Mon-Fri / 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Power Structures in Development and Human Rights

From an African Feminist Perspective

7th, 14th, 21st & 28th September – 20.30 – 22.00 EAT

5th & 12th October – 20.30 – 22.00 EAT

Register by the 31st of August

*Partos members will receive a discount of 100 EUR.

The Masterclass

The world has a thriving civil society that: fights against inequality, tackles human rights violations, and fights for gender equality/justice. Everywhere in the world civil society organizations and social movements are faced with opposition from governments and fundamentalist groups, resulting in a shrinking civic space for their work.

At the same time, there is also another problem that requires attention: the unequal balance of power and privilege between civil society organizations in the Global North and the Global South. Southern grassroots organizations and social movements run into structural barriers in obtaining funding and support for their work, especially the ones working on Women’s Rights and Feminism. Even when determining the topics and priorities of the global agenda, the following still applies: who pays; decides. Finally, it is still the Western view of development, knowledge and feminism that is seen as superior within the discourse.

How can we change this and create global solidarity that makes better use of each other’s strength? How can we be equal partners? Looking at things and struggles from an African feminist perspective and intersectionality can help.

In this series of 6 online masterclasses about power structures and privileges in the field of development and human rights, we will work with you to look beyond the surface and do justice to contemporary problems: as well as how to confront them and work towards developing solutions.

The Masters

Rachael Mwikali

She is a grassroots human rights defender, Pan-African feminist, community organizer, gender justice and SRHR-activist. She aims to change patriarchal systems, structures and other societal systems that work against women and girls. She encourages and supports women and girls in informal settlements to take up leadership in the society.

She is a co-founder of the Coalition for Grassroots Human Rights Defenders, a social movement for the grassroots feminists, community organizers and human rights defenders/activists in Kenya.

She is also a board member for Amnesty International Kenya and serves in the Youth Advisory Board for the Embassy of Denmark in Kenya, and the Global Youth Advisory Board for the Minister for Development in Denmark. Moreover, she is a youth committee member that advices the Embassy of the Netherlands in Kenya.

Diakhoumba Gassama

She is a Programs Officer in the Gender Equity and Governance Program at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. She manages a portfolio of grants that aim to increase government responsiveness to the needs of under-served populations, especially women and youth, in selected African countries and Mexico.

A Senegal and Belgium national, Diakhoumba is a passionate feminist, war resister, and defender of all rights for all. She is a trained lawyer who has spent more than 15 years at the service of international criminal justice, the right to development, women’s and minorities’ rights and gender equality in Africa, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.

She relocated from Dakar, Senegal, to the Bay Area in California where the Hewlett Foundation has its offices. She loves to nurture children’s capacity to dream, laugh, and save the planet.

Judicaelle Irakoze

She is a grassroots feminist organizer who is passionate about articulating and unpacking the experiences of African women and girls. With over 10 years of experience, her advocacy work exists at the intersections of feminist movement building, reproductive justice, and promoting a feminist society. She has coordinated young African feminist movements in 15 countries.

She is experienced in research and documenting women's experiences, design thinking, project building, and management; with special expertise in gender justice, program development with national and international non-profit organizations, and adopting disruptive and de-colonial funding mechanisms.

She is passionate about advancing a vision of inter-sectional feminism through teaching, writing, and advocacy at all levels; from interpersonal to global. She is passionately driven by the need to protect human rights for those currently marginalized.

Here is a sneak peek of what you will Learn!

Master Class One

What does power mean and how does power express itself in relationships, development work, human rights spaces and larger civil society organizations?

Master Class Two

What is an African feminist lens and how can viewing problems from this angle provide a different perspective?

Master Class Three

How does effective movement building work and how do you get one equal movement of people who work on change from bottom up?

Master Class Four

What is the role of international donors in the Global South and how can they cooperate in a more equal way with grassroots organizations?

Master Class Five

What are the daily realities that feminists and women human rights defenders have to deal with?

Master Class Six

What have the participants learned and what are the lessons they bring to their daily work?



The first and overarching aim is that participants have deepened constructive and understanding of power and privileges in the different positions they hold, and how they can use that to influence different stakeholders to invest and support development workers, activists, feminists, grassroots organizations and social movements.


Participants will be able to get real lived experience stories and strategies on rethinking enabling operating civic space for organizations, despite the rise of more authoritarian regimes all around the globe. This will help in ensuring that the human rights work and development work continue to be more sustainable and benefit to the people directly, through their involvement and participation.


Participants will understand why it is important to invest, fund and support the work of grassroots organizations, feminists and activists if we really want to see and feel change. This will be achieved through global solidarity and understanding our roles and contributions, and even influencing some political decision.

How to Apply

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Application Fee

The application fee is €500 per participant
*Partos members will receive a discount of €100.

Sponsored Tickets

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