Priority Areas

Supporting feminist, women’s rights and gender justice movements to thrive, to be a driving force in challenging systems of oppression, and to co-create feminist realities.

Building Feminist Economies

Building Feminist Economies is about creating a world with clean air to breath and water to drink, with meaningful labour and care for ourselves and our communities, where we can all enjoy our economic, sexual and political autonomy.


In the world we live in today, the economy continues to rely on women’s unpaid and undervalued care work for the profit of others. The pursuit of “growth” only expands extractivism - a model of development based on massive extraction and exploitation of natural resources that keeps destroying people and planet while concentrating wealth in the hands of global elites. Meanwhile, access to healthcare, education, a decent wage and social security is becoming a privilege to few. This economic model sits upon white supremacy, colonialism and patriarchy.

Adopting solely a “women’s economic empowerment approach” is merely to integrate women deeper into this system. It may be a temporary means of survival. We need to plant the seeds to make another world possible while we tear down the walls of the existing one.


We believe in the ability of feminist movements to work for change with broad alliances across social movements. By amplifying feminist proposals and visions, we aim to build new paradigms of just economies.

Our approach must be interconnected and intersectional, because sexual and bodily autonomy will not be possible until each and every one of us enjoys economic rights and independence. We aim to work with those who resist and counter the global rise of the conservative right and religious fundamentalisms as no just economy is possible until we shake the foundations of the current system.


Our Actions

Our work challenges the system from within and exposes its fundamental injustices:

  • Advance feminist agendas: We counter corporate power and impunity for human rights abuses by working with allies to ensure that we put forward feminist, women’s rights and gender justice perspectives in policy spaces. For example, learn more about our work on the future international legally binding instrument on “transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights” at the United Nations Human Rights Council.

  • Mobilize solidarity actions: We work to strengthen the links between feminist and tax justice movements, including reclaiming the public resources lost through illicit financial flows (IFFs) to ensure social and gender justice.

  • Build knowledge: We provide women human rights defenders (WHRDs) with strategic information vital to challenge corporate power and extractivism. We will contribute to build the knowledge about local and global financing and investment mechanisms fuelling extractivism.

  • Create and amplify alternatives: We engage and mobilize our members and movements in visioning feminist economies and sharing feminist knowledges, practices and agendas for economic justice.


“The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling – their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability. Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing”.

Arundhati Roy, War Talk

Related Content

Ayanda Denge

Date of birth
Date of death / disappearance
Cause of death / disappearance

Killed

“I am a wonder… Therefore I have been born by a mother! As I begin to stutter, my life has been like no other…” - Ayanda Denge  (read the whole poem below)

Ayanda Denge was a transwomxn, sex worker, activist, poet. She was Xhosa, from Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. After travelling through different cities of the country, she moved to Cape Town. 

As a committed and fervent social justice activist, she fought for the rights of sex workers, trans persons, and for those of people living with HIV and AIDS. She was also a motivational speaker on cancer awareness, and campaigned for affordable and social housing, especially for poor and working-class people. Ayanda stood tall as a mountain against different and often abusive faces of discrimination. 

“Being transgender is not a double dose, but it’s a triple dose of stigmatisation and discrimination. You are discriminated against for your sexual identity, you are discriminated against for your work, and you are discriminated against for your HIV status.” - Ayanda Denge, 2016

She was acting chairperson at the Sex Workers Education and Advocacy Taskforce (SWEAT) and also worked as an Outreach Coordinator at Sisonke, a national sex workers’ movement in South Africa. 

“From us, from our regional head office, to SWEAT where I sit on the board, to Sisonke, a movement of sex workers in Cape Town. We all amalgamate, we have one cry and it’s a cry that is recognised internationally by international sex workers. We want decriminalisation of sex work.” - Ayanda Denge, 2016

She lived in the Ahmed Kathrada House, which was being occupied by the Reclaim the City campaign for social housing. In 2018, Ayanda was elected house leader. On 24 March 2019, she was stabbed to death in her room. The year prior, another resident was killed.

Reclaim the City draws a connection between the safety of the house residents and the Provincial Government withholding electricity and the human right to water: 

“We cannot separate the safety of women and LGBTQI people living in the occupation from the refusal by the Western Cape Provincial Government to turn the electricity and water back on at Ahmed Kathrada House.

The house is pitch black at night. We need lights to keep each other safe. It is as if the Province wishes to punish poor and working class people, whose only crime is that we needed a home. While they may disagree with our reasons for occupying, they should be ashamed of themselves for putting politics before the safety and dignity of residents of this city.

Rest in Peace comrade Ayanda Denge, we shall remember you as we carry the torch forward in the struggle for decent well-located housing.”

Poem by Ayanda: 

I am a wonder…
Therefore I have been born by a mother!
As I begin to stutter,
My life has been like no other.
Born in pain
Nourished by rain
For me to gain
Was living in a drain.
As I shed a tear
I stand up and hold my spear.
Voices echo, do not fear
Challenges within a year,
Challenges of hurt are on my case;
Community applauds as they assume I have won my race;
But in reality my work strides at a tortoise pace;
On bended knee I bow and ask for grace.
For the Lord
Is my Sword;
To remind humanity
That he provides sanity.
Why Lord am I this wonder?
The Lord answers me with the rain and thunder,
For questioning my father
Who has in the book of lambs
A name called Ayanda.
From the streets my life was never sweet
The people I had to meet;
At times I would never greet;
Even though I had to eat;
I’d opt to take a bow
Rather than a seat

Listen to the poem in Ayanda’s voice

“For my life represents that of a lotus flower, that out of murky and troubled waters I bloomed to be beautiful and strong...” - Ayanda Denge, watch and listen 


Tributes: 

“Ayanda, I want to say to you that you are still a survivor, in our hearts and minds. You are gone but you are everywhere, because you are love. How beautiful it is to be loved, and to give love. And Ayanda, that is the gift that you have given us. Thank you for all of the love, we truly did need you. Going forward, I promise to you that we will all commit to continue with the struggle that you have dedicated so much energy and your time to. And we will commit ourselves to pursuing justice in this awful ending to your life.” - Transcript of a message, in a farewell Tribute to Ayanda

“Ayanda was an activist by nature. She knew her rights and would not mind fighting for the rights of others. For me, it was no shock that she was involved with many organizations and it was known that she was a people’s person. It did not need to be the rights of LGBTI but just the rights of everyone that she stood for.” - Ayanda’s sister
 

ours chapter 6

Chapter 6
Anti-Rights Trends in Regional Human Rights Systems

In the African Commission and the Inter-American System, anti-rights actors push essentialist notions of culture and gender to hamper progress on rights and undermine accountability. As we see, anti-rights actors are exerting influence in regional human rights systems, as well as international spaces.

Read more

Snippet Kohl - Panel | Liberated Land & Territories: A Pan-African Conversation

Globe-Liberated Land & Territories

with Luam Kidane, Mariama Sonko, Yannia Sofia Garzon Valencia, and Nomsa Sizani.

YOUTUBESOUNDCLOUD

#6 - Sexting like a feminist Tweets Snippet EN

Always be willing to explore new experiences!

Image of a tweet with the photo of American tv Host Steve Harvey. Text says - Me: Sir, have you tried pegging? Him: No, I haven't. Me: Think about it, cuz I would love to screw you the way the workplaces screw employees out of a livable wage.