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Feminist Realities exist: Join us to co-create, amplify and share

On 21 August 2018, the AWID team held a live discussion to share our vision for Co-creating Feminist Realities, the framework guiding our work from 2018-2022.

Representing each of our 4 Initiatives, Kimalee Phillip (Co-creating Feminist Realities), Inna Michaeli (Building Feminist Economies), Naureen Shameem (Advancing Universal Rights and Justice) and Kellea Miller (Resourcing Feminist Movements) shared key insights on how our current work builds on AWID’s legacies, the interconnections between our new programs, as well as how we seek to work with priority movements to realise our joint goals.

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What’s new at AWID?

Co-creating feminist realities, an act of radical imagination

There are more just ways of being and doing, lived realities and narratives that show us alternatives to unjust and oppressive systems and ideologies. At AWID we are calling this our “feminist realities” which include activist proposals and alternatives for a more just world. Currently we see these feminist realities in the ways in which various communities and movements live, organise, share knowledge and resist. Kimalee, CFR Coordinator, explained how by coming together as movements in diverse and innovative ways, we are pushing for our collective rights.

"We see Feminist Realities as processes in construction but also as living practices that center our humanity, our human rights; that center direct participation in democracy and justice in the context of community." 

- Kimalee Phillip, Co-Creating Feminist Realities Coordinator

Nourished by the strong networks of connections we have built over the years, AWID supports local groups and movements to co-create spaces that allow us to be bold and make our feminist ideas grow. By integrating arts and creative expression into our work, AWID is also committed to extending our collective space for radical imagination.

As part of our journey towards the next AWID Forum, we seek to amplify these stories of feminist realities that can inspire us to continue to be bold and creative in our feminist organising and resistance.

Building strong feminist economies by challenging the norms

"Ordinary people often feel that they don’t understand enough about the economy or that they are not supposed to understand - especially if they are women. It is important that we understand that this exclusionary power of economics as a tactic that is intentional." 

-Inna Michaeli, Building Feminist Economies Manager

Our realities exist side by side with the material frameworks shaping our societies. Across the globe, we can see that our basic needs (clean water, air and food) are under threat. Jobs are becoming more precarious, governments are being influenced by transnational corporations that hold more power and influence than states. As a counterpoint to this, Inna, BFE Manager, highlighted the importance of AWID’s work to build feminist economies. Feminist economies challenge economic models that prioritise profit over people.

Through its actions and partnerships, AWID works to put the power back into people’s hands, propose alternatives and strengthen a network of interconnected movements including those led by LGBTQI people land-rights activists, and defenders of the planet.

Advancing universal rights and justice against fundamentalisms

Our work in this area builds on decades of analysis around challenging fundamentalisms said Naureen, AURJ Manager. Our mission in advancing universal rights and justice requires us to confront anti-rights actors who undermine freedom of speech, access to the public sphere, and our sexual and reproductive health and rights.

AWID, as part of our work with the Observatory on the Universality of Rights (OURs), has been part of feminist efforts to monitor, track and assess the rise of fascisms and fundamentalisms across the globe. By building a deeper understanding of the existing interlocking systems of oppression, we aim to share this knowledge in order to better disrupt and deconstruct the false discourses perpetuated by fundamentalists, fascists and extremists in order to expand our feminist realities.

"The Advancing Human Rights and Justice initiative is looking to push back and continue the work of challenging fundamentalisms as well as fascisms, and authoritarianism. We try to understand the connections between them, the ways in which they are often fueled by and connected with corporate power."

Naureen Shameem, Advancing Universal Rights and Justice Manager

Resourcing feminist movements in coherence with our vision

As we all know, the work done by feminist movements require significant resourcing. Kellea, our RFM Manager spoke about the importance of not just being funded financially but receiving resources in ways that empower movements. Do we really want to take money from a corporation that is sustaining a system that is oppressing us? The clear answer is no.

With our research methodology ‘Where Is The Money for Women’s Rights’ (WITM) we were able to show that, despite being at the forefronts of intersectional movements (such as land sovereignty, Black Lives Matter, LGBTQI demands, climate justice, etc.) feminist movements only get a small fraction of  available resources. According to the ‘Our Voices, Our Environment’ report on ‘The state of funding for women’s environmental action’ by Global Greengrants, only 0.2% of funding for environmental issues is going to intersectional feminist movements. And only 23% of funding for Human Rights work is dedicated to women/ girls rights globally.

"So what we are doing (...) is trying to understand where [feminist movements] can advocate and access those fundings. It includes working in spaces such as those within the environment, human rights...  But it also means trying to understand and push back against the kind of funding that goes against the transformations that we are trying to create." - Kellea Miller, Resourcing Feminist Movements Manager

AWID’s work will continue to deepen our understanding of resourcing and how we can effectively advocate and access them for feminist movements. We are also investing in analyzing the kind of push backs our movements are experiencing as well as the forces undermining our feminist visions in order to better counter them.

How can you help?

By mapping a resourcing ecosystem, we can better advocate for more policy coherence from donors in order to better support feminist movements. This is where we need you. Here are a few concrete steps you can take.

1-Understand the current context

The abuse of power, fundamentalisms, pain, violence and all the forms of oppression that we experience are not inevitable. We have the power to challenge the way things work. We can reimagine and create the spaces we want collectively.

Once we recognise this, we can take action and start advocating at our own level. We all have a role to play whether it is in calling for a better quality of funding for feminist movements, or defending justice or by co-creating new feminist economies.

2-Be creative and generous

Our diversity is our power. We are all part of the solution. To build strong opposition to oppressive corporations and anti-rights actors, we need to synergize our tactics, knowledge and strategies. Let’s connect and learn from each other. Together, we can imagine new ways of working.

3-Connect with AWID

Over the next several years we will be sharing new research and data to support your activism. Engage with us to keep informed and connected with a large network of supporters.

4-Give us your feedback

How do you want us to engage with you? What do you think of our new initiatives?

We are eager to hear about your ideas. Do not hesitate to contact us!

AWID Forum