One of WILPF’s members is reaching new heights. We want to share the exciting journey of Amalkher Djibrine, WILPF Chad President, who got elected as the new Economic, Social and Cultural Council (ECOSOCC) Vice President.

As WILPF’s member, Amalkher has helped women in her community to reach their full potential. In November 2018, she started a new position as the Vice President of ECOSOCC. This is an amazing opportunity to reach even more women and men with her message of inclusion and feminist peace in Africa and beyond.

Read the interview and be inspired by her story.

What were the challenges you faced when applying for this position at the African Union Economic, Social and Cultural Council?

The biggest challenge I faced when I applied for this position was my young age and the low representation of women at the ECOSOCC. For the last few years, women, unfortunately, did not exceed 30% representation in the Council. Luckily, I wasn’t alone when applying for the position. A lot of time, preparations and strategies were needed to conduct a successful campaign. Together with colleagues and members organisations we made it happen.

What are your objectives and priorities for this position, what is your main goal as Vice President of the African Union Economic, Social and Cultural Council?

My role is to work for the implementation of African Union programmes and politics in the Central Africa region. My priority will be the establishment of National Chapters all over Africa. If we settle these, we can easily work with national civil society and professional organisations to implement African Union programmes. The Council was created in order to make African civil society organisations and professional Organisations’ voices heard on the highest decision making organ. My main goal is to do whatever it takes to make this happen. I will take this opportunity and involve ourselves in shaping Africa’s future.

Can you tell us a bit more about your first week at the job?

The first week we celebrated together with a lot of African youth and Central Africa’s Civil Society who supported my campaign. After these amazing days of celebrations, we organised a big meeting with non-states actors to present and explain to them the Council, its objectives, and goals.

Has working with WILPF given you the necessary background or expertise to get the position at African Union Economic, Social and Cultural Council?

The work I have been doing for WILPF is very noble work, being part of the WILPF family is a very special feeling and it gives me a lot of experience, confidence and a hard-working mentality. I believe that WILPF’s vision and mission lead to lasting peace and sustainable development in many different parts of the world.
For me to be able to be a part of ECOSOCC is mainly due to the experience gained from working with many different civil society organisations. These include the International Organisation for Volunteers Effort, Collectif des Association pour la Citoyenneté et la Sauvegarde des Acquis Démocratique au Tchad, Internet Governance Forum, WILPF and NIRVANA. For me, being part of these organisations has been a beautiful and unique experience which gave me more experience than I ever imagined. Now it is time for me as Vice President of ECOSOCC to give back and to push our advocacy and hard work to higher levels.

What do you envision for the future of women’s participation and the feminist movement in Africa?

Feminist movements are created to defend women’s right all over the world. Most of the time, women from rural or urban areas organise themselves to make their voices heard and considered for decisions and resolutions. This, however, does not happen without difficulties, boundaries and obstacles. One of the major obstacles is the absence of women at the highest decision making tables. From my point of view, if more women are included at those tables, we will be able to more effectively defend women’s rights on a daily basis.

What do you dream about as an activist and a feminist?

My dream is to live in a world lead equally by men and women. Where everyone has the same rights and equal opportunities. For this dream to come true, the world will need a lot more feminists and feminist organisations like WILPF. The word feminist has a lot of different meanings, but as far as I am concerned, being a feminist means to be a person who works hard for women’s rights. It means that you advocate for developing an inclusive environment for everyone, men and women.  As a feminist, I want to promote women’s inclusion in every decision, process and procedure regarding national and international development.