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AWID members reflect on the 13th AWID International Forum

We asked our members to share some reflections from the 13th AWID International Forum in Bahia, Brazil.

Here, four members from four countries and three regions, share their individual experiences and learnings, but themes around intersectionality, solidarity, fearlessness and collectivity are common throughout.

A process

The work we do, the movements we build, the rights we claim, and the feminist futures we envision are all part of an ongoing process.

In her blog Emily Bove, from the United States writes,“Intersectionality is not an end in itself, but a process altogether…Intersectionality means that there is no feminist truth without all truths represented.”

So among other things, we are in a process of gathering all our (feminist) truths.

While Lina Abirafeh from Lebanon talks about the need “to be explicit in the ways we talk about the intersection of our feminisms with all fights for justice” adding “After all, feminism is not a destination, – it’s a process”. 

Solidarity is key

At the Forum solidarity stood out as an element with incredible movement-building power. 

Amal Elmohandes from Egypt writes: “It struck me how solidarity can transcend all forms of injustices.”

She mentions Mozn Hassan, a dear friend of hers and Nazra for Feminist Studies, and the significance of solidarity shown for her at the Forum. “It was then that I realized how important and pivotal the value of genuine solidarity is.”

Similarly Mariatou Newlands from The Gambia expresses how “the solidarity from feminists during those seven days was one I have never experienced in any feminist gathering I have attended before.” Adding “The fact that there was solidarity made me feel powerful as a feminist! It gave me the confidence to participate in the sessions I attended.”

The blogs reflect thoughts, emotions, learnings and reflections about our collective fearlessness to face what is ahead of us, and our collective courage to take on struggles that are also those of others. They express the need for us to work multi-generationally, to care for ourselves and each other when we are exhausted from our activism, to sustain ourselves and to reinvent identities. And “we were reminded that our diversity must not be a source of fear” and that “none of us are free until all of us are free”.

AWID Forum