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

Are you a Northern or a Southern organization?

AWID is a global organization.

The main focus of our work is global. We also work closely with members and other women’s rights organizations and allies at the local, national and regional levels so that their realities inform our work.

  • We have offices in Mexico and Canada
  • Our staff are located in 15 countries around the world
  • Ten of our 13 Board members are from the global South.

Find out more about us

Barbara Allimadi

Barbara Allimadi was a political and human rights activist from Uganda. In 2012, she co-organized a protest against a televised police assault of Ingrid Turinawe, an opposition politician who had her breast squeezed by a police officer.

During the protest, Barbara, along with other fellow activists stripped to their bras in front of the Central Police Station in Kampala. This came to be known as the infamous ‘bra protest’ in Uganda.

“We settled on the bra protest. We thought it would be most appropriate for what had happened. It’s not like we were saying we don’t respect ourselves. We were disgusted by what had been done.” - Barbara Allimadi, 2013 (Daily Monitor)

With a Degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering from the London Metropolitan University, Barbara was a network engineer in the United Kingdom and an avid fan of reggae music. She returned to Uganda In 2007, when her mother passed away.

In 2019, she was appointed Coordinator for International and Diaspora Affairs at the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT), a political party launched that year by an opposition leader.

“We want security of life and property, not pain, injury and even death at the hands of security forces who are meant to protect us. Most importantly, we want a stable and enabling environment where we can realize our dreams and aspirations.” - Barbara Allimadi, ANT video

Barbara passed away on 27 April 2020. 


Tributes:

“I was so proud of my sister for many things but in particular her fearless pursuit of peace, democracy, justice and equality in Uganda. At the height of her activism she led many marches on the streets of Kampala, to police stations, and Parliament.” - Doris Allimadi, Barbara’s sister

“It is with deep sadness that we have learnt of the untimely passing of Barbara Allimadi. She has been a valiant, relentless and courageous force for the liberation movement of Uganda. Our deepest condolences to her family. She will be sorely missed.” - Akina Mama wa Afrika (tweet on 28 April 2020)

“The passing on of Barbara is so sad for us and her entire family. She dedicated herself to fighting for justice, freedom and rights of others while serving in the civil society until she recently joined us at the party.” Maj Gen Mugisha Muntu, ANT national coordinator

“A beautiful, charming, funny, charismatic and inspirational sister. My children lost their aunty. Uganda lost a brave and courageous freedom fighter. Barbara once said, ‘As long as there is still breath in you, keep working towards your dreams.’” - Doris Allimadi, Barbara’s sister

2010: The fourth High-level Dialogue is held

The theme of the Fourth High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development, 23-24 March 2010: The Monterrey Consensus and Doha Declaration on Financing for Development: status of implementation and tasks ahead. It had four round tables on: the reform of the international monetary and financial systems; impact of the financial crisis on foreign direct investments; international trade and private flows; and the role of financial and technical development cooperation, including innovative sources of development finance, in leveraging the mobilization of domestic and international financial resources for development.

There was also the informal interactive dialogue involving various stakeholders that focused on the link between financing for development and achieving the Millennium Development Goals. 

I’m trying to submit a proposal but the online form is not working?

For any questions related to the Call for Forum Activities please contact us, selecting Forum Call for Activities as the subject of your email.

Contact us

 

Do I need a visa to attend the Forum in Taipei?

You DO NOT need a visa to attend the Forum in Taipei if you hold a passport from one of the following countries (the allowed length of your stay varies from one country to another):

Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Eswatini, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan*, Republic of Korea, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Marshall Island, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Palau, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tuvalu, the United Kingdom, the United States of America,and Vatican City State, Belize, Dominican Republic, Malaysia, Nauru, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Singapore.

People with any other passport WILL NEED A VISA to come to Taipei.


Please note:

It is likely that, once you have registered to attend the Forum, you will get an event-related code that will allow you to apply for your visa electronically regardless of your citizenship.

We will let you know more about this when the Registration opens.

Snippet FEA 1 of 3 trans and travesti people (EN)

This is an illustration that depicts a burgundy building next to a duck blue building

1 of 3 trans and travesti people in Argentina live in a poor household

Our Companion Sites

The Young Feminist Wire

An online community for and by young feminists working on women’s human rights, gender equality and social justice around the world.

Visit the site

The Observatory on the Universality of Rights (OURs)

The platform is the go-to place for information and resources on safeguarding the universality of rights in international and regional human rights spaces.

Visit the site

The Young Feminist Fund-FRIDA

Provides funding for young feminist-led initiatives. It aims to strengthen the capacity of young feminist organizations to leverage resources for their work and to increase donors’ and allies’ commitments to resourcing young feminist activism.

Visit the site

Online Directory of Urgent Responses for WHRDs

A go-to site to learn about the urgent responses undertaken to protect women human rights defenders and to find tools and resources to support the work and wellness of WHRDs.

Visit the site

IM-Defensoras (Mesoamerican Initiative for Women Human Rights Defenders)

A regional initiative created to prevent, respond, document and make public all cases of violence against women human rights defenders in the Mesoamerican region.

Visit the site

The WHRD International Coalition

The WHRD IC is a resource and advocacy network for the protection and support of women human rights defenders worldwide.

Visit the site

Post-2015 Women´s Coalition

A Coalition of feminist, women´s rights, women´s development, grassroots and social justice organisations working to challenge and reframe teh global development agenda. 

Visit the site

Women´s Major Group on Development

The role of the Women’s Major Group is to assure effective public participation of women’s non-governmental groups in the UN policy processes on Sustainable Development, Post2015 and Environmental matters. 

Visit the site

Women Working Group on Financing for Development

An alliance of women’s organizations and networks to advocate for the advancement of gender equality, women’s empowerment and human rights in the Financing for Development (FfD) related UN processes.

Visit the site

Snippet FEA Who takes care of them S4 (EN)

...WHO TAKES CARE OF THEM?

WHRDs from the South and Southeast Asian region

7 Women Human Rights Defenders from across the South and Southeast Asian region are honored in this year’s Online Tribute. These defenders have made key contributions to advancing human and women’s rights, indigenous people’s rights, and the right to education. These WHRDs were lawyers, women’s rights activists, scholars, and politicians. Please join AWID in commemorating t their work and legacy by sharing the memes below with your colleagues, networks and friends and by using the hashtags #WHRDTribute and #16Days. 


Please click on each image below to see a larger version and download as a file

 

Snippet FEA different lines of work FOR S4 (EN)

Lines of work:

FOR

9. Advocate and tell the world!

The results of your research will also shape your advocacy – for example, your results will have revealed which sectors fund the most and which sectors you feel need donor education.

In this section

Build your advocacy strategy

In the “Frame your research” section of this toolkit we recommend that you plot out what goals you hope to accomplish with your research. These goals will allow you to build an advocacy strategy once your research is complete.

An advocacy strategy is a plan of distributing your research results in a way that allows you to accomplish your goals, falling under the broader goal of advocating with key sectors to make positive changes for resources for women’s rights organizing.

Using the goals defined in your research framing:

  • List the potential groups of contacts who can be interested in your research results
  • For each group, explain in one sentence how they can help you achieve your goal.
  • For each group, mark what tone you are supposed to use to talk to them (formal professional, commentary casual, do they understand the field’s jargon?)
  • List every media that can allow you to reach these audiences, in the proper tone (social media to build community feeling, press release for official announcement to a general audience, etc.)

From this list – as exhaustive as possible, chose which ones are the most efficient for achieve your goals. (See below for specific examples of audiences and advocacy methods)

Once you have a strategy, you can start the dissemination.

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Reach out to your network

To disseminate your results, reach out first to the contacts through whom you distributed your survey, as well as to all your survey and interview participants.

  • First, take this opportunity to thank them for contributing to this research.
  • Share with them the main survey results and analysis.
  • Make it easy for them to disseminate your product through their networks by giving them samples of tweets, Facebook posts or even a short introduction that they could copy and paste on their website.

Do not forget to state clearly a contact person and ask for a confirmation once they have published it.

On top of making you able to track who disseminated your report, it will help build stronger relationships within your network.

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Adapt your strategy to the sector

As an example, we present below a list of sectors AWID engages in advocacy.

  • Use this list as a point of departure to develop your own sector-specific advocacy plan.
  • Create an objective for what you hope to accomplish for each sector.
  • Be sure to add any additional sectors to this list that are relevant for your particular research, such as local NGOs or local governments, for example.

Your list of advisory organizations and individuals will also be useful here. They can help you disseminate the report in different spaces, as well as introduce you to new organizations or advocacy spaces.

1. Women’s rights organizations

Sample objectives: Update women’s rights organizations on funding trends; brainstorm collaborative efforts for resource mobilization using research findings; influence how they approach resource mobilization

Examples of possible advocacy methods:

  • Offer seminars, learning cafés or other events throughout your region, in relevant languages, in order to update women’s rights organizations with the findings of your research.

  • If you can’t physically reach everyone in your region, think about setting-up a webinar and online presentations.

  • Present your findings at larger convenings, such as the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).

  • Beyond your own organizations’ newsletters and website, write articles on different platforms that are frequented by your target audience.
    Some examples: World Pulse, OpenDemocracy, feministing.

2. Bilaterals and multilaterals

Sample Objective: Raising awareness about how funding is not meeting established commitments and how this sector needs to improve funding mechanisms to finance women’s rights organizing.

Identify which bilateral & multilaterals have the most influence on funding – this could include local embassies.

Examples of possible advocacy methods:

  • Enlist ally organizations and influential individuals (some may already be your advisors for this research process) to do peer education.
  • Seek their assistance to disseminate research finding widely in large multilaterals (like the UN).
  • Present at and/or attend influential spaces where bilaterals and multilaterals are present, such as GENDERNET .
  • Publish articles in outlets that are read by bilaterals and multilaterals such as devex, Better Aid, Publish What You Pay.

3. Private foundations

Sample Objective: Expand the quality and quantity of support for women’s rights organizations.

Examples of possible advocacy methods:

4. Women’s funds

Sample Objective: Encourage them to continue their work at higher scale.

Examples of possible advocacy methods:

  • Hold presentations at the women’s funds in your region and in countries that you hope to influence.
  • Disseminate your research findings to all women’s funds that impact the region, priority issue or population you are focusing on.
  • Consider doing joint efforts based on the results of the findings. For example, you could propose to collaborate with a fund to develop an endowment  that closes the funding gaps found in your research.

5. Private sector and new donors

Sample Objective: Increase their understanding of the field and encourage coherence between their philanthropic interests and business practice.

Examples of possible advocacy methods:

  • Enlist ally organizations and influential individuals (some may already be your advisors for this research process) to do peer education.
  • Arrange meetings with influential private actors to present your research findings.
  • Host your own meeting, inviting private sector actors, to share the findings and to advocate for your position.

Make sure to adapt your presentations, propositions and applications to each targeted group.

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Previous step

8. Finalize and format


Are you ready to start your own research?

We strongly recommend referring to our Ready to Go worksheet to assess your own advancement.


Estimated time:

• 1-2 years, depending on advocacy goals

People needed:

• 1 or more communications person(s)

Resources needed:       

• List of spaces to advertise research
• List of blogs and online magazines where you can publish articles about your research finding
• List of advisors
• Your WITM information products
Sample of Advocacy Plan


Previous step

8. Finalize and format


Ready to Go? Worksheet

Download the toolkit in PDF

Snippet FEA Union Otras Photo 5 (EN)

Photo of people sitting on red chairs in a hall

Key opposition strategies and tactics

Despite their rigidity in matters of doctrine and worldview, anti-rights actors have demonstrated an openness to building new kinds of strategic alliances, to new organizing techniques, and to new forms of rhetoric. As a result, their power in international spaces has increased.


There has been a notable evolution in the strategies of ultra conservative actors operating at this level. They do not only attempt to tinker at the edges of agreements and block certain language, but to transform the framework conceptually and develop alternative standards and norms, and avenues for influence.

Strategy 1: Training of UN delegates

Ultra conservative actors work to create and sustain their relationships with State delegates through regular training opportunities - such as the yearly Global Family Policy Forum - and targeted training materials.

These regular trainings and resources systematically brief delegates on talking points and negotiating techniques to further collaboration towards anti-rights objectives in the human rights system. Delegates also receive curated compilations of ‘consensus language’ and references to pseudo-scientific or statistical information to bolster their arguments.

The consolidated transmission of these messages explains in part why State delegates who take ultra-conservative positions in international human rights debates frequently do so in contradiction with their own domestic legislation and policies.

Strategy 2: Holding international convenings

Anti-rights actors’ regional and international web of meetings help create closer links between ultra conservative Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), States and State blocs, and powerful intergovernmental bodies. The yearly international World Congress of Families is one key example.

These convenings reinforce personal connections and strategic alliances, a key element for building and sustaining movements. They facilitate transnational, trans-religious and dynamic relationship-building around shared issues and interests, which leads to a more proactive approach and more holistic sets of asks at the international policy level on the part of anti-rights actors.

Strategy 3: Placing reservations on human rights agreements

States and State blocs have historically sought to undermine international consensus or national accountability under international human rights norms through reservations to human rights agreements, threatening the universal applicability of human rights.  

The Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) has received by far the most reservations, most of which are based on alleged conflict with religious law. It is well-established international human rights law that evocations of tradition, culture or religion cannot justify violations of human rights, and many reservations to CEDAW are invalid as they are “incompatible with the object and purpose” of CEDAW. Nevertheless, reference to these reservations is continually used by States to dodge their human rights responsibilities.

‘Reservations’ to UN documents and agreements that are not formal treaties - such as Human Rights Council and General Assembly resolutions - are also on the rise.

Strategy 4: Creating a parallel human rights framework

In an alarming development, regressive actors at the UN have begun to co-opt existing rights standards and campaign to develop agreed language that is deeply anti-rights.

The aim is to create and then propagate language in international human rights spaces that validates patriarchal, hierarchical, discriminatory, and culturally relativist norms.

One step towards this end is the drafting of declarative texts, such as the World Family Declaration and the San Jose Articles, that pose as soft human rights law. Sign-ons are gathered from multiple civil society, state, and institutional actors; and they are then used a basis for advocacy and lobbying.

Strategy 5: Developing  alternative ‘scientific’ sources

As part of a strategic shift towards the use of non-religious discourses, anti-rights actors have significantly invested in their own ‘social science’ think tanks. Given oxygen by the growing conservative media, materials from these think tanks are then widely disseminated by conservative civil society groups. The same materials are used as the basis for advocacy at the international human rights level.  

While the goals and motivation of conservative actors derive from their extreme interpretations of religion, culture, and tradition, such regressive arguments are often reinforced through studies that claim intellectual authority. A counter-discourse is thus produced through a heady mix of traditionalist doctrine and social science.

Strategy 6: Mobilizing Youth

This is one of the most effective strategies employed by the religious right and represents a major investment in the future of anti-rights organizing.

Youth recruitment and leadership development, starting at the local level with churches and campuses, are a priority for many conservative actors engaged at the international policy level.  

This strategy has allowed for infiltration of youth-specific spaces at the United Nations, including at the Commission on the Status of Women, and creates a strong counterpoint to progressive youth networks and organizations.

Key anti-rights strategies

Strategy 7: Defunding and delegitimizing human rights mechanisms

When it comes to authoritative expert mechanisms like the UN Special Procedures and Treaty Monitoring Bodies and operative bodies like the UN agencies, regressive groups realize their potential for influence is much lower than with political mechanisms[1].

In response, anti-rights groups spread the idea that UN agencies are ‘overstepping their mandate,’ that the CEDAW Committee and other Treaty Bodies have no authority to interpret their treaties, or that Special Procedures are partisan experts working outside of their mandate. Anti-rights groups have also successfully lobbied for the defunding of agencies such as the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

This invalidation of UN mechanisms gives fuel to state impunity. Governments, when under international scrutiny, can defend their action on the basis that the reviewing mechanism is itself faulty or overreaching.

Strategy 8: Organizing online

Conservative non-state actors increasingly invest in social media and other online platforms to promote their activities, campaign, and widely share information from international human rights spaces.

The Spanish organization CitizenGo, for example, markets itself as the conservative version of Change.org, spearheading petitions and letter-writing campaigns. One recent petition, opposing the establishment of a UN international day on safe abortion, gathered over 172,000 signatures.


Overarching Trends:

  • Learning from the organizing strategies of feminists and other progressives.
  • Replicating and adapting successful national-level tactics for the international sphere.
  • Moving from an emphasis on ‘symbolic protest’ to becoming subversive system ‘insiders.’

By understanding the strategies employed by anti-rights actors, we can be more effective in countering them.

 


[1] The fora that are state-led, like the General Assembly, the Human Rights Council, and UN conferences like the Commission on the Status of Women and the Commission on Population and Development


Other Chapters

Read the full report

Snippet FEA We are living in a world right (EN)

Even in times of climate crisis, governments continue to encourage large-scale agriculture industries to expand. These activities poison the land, threaten biodiversity, and destroy local food production and livelihoods. Meanwhile, while women produce the majority of our food in the world, they own almost none of the land.

What if we perceived land and Nature not as private property to exploit, but as a whole to live in, learn from, and harmoniously coexist with? What if we repaired our relationships with the land and embraced more sustainable alternatives that nurture both the planet and its communities?

Nous Sommes la Solution (We Are the Solution, NSS) is one of many women-led movements striving to do this. This is their story.

La industria: peligros para el medioambiente

¿Por qué las industrias como la minería son peligrosas para el medioambiente?

Estas industrias 'extraen' materias primas de la tierra: minería, gas, petróleo y madera son algunos ejemplos.

Este modelo económico explota desenfrenadamente la naturaleza e intensifica las desigualdades norte, donde sus grandes corporaciones se benefician y sur, de donde extraen los recursos.

Contaminación del agua, daño irreparable al medioambiente, deforestación de la amazonia, comunidades forzadas a desplazarse son algunas de las consecuencias inmediatas.

Lee nuestro reporte de INDUSTRIAS EXTRACTIVAS

Hay alternativas sostenibles para el medioambiente y los derechos humanos de la mujer. Empecemos por conseguir un tratado vinculante para que las corporaciones extractivas nos respeten.

 

 


Descubre además cómo nos afecta económicamente

Conoce qué son los FLUJOS FINANCIEROS ILÍCITOS