Francophone Global South countries have in common their colonial heritage and its vestiges among which is the French language. Most of their legal instruments are derived from those of their former colonizers and include the same provisions that discriminate against women, young women and girls. Their populations live very similar realities: underdevelopment, poverty, forms of organizations, and human-to-human relations. Patriarchy is predominant and is reflected in unequal power relations between men and women, adults and young people, which have resulted in the domination and discrimination, exercised by the former and hindered the promotion of the latter.
The living conditions of women, young women and girls are generally very difficult especially for those living in rural areas and in the impoverished suburban areas on the outskirts of cities. And like everywhere else in the world, they also face multiple problems related to their gender.
Francophone women’s and young women’s organizations and networks who are trying to address these issues have very similar problems in terms of capacity, organizational models and practices. They are usually of very small size in terms of organizational capacity, scale, and access to funding and have similar internal problems.
XOESE’s theory of change is based on the fundamental principle of feminist reflection that no society can be free, democratic and fulfilled if it does not treat all its citizens on an equal basis irrespective of their gender.
Feminism is an ideological, social and political movement that seeks to re-examine all social relations from a gender perspective.
XOESE is a feminist foundation and we argue that the sexual division of labor as reflected in gender roles within society is more the result of economic, social, ideological and cultural factors than the product of biological and anatomical differences between men and women.
We challenge all the values associated with the patriarchal organization of society, which legitimizes domination and subordination relationships between men and women.
We argue that these relationships should be completely abandoned and that women, young women and girls should be treated equally with men, young men and boys and have equal rights in all areas of life and in all spheres of society.
We will work to raise awareness among women, young women and girls about their rights and enable them to think critically and challenge the role assigned to them in their family, community and society in general, and to expose all forms of discrimination and oppression.
We will strive through all our actions to bring about lasting positive change in gender relations by promoting the full and active participation of women and young women at all levels of development processes.
We will work to strengthen the capacity of Francophone women’s and young women’s leaders and organizations to be effective gender equality and women’s, young women’s and girls’ rights advocates and tireless actors of social change; and to be committed defenders who are fighting relentlessly against all laws and practices that discriminate against them including women, young women and girls belonging to minority and vulnerable groups such as: indigenous people, refugees, internally displaced persons, migrants, people living in rural or remote communities, in armed conflict, post conflict or political instability areas, women, young women and girls without resources, interned, imprisoned, with disability and elderly women.