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For Immediate Release: International Women's Day; Hybrid physical-virtual portals at CSW67

Participants at CSW67 Portal

New York City - As the world celebrates the 8th of March 2023 International Women’s Day, the Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID) has launched a groundbreaking initiative that challenges the exclusivity and inaccessibility of the 67th session of the UN Commission of the Status of Women (CSW). In a move that demonstrates the power and limits of technology to bridge geographical and systemic barriers, feminist activists from Nairobi and Bangalore are connecting with New York through a physical-virtual hybrid space called "Feminist Portals."

The Feminist Portals initiative provides a unique opportunity for feminist activists to participate in the 67th CSW, regardless of their location, financial means, or visa status. The physical-virtual hybrid space allows feminist activists from Nairobi and Bangalore to participate in the discussions and panels happening in New York City in real-time. This is a significant breakthrough as it is the first time that Feminist Portals have been installed during the CSW, creating an opportunity for feminist activists to challenge the systemic barriers that limit their participation and influence at the event.

The initiative is spearheaded by AWID and partners, a 40-year old feminist movement support organization. Speaking about the initiative, Faye Macheke, AWID Co-ED said, "For too long, financial barriers, visa restrictions, and discriminatory policies have excluded feminist activists, particularly from the Global South, from participating in the CSW. By creating this virtual experience, we are transcending these barriers and building bridges between feminist struggles across linguistic, economical and geographical boundaries."

The Feminist Portal experience provides a platform for feminist activists to amplify their voices and challenge the discriminatory barriers that limit their participation and influence at the CSW. From March 6th to March 9th, feminist activists from New York City, Nairobi, and Bangalore will be hosting discussions and panels on a range of issues, including accessibility, feminist digital alternatives, and the systemic barriers that limit the participation and influence of feminist activists from the Global South.

"Feminist activism must remain at the forefront of the fight for a more equitable and inclusive world. This feminist-led initiative is a powerful reminder that technology can be used as a tool for social justice," added Inna Michaeli AWID Co-ED. The initiative is expected to draw global attention and inspire more inclusive practices in political spaces around the world. The use of technology to create a physical-virtual hybrid space is a significant breakthrough in democratizing political spaces and transforming the way feminist activism is practiced globally. AWID's Feminist Portals initiative is a powerful reminder that when political spaces exclude certain communities, the decisions made will not be reflective of the diverse needs and experiences of all women and gender-diverse individuals.

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