PARALLEL SESSION – CSW 67: Highlighting the digital innovations of francophone feminist organizations by XOESE



In parallel to the Commission on the Status of Women CSW 67 held from March 06 to 17, 2023 in New York, USA, XOESE, the Francophone Women’s Fund, organized a free online session on March 10, 2023 for feminist organizations.  

The theme of this meeting was “CHALLENGES – DIGITAL INNOVATION: The International Francophone Forum, the (hybrid) space dedicated to strengthening the Francophone women’s movement for more synergy between leaders, activists, and donors“.

XOESE presented this session with Musodev and AfricanWITS, two great organizations working to eliminate the digital divide between men and women. The objective behind this initiative was to raise awareness of digital innovations and digitization challenges of francophone feminist organizations.

About fifty participants took part in the session. Two hours of interesting exchanges around the challenges and opportunities of innovations available to imagine and co-create safe and inclusive spaces for activists, decision makers and donors. The two organizations invited to the session, Musodev and AfricanWITS and XOESE itself presented in turn the digital innovations within them that deserve to be highlighted.

Digital at the heart of our activities 

XOESE accompanies women’s organizations in rural as well as urban areas in Francophone Africa and they do not necessarily have all the skills or competencies necessary to use digital technology. Thus, it invests in capacity building and support programs so that these organizations are able to meet the challenges of digital development.

During its presentation, XOESE spoke at length about the digital innovations it has put in place to accompany women’s organizations in their digital conquest.  One of the major activities shaped by XOESE is the International Francophone Forum, a new event whose first edition took place in November 2021 in a virtual format and which will return for the second time from November 27 to 30, 2023, unlike the first edition, it will be held in hybrid format (online and in person). 

The other, the Agojie operations (Agojié refers to an exclusively female military elite in the history of the ancient Dahomey Empire (now Benin). Women warriors who sacrificed and dedicated their lives to the protection of the kingdom), another of the digital innovations proposed by XOESE. The first edition of Operation Agojié, a pre-event of CSW 67 focused on the theme “Holistic Security and Virtual Transition” and aimed at equipping representatives of feminist organizations with the necessary tools (weapons) to prepare them for the virtual transition and enhance their holistic security levels.

These innovative feminist organizations

This stand gave us the opportunity to make visible the actions of two of our partners:

An organization that works daily for the empowerment of women and girls through the news.  Indeed, to fight against physical and other violence through reporting, which has developed an application called: “Zero GBV“. It is a web platform and a mobile application for information and awareness on gender-based violence and offers training and coaching sessions on the use of digital technology. 

A women’s professional network and a non-profit organization specialized in technology and innovation for the support of women, youth and local communities. It has developed several activities around digital. Since 2019, it organizes:

  • The Digital Women’s Festival whose fourth edition held in March 2023 was able to bring together more than 200 women, on the theme how to train women in the strategic use of digital and digital and the importance of being able to accompany women in digital. 
  • Caravel digital incubation center 
  • a program to map the female tech ecosystem in Cameroon since 2022.

To learn more about each of these digital innovations, we invite you to watch the video of our session or go to the respective websites of each organization: Musodev and AfricanWits.

In short, the CSW 67 parallel session of XOESE ended well in a friendly atmosphere of exchange and discussion around the importance of digital and its integration in the daily activities of women and also of the different organizations in order to improve the visibility of their initiatives to attract more grants.