Movements must be fully inclusive across the spectrum of all women: AWID Forum

Laura Brown | Sep 11, 2016
Womankind event at AWID Forum in Brazil
Womankind's Movement and Network Capacity Manager, Laura Brown, blogs after day 3 of the AWID (Association for Women's Rights in Development) Forum in Brazil. The forum brings together the global, feminist movement to build collective power for rights and justice. 

This is my first AWID Forum and before I came I was filled with excitement and curiosity. On day 3 I can report that being here has been one of the most inspiring and energising experiences of my professional career over the last 15 years.

Embracing feminist diversity and self care

What has struck me the most is how much feminist diversity is embraced and lived in this space with women from over 100 countries. As day 3 comes to a close, I feel excited to share all I've learnt if a little sad it is almost over. 

Today I attended a  session about the importance of self care for Women Human Rights Defenders. In fact the whole if AWID has been a gift in self care, taking defenders out of pressured environments to a beautiful location where they can eat well, shake off the tension in their bodies, relax and draw strength to continue the fight. As one expert on feminist trauma shared: "'women need to be rested to do this work -well-being is political."

Alliances for funding

I also attended our Womankind session today about funding for women's rights organisations. We had a great turnout demonstrating how big an issue this is. Key takeaways are the need to work in alliances with other women's rights organisations to access funding, but also with others in other movements. There are also great cross-movement opportunities with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to come together across movements and push for implementation of Goal 5, for gender equality.

Building inclusive movements

Movement building has been central to the AWID Forum. In my role as Movement and Network Capacity Manager, I have learnt that to be sustainable, movements must be fully inclusive across the spectrum of all women, that the starting point for true activism needs to be taking care of yourself and others and that movement building should be as fun and dynamic as possible!

Professionally, I now feel better equipped to support women's rights movements as a result of this conference and feel even more connected to our global struggle through the many connections and stories I've heard.

Follow our live updates from #AWIDForum on Twitter.

Leave a comment

Go back