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.

Co-Creating Feminist Realities

While we dream of a feminist world, there are those who are already building and living it. These are our Feminist Realities!

What are Feminist Realities?

Feminist Realities are the living, breathing examples of the just world we are co-creating. They exist now, in the many ways we live, struggle and build our lives.

Feminist Realities go beyond resisting oppressive systems to show us what a world without domination, exploitation and supremacy look like.

These are the narratives we want to unearth, share and amplify throughout this Feminist Realities journey.

Transforming Visions into Lived Experiences

Through this initiative, we:

  • Create and amplify alternatives: We co-create art and creative expressions that center and celebrate the hope, optimism, healing and radical imagination that feminist realities inspire.

  • Build knowledge: We document, demonstrate & disseminate methodologies that will help identify the feminist realities in our diverse communities.

  • Advance feminist agendas: We expand and deepen our collective thinking and organizing to advance just solutions and systems that embody feminist values and visions.

  • Mobilize solidarity actions: We engage feminist, women’s rights and gender justice movements and allies in sharing, exchanging and jointly creating feminist realities, narratives and proposals at the 14th AWID International Forum.

The AWID International Forum

As much as we emphasize the process leading up to, and beyond, the four-day Forum, the event itself is an important part of where the magic happens, thanks to the unique energy and opportunity that comes with bringing people together.

We expect the next Forum to:

  • Build the power of Feminist Realities, by naming, celebrating, amplifying and contributing to build momentum around experiences and propositions that shine light on what is possible and feed our collective imaginations

  • Replenish wells of hope and energy as much needed fuel for rights and justice activism and resilience

  • Strengthen connectivity, reciprocity and solidarity across the diversity of feminist movements and with other rights and justice-oriented movements

Learn more about the Forum process

We are sorry to announce that the 14th AWID International Forum is cancelled

Given the current world situation, our Board of Directors has taken the difficult decision to cancel Forum scheduled in 2021 in Taipei. 

Read the full announcement

Find out more!

Related Content

Fadila M.

Fadila M. was a Soulaliyate tribal activist from Azrou, the Ifrane region of Morocco. She fought against a specific form of land discrimination directed against tribal women.

As part of the Soulaliyate Women’s Land-Use Rights Movement, she worked towards overhauling the framework legislation relating to the management of community property through the 2019 adoption of three projects of laws guaranteeing the equality of women and men.

According to the customary laws in force, women had no right to benefit from the land, especially those who were single, widowed or divorced. The rights to collective land in Morocco were transmitted traditionally between male members of a family of over 16 years of age. Since 2007, Fadila M. had been part of the women’s movement, the first grassroots nationwide mobilization for land rights. Some of the achievements included that in 2012 for the first time Soulaliyate women were able to register on the lists of beneficiaries and to benefit from compensation relating to land cession. The movement also managed to get the 1919 dahir (Moroccan King's decree) amended to guarantee women the right to equality.

Fadila M. died on 27 September 2018. The circumstances of her death are unclear. She was part of a protest march connected to the issue of collective land and while authorities reported her death as being accidental, and her having a cardiac arrest on the way to the hospital, the local section of the Moroccan Association of Human Rights (AMDH) pointed out that Fadila was suffocated by a member of the police force using a Moroccan flag. Her family requested investigation but the results of the autopsy were not known.

Find out more about the Soulaliyate Women’s Land-Use Rights Movement

Please note: As there was no photograph/image of Fadila M. available to us, the artwork (instead of a portrait) aims to represent what she fought and worked for; land and rights to live and have access to that land and what grows on it.

What languages will be included in the Forum?

English, French, Spanish and Mandarin.

CFA 2023 - Online and Hybrid - EN


Online & Hybrid

As an online participant, you can facilitate activities, connect and converse with others, and experience first-hand the creativity, art and celebration of the AWID Forum. Participants connecting online will enjoy a rich and diverse program, from workshops and discussions to healing activities and musical performances. Some activities will focus on connection among online participants, and others will be truly hybrid, focusing on connection and interaction among online participants and those in Bangkok.

Stacey Park Milbern

“I do not know a lot about spirituality or what happens when we die, but my crip queer Korean life makes me believe that our earthly bodyminds is but a fraction, and not considering our ancestors is electing only to see a glimpse of who we are.” - Stacey Park Milbern

Stacey Park Milbern was a self-identifying queer disabled woman of colour and a trailblazer. A long-standing and respected organizer and leader in the disability rights and justice movement, she also advocated for the rights of many different communities, not just her own. Stacey’s activism had mighty roots in her experience at the intersections of gender, disability, sexuality and race.

Stacey, along with some friends, co-created the Disability Justice Culture Club, a group working to support various and especially vulnerable communities, including helping homeless people gain access to resources during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

She was also a co-producer of an impact campaign for Netflix’s documentary “Crip Camp”, a board member of the WITH Foundation, and led organizations at local, state and national levels. Stacey wrote beautifully and powerfully:

“My ancestors are people torn apart from loves by war and displacement. It’s because of them I know the power of building home with whatever you have, wherever you are, whoever you are with. My ancestors are queers who lived in the American South. It’s because of them I understand the importance of relationships, place and living life big, even if it is dangerous. All of my ancestors know longing. Longing is often our connecting place...” - Stacey Park Milbern

She was born in Seoul, Korea and grew up in North Carolina, later  continuing her journey in the San Francisco Bay Area. Stacey passed away of complications from surgery on her 33rd birthday on 19 May 2020. 

Read an essay by Stacey Park Milbern
Listen to an interview with Stacey Park Milbern
#StaceyTaughtUs: Record your story for the Disability Visibility Project


“She was, a lot of people would say, a leader. She kind of encompassed all of it. You know, sometimes there's like a lead from the front, lead from the middle, lead from the back. And she was just somehow able to do all of that.” - Andraéa LaVant, disability rights activist

“What a blow to lose Stacey when our communities need her leadership more than ever, and at a time when her strength, insight, and grit were receiving increased recognition outside of disability circles, giving her a greater platform to advance her life’s work...We will not have the gift of learning where her charismatic leadership would have taken us. But let there be no doubt: What Stacey gave us, in a relatively short time, will continue benefiting others for years to come.” - Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF)

CFA 2023 - Intro - thai

“ภารกิจในชีวิตของฉันไม่ใช่แค่การอยู่รอดเท่านั้น แต่ยังต้องเจริญเติบโตอีกด้วย และทำให้เต็มที่ด้วยแรงปรารถนา  ด้วยความเห็นอกเห็นใจ  ด้วยอารมณ์ขัน และมีสไตล์” - มายา แองเจลู (Maya Angelou)


ยินดีต้อนรับสู่เวทีการประชุมนานาชาติ AWID ครั้งที่ 15!

เวทีการประชุมนานาชาติ AWID เป็นทั้งกิจกรรมชุมชนระดับโลกและพื้นที่ของการเปลี่ยนแปลงของปัจเจก บุคคลอย่างสิ้นเชิง เป็นการประชุมที่ไม่เหมือนใคร คือเป็นที่รวบรวมนักสตรีนิยม นักปกป้องสิทธิสตรี ความยุติธรรมทางเพศ LBTQI+ และพันธมิตรในขบวนการเคลื่อนไหวเพื่อมนุษยชาติอันหลากหลาย เพื่อเชื่อมต่อ เยียวยาและเติบโต     เวทีนานาชาตินี้เป็นพื้นที่ที่นักสตรีนิยมจากทั่วทุกมุมโลก รวมถึงจากประเทศในกลุ่มโลกใต้ และชุมชนชายขอบที่ไม่ได้รับการเหลียวแลมาอย่างยาวนาน เป็นศูนย์กลางในการวาง ยุทธศาสตร์ร่วมกัน และเคลื่อนไหวเพื่อความยุติธรรมทางสังคม เพื่อเปลี่ยนอำนาจ สร้างพันธมิตร และ สร้างโลกที่แตกต่างและดีขึ้น

เมื่อผู้คนทั่วโลกมารวมตัวกันทั้งในฐานะปัจเจกบุคคลและองค์กรเคลื่อนไหว เราสามารถสร้างพลังอันยิ่งใหญ่ จึงขอเชิญท่านร่วมกิจกรรมกับเราที่กรุงเทพฯ ประเทศไทยในปี 2567  มาร้องเพลง เต้นรำ วาดฝัน และลุกขึ้นพร้อมกัน

วันที่:        2–5 ธันวาคม 2567
สถานที่:     กรุงเทพฯ ประเทศไทย; และทางออนไลน์
ผู้เข้าร่วม: นักสตรีนิยมจากทั่วโลกเข้าร่วมด้วยตนเอง ณ สถานที่จัดงานประมาณ  2,500 คน และเข้าร่วม
ทางออนไลน์ 3,000 คน


CFA 2023 - Suggested Activities Format - thai



การเสวนา: ในการเสวนาให้สำรวจปัญหาหรือความท้าทายจากมุมมองที่แตกต่างกัน หรือแบ่งปัน การเรียนรู้หรือประสบการณ์ ตามด้วยคำถามของผู้ฟังหากมีเวลา

รายการทอล์คโชว์: สนทนาแบบเป็นไปเองในรูปแบบรายการทอล์คโชว์ โดยอาจเป็นการสนทนา ร่วมกันหลายคน มีพิธีกรเป็นผู้ดำเนินรายการ คำถามของผู้ฟังสามารถกำหนดทิศทางของการสนทนาได้

การอภิปราย: วงสนทนาอภิปรายอาจอยู่ในรูปแบบเวิร์ลคาเฟ่ วงอ่างปลา (fishbowls)  และรูปแบบอื่นๆ  ที่เอื้อให้ผู้เข้าร่วมมีส่วนร่วมในการสนทนามากขึ้น

การประชุมเชิงปฏิบัติการ (workshop):    เป็นกิจกรรมเชิงโต้ตอบที่เชิญชวนผู้เข้าร่วมสร้างทักษะใหม่ๆในทุกด้านของชีวิตและการเคลื่อนไหวผ่านกิจกรรมและการปฏิบัติ 

หัวข้อยุทธศาสตร์:  เป็นการเชิญชวนให้คิดผ่านประเด็นหรือยุทธศาสตร์ในเชิงลึกร่วมกับคนอื่น เปิดพื้นที่ สำหรับเรียนรู้กันและกัน สิ่งใดได้ผล ไม่ได้ผล และเราจะพัฒนายุทธศาสตร์ใหม่ๆร่วมกันเพื่อสร้างโลกที่ เราใฝ่ฝันได้อย่างไร

วงแลกเปลี่ยนของคนแนวเดียวกัน: (หรือที่เรียกว่า "Birds of a Feather") เหมาะสำหรับกลุ่มเล็กๆ ในบรรยากาศที่ใกล้ชิดยิ่งขึ้น เพื่อรับฟังความคิดเห็นของกันและกัน จุดประกาย การอภิปราย และ หยิบยกประเด็นหัวข้อที่เฉพาะเจาะจง ละเอียดอ่อน และซับซ้อนอย่างระมัดระวัง

ศิลปะ - การประชุมเชิงปฏิบัติการแบบมีส่วนร่วม: กิจกรรมศิลปะอย่างมีส่วนร่วม และการแสดงออก อย่างสร้างสรรค์ ไม่ว่าจะเป็นทัศนศิลป์ การละคร ภาพยนตร์ จิตรกรรมฝาผนัง การเต้นรำ ดนตรี งานฝีมือ หรือการสร้างงานศิลปะ ฯลฯ   เรายินดีรับทุกแนวคิดที่เชิดชูศิลปะ และความคิดสร้างสรรค์แนวสตรีนิยมใน รูปแบบของการเปลี่ยนแปลงทางสังคม การเยียวยา การแสดงออก และการเปลี่ยนแปลง

ศิลปะ - การแสดง ศิลปะจัดวาง และนิทรรศการ: เรายินดีรับผลงานที่นำเสนอประสบการณ์ และมุมมองใหม่ๆแก่ผู้เข้าร่วมประชุมในเวทีนี้เพื่อขยายขอบเขตของเรา สร้างความท้าทายและสร้าง แรงบันดาลใจ ให้เราคิด รู้สึก และจัดการด้วยวิธีใหม่ๆ

การเยียวยาและบำบัด: กิจกรรมหลากหลายที่เหมาะกับกลุ่มและปัจเจกบุคคล ตั้งแต่การเรียนรู้เทคนิค การผ่อนคลาย ไปจนถึงการพูดคุยถึงการป้องกันภาวะหมดไฟ และตั้งแต่การดูแลร่างกาย จิตใจและ จิตวิญญาณ โดยคำนึงถึงบาดแผลทางจิตใจ ไปจนถึงการเยียวยารอยร้าวในขบวนการเคลื่อนไหวของเรา

Can an individual or organization send multiple applications?

You are welcome to submit up to 2 activities as the organizer. You can still be a partner on other applications.

From “WID” to “GAD” to Women’s Rights: The First Twenty Years of AWID

In 2002 AWID celebrated its 20th anniversary. Given the challenging political, economic and funding environment in which women's organizations must survive, a milestone such as this is worthy of recognition.

In the past two decades the geo-political landscape has been transformed and development theories have come and gone, but approaches to ensure women benefit from development processes have endured.

In its twenty-year history, AWID grew from a volunteer organization for U.S. "Women in Development" (WID) specialists to an international network striving to support proactive and strategic gender equality research, activism and policy dialogue.

On the occasion of its 20th anniversary, this paper charts not only the changes in AWID's organizational structure and goals but also the shifts in policy approaches to gender equality in a changing global environment, through the lens of a membership organization committed to improving the lives of women and girls everywhere.

ما هو منتدى جمعية حقوق المرأة في التنمية الدولي؟

كل ثلاث إلى أربع سنوات، تستضيف جمعية حقوق المرأة في التنمية حدثها الدولي الرئيسي. إنه أكبر حدث في العالم يركز بكل طاقته على الحركات النسوية والعدالة الجندرية بكل تنوعها. إنه تجمع عالمي للناشطين/ات النسويين/ات والحركات المتحالفة والباحثين/ات والممولين/ات وصانعي/ات السياسات. ويتنقل المنتدى بين مناطق وبلدان مختلفة في الجنوب العالمي.

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



ฉันสามารถลงทะเบียนเข้าร่วมฟอรัมได้เมื่อไร ค่าลงทะเบียนเท่าไร และการลงทะเบียนจะครอบคลุมอะไรให้บ้าง

การลงทะเบียนจะเริ่มขึ้นช่วงต้นปี 2567 เราจะประกาศวันที่ในการเปิดให้ลงทะเบียนและค่าลงทะเบียนเร็วๆนี้ การลงทะเบียนจะครอบคลุมการเข้าร่วมฟอรัม รวมถึงอาหารเที่ยง ขนม และอาหารเย็นภายในงานหนึ่งมื้อ (อาหารเช้าจะถูกจัดเตรียมไว้ที่โรงแรม)

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


แน่นอน! กรุณาอ่านการเปิดรับสมัครกิจกรรมภายในงานและสมัครได้ที่นี่ กำหนดเส้นตายในการปิดรับรายละเอียดกิจกรรมใหม่ : 1 กุมภาพันธ์ 2567

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, 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

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