2017: Time to co-create our feminist futures!
| By Hakima Abbas and Cindy Clark
Warm greetings for 2017!
AWID begins this year with strong energies and renewed commitments. We, Cindy and Hakima, are thrilled and honored to be starting the year with this team in our new capacities as Co-Executive Directors.
Even as, in these first few weeks of 2017, the news from around the world make clear that we continue to face incredibly demanding and oppressive contexts, there is firm feminist resistance and commitment to building of just realities.
The challenges our movements face require us all to reflect, strategize creatively, build bridges of solidarity and engage in collective action. More than ever, we need each other.
At AWID, as in the world and our movements, 2017 promises to be an important year.
Time to build: Strengthening leadership
We start the year with a bold and exciting feminist leadership model as co-Executive Directors. Both of us, and the entire AWID team, want to express our sincere thanks to Lydia Alpizar for her ten years of leadership and vision, on which we continue building.
We also thank AWID’s Board of Directors for their ongoing support as we forge a feminist co-leadership practice. The whole of AWID is committed to keep strengthening leadership both through our Co-EDs structure and at all levels of the organization. This month, we are thrilled to be announcing two newly elected Board members who will join us in this exciting year.
Time to act: Some highlights of our work in 2017
Have you read Challenging Corporate Power: Struggles for women’s rights, economic and gender justice, our joint research with the Solidarity Center, yet?
This year, expect to learn more, engage and share collective knowledge on how corporate power affects women’s rights and feminist struggles. Join us in collective action for corporate accountability and economic justice.
We often hear how valuable our resourcing women’s rights data and research has been to your work. This year, we’ll be updating our research on funding trends for women’s rights organizing, and working with Count Me In! Consortium partners to prepare for a convening on Money and Movements in early 2018.
As we continue our work to push back on fundamentalist, anti-rights influences in international human rights spaces, stay tuned for the first periodic trends report from the Observatory on the Universality of Rights. The report will give movements deeper understanding of anti-rights agendas and influences in human rights spaces, so that we can all take action to advance women’s rights and gender justice.
Be ready to take action to support women human rights defenders (WHRDs). With initiatives like the newly launched platform Manifesta, as well as the important work of WHRD networks like the WHRD IC, the MesoAmerican Initiative of WHRDs and WHRD MENA coalition, we continue to strengthen, support and collaborate with WHRDs globally to defend defenders.
Corporate power continues to rise and extractive industries in particular are enmeshed in human rights violations and ecological damage. This year we will launch, in partnership with WHRD IC, research on the protection of WHRDs fighting extractive industries. In the voice of WHRDs themselves, find out how extractive industries affect women defending land and territory and what you can do to support them in their struggle.
And of course, we all still have in mind the 2016 AWID Forum, Feminist Futures: Building Collective Power for Rights and Justice!
This year we’ll be working with many of you through the Seed Grants, engaging with the #PracticeSolidarity initiative and putting together our co-created knowledge in a special issue of the Society for International Development (SID) journal. We will also feature resources and analysis in a new section focused on Feminist Futures, soon to be available on our website.
Time to strategize: Setting the course
Through our strategic planning process, this year we have the opportunity to assess our work, take stock of the global contexts and our movements, and sharpen AWID’s work, role and impact.
A critical input for this process is your feedback. At key moments in the process, we will offer ways for AWID members and partners to engage, contribute and learn more about how our new strategic plan is shaping up. If along the way you have any questions or comments, do not hesitate to contact us.
This year promises to be an important one for women’s rights and for gender and social justice globally. We look forward to co-creating it with you!
The time for feminist futures is now!
In solidarity,Hakima Abbas and Cindy Clark Co-Executive Directors