The democratization processes in Africa are beset with many political obstacles and tensions. Despite major achievements in this respect, the African continent still confronts frequent social uprisings and electoral violence. The foundation of our work is our belief that poor and marginalized people can gain control over their own lives by exercising their right to political participation, freedom of expression and information, freedom of assembly and access to justice. But these rights are at risk in many parts of Africa and the first to face the brunt of human rights deprivation are the women, youth, and other vulnerable groups.
While the application of this goal varies from place to place and time to time, JENA’s work on social justice focuses on supporting women and youth because deep-rooted inequalities of societal power are often gender- and generation- based. We work to encourage women, young people and other vulnerable people to influence and participate in decision-making processes that affect their lives, and to strive for political leaderships through leadership development programmers. Through our research and analysis, we propose social accountability tools that enhance participatory monitoring of government public finance, ensure that poor people benefit from revenue flows, including from extractive industries. Enhancing public participation and accountability is especially relevant for policies on financing for development, promoting good governance and the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.