team was delighted to host two inspirational women working globally on gender and development. We gave them a very warm Scottish welcome and, with a jam-packed programme of events, enabled them to share widely their invaluable expertise of working on gender justice and human rights.

Memory Kachambwa, the Executive Director of Christian Aid’s partner FEMNET, the African Women’s Development and Communication Network based in Nairobi - an intersectional feminist and women’s rights activist with over 18 years of experience working on issues of gender and development, women’s empowerment and human rights.

Dr Marianna Leite, Christian Aid’s Global Lead for Gender and Inequality - an international human rights lawyer, activist and specialist in gender and development based in Brazil.

As part of Take One Action Film Festival, Marianna joined the panel at the film ‘Facing the Dragon’, sponsored by Christian Aid. This documentary spotlights the ongoing struggles faced by two women fighting for democracy in Afghanistan while juggling their professional lives with caring responsibilities.

Memory gave a keynote speech on women’s and girls’ rights at the annual conference of Scotland’s International Development Alliance whose theme was 'Putting Gender Front and Centre'. Marianna spoke at the same conference on a panel examining intersectionality in programme design. Attended by over 200 delegates, this event gave those working on international development in Scotland a chance to share best practice and hear inspirational voices on gender justice from around the world.

Both Memory and Marianna met with Ruth Maguire MSP, Convener of the Committee on Equalities and Human Rights, at the Scottish Parliament. They shared their experiences from Kenya and Brazil and discussed the role Scotland plays in advancing women’s rights and gender equality.

Marianna was interviewed for BBC Radio Scotland with Cathy Macdonald, focusing on Christian Aid's work, approach to intersectionality and response to the difficult questions posed by a polarised political environment. Listen out for the interview on the ‘Sunday Morning With’ programme later in the year.

Last but not least was a partnership event with Engender Scotland, ‘Women Making Change’ which fleshed out the role of intersectional feminism around the world. The event was also recorded as a podcast and will be available on Engender’s website shortly.

Marianna said she ‘leaves Scotland wiser, energised and filled with hope’ – and we are all left feeling reflective and uplifted following our time spent with these two remarkable women.

This Christmas we’re sharing stories of inspirational women from around the world who are living in the toughest circumstances due to poverty and prejudice. These women are strong, determined and resourceful. Through our Christmas Appeal, you could help give that life-changing opportunity. See how women like Ranjita and other women are breaking free from poverty and what we can achieve together.