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Co-creating and mobilising across movements

Lejla Medanhodzic

Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah

“The list of injustices on billboards, the stories of violence against women of colour recounted over and over again. There were no “nice” girls among us that I could feel for sure. As the street was taken up by hundreds of women screaming, taking over, owning space as it felt we rarely did - crowds couldn’t help but stare. The power that comes from women’s voices, women’s chanting, women organizing, women resisting - That I have come to understand is the POWER OF MOVEMENTS!”

Manjeet Birk sharing her experiences at the 2008 AWID forum

AWID Forum, Cape Town, 2008

For those who have attended a previous AWID Forum you can probably remember the energies that are generated in a space with 2000 feminist and social justice activists. The strength and renewal we feel when we meet with fellow activists all working together to co-create a better world. The learning and new knowledge we gain, create, and share. The solidarity we feel when we are able to build and strengthen connections.

For those who are yet to attend an AWID forum, we urge you to join us in Bahia, Brazil. Here’s a little taster of why we think the AWID forum is the space to connect with activists from all over the globe. Don’t just take our word for it though, also check out the reflections from diverse activists who have attended previous AWID forums.

Reflections from AWID Staff

“Through participating and working at the past three AWID Forums, I have came to realized that they all have a specific foundation on which they build, from which they retain what is essential in sustaining what we have achieved so far, and from which they source the elements needed to inspire and advance necessary change(s) at the same time. This founding block is our collective power as all the diverse movements we engage in. We come to the Forum with our numerous identities, and our personal and collective realities and dreams. The political, social and economic global forces affecting women’s rights and social justice help set the context for each of the Forums, often forcing us to find solutions to what is currently most endangering our rights, freedoms, securities, and livelihoods.

When we all gather in one space we are tirelessly working towards the changes we want to see in our lifetime, when we leave to go back to our homes, we work locally, regionally, nationally and internationally on implementing what we agreed on together. From all the struggles we are involved in, we know the work of changing societies is extremely hard work, and can only be done based on mutual respect, commitment and responsibility.”

Lejla Medanhodzic, Membership Coordinator, AWID

“The first AWID Forum I attended was in Cape Town, South Africa. My favourite part was actually the pre-forum feminist tech camp I attended which was organised by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC), I learnt to make digital stories, a skill that has served me well in my work of documenting and disseminating activist stories. I am excited that at AWID Forums activists also get the opportunity to learn new skills, and I am looking forward to more learning opportunities in Brazil.”

Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah, Communications Manager, AWID

“My first AWID Forum was in 2012 in Istanbul. Based on what staff had been saying about previous Forums, I anticipated very busy days filled with long hours and stress. After we arrived, my concerns quickly dissipated as the energy of something much larger than myself overtook. Attending the Forum provided the chance to put the work we do for AWID into perspective, especially for staff like myself who do not work directly with constituents.

From the haunting beauty of the artistic installments and moving tributes, to the learning opportunities and conversations with participants about how the Forum  enables them to advance their work, inspiration and motivation is everywhere. While the days do get busy and there is much to be done, It's worth it to take a step back and really look at what you've been working towards. “

Meghan Babin, IT Associate, AWID

From participants

Don’t just take our word for it, here is what previous participants have also said:

“It was a forum of hope, too, where you hear about things that have made a change somewhere around the world and that bring the feeling that this change can spread in order to reach as many people as possible. Because in the end of the day, it was all about change. It makes you rethink your values, evaluate your action and hope that the change we are talking about will happen one day. And let this day comes soon!”

Christina Haralanova from Bulgaria reflecting on the 2005 AWID Forum

“Together with their carefully packed suitcases containing testimonies of their multiple identities: newspaper cuttings, photographs of their: children, partners, their trees and livestock – each providing a reminder of their daily lives. Each of these women’s rights activists will take their claimed place to discuss ‘Transforming Economic Power to Advance Women’s Rights and Justice.”

Jameen Kaur writing in anticipation of the 2012 AWID Forum held in Istanbul, Turkey

“I have made a personal commitment to ensuring that the spaces I am a part of are welcoming and inclusive. This is ongoing, collective work that requires a willingness to confront one’s own privilege and comfort zones. It requires constant reflection, asking uncomfortable political questions and the courage to face the difficult answers.”

Tonya Haynes, reflecting on the 2012 AWID Forum

AWID Forum, Istanbul, 2012

Co Creating our Feminist Futures

The 2016 AWID Forum will bring together a wide spectrum of activists.

Participants will include

  • Young Feminist Activists,
  • Indigenous women,
  • Migrant workers and refugees,
  • Women with disabilities,
  • Black/Afro-descendant women,
  • Rural/Peasant women,
  • Trans and intersex activists,
  • Lesbian feminists,
  • Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs),
  • Domestic workers,
  • Lesbian activists,
  • Sex workers,
  • Brazilian feminists,
  • Palestinian women,
  • Labour activists/trade unionists,
  • Economic justice and corporate accountability activists,
  • Environmental / ecological and climate justice activists,
  • Activists resisting mining and extractive industries,
  • Reproductive rights and justice activists,
  • Digital rights / internet security activists,
  • Caste and class equality activists,
  • Peace and security / anti-militarists activists
  • Eco activists

Will you be there?

AWID Forum