A gender-just social movement is one that creates a positive environment to support internal reflection, learning and action on equality and inclusion, as well as providing support for participation and leadership among under represented groups.

The resources below provide an insight into how this could be done. There are also resources highlighting the work going on within organisations, structures and movements to promote change on women's rights and gender justice.

24 resources - Page 3 of 3
  • In their own idiom: reflections on a gender action learning program in the Horn of Africa

    M Friedman, D Kelleher
    Gender at Work, 2009

    Gender at Work, in collaboration with Oxfam Canada’s Partner in Cross Sectoral Engagement capacity development program, have published these two complementary papers following the completion of the Gender and Learning (GAL) program in the Horn of Africa. A two-year, non-prescriptive, collaborative process, GALs objective was to aid gender-equitable capacity development in six organisational partners from Ethiopia, Somaliland, and Sudan.

    The partner organisations that participated in GAL included both established and relatively new NGOs working on community development and mobilisation, and each relied heavily on volunteers who regarded it as their responsibility to work within their cultures to enact change. Following reflective one-to-one meetings with each organisation, called “hearing the story”, workshops and consultations with GAL facilitators helped them to develop ‘change programs’ which on a particular barrier to transforming exclusionary practices. Facilitators also provided the necessary tools, resources, mentoring and training, using a process called ‘action learning’, or learning by doing.

    The first paper, ‘Gender, change, and gender relations’ presents the organisational context of each of the participants, and examines the effect that GAL had in terms of: the individual conceptual and consciousness shifts that occurred; organisational changes and developments; and cultural and community shifts. The second paper, ‘Working on gender issues in our own way’, reflects on the process itself and how it helped these organisations to cultivate change processes in their own way and according to their own culture. This proved to be a striking aspect of the NGOs strategies; a simultaneous respect for, and challenging of, local culture that allowed for a greater depth of community dialogue.

    Outcome highlights with regard to changes that the GAL program produced are summarised at three scales:
    · Individual – new knowledge, skills, capacities, and counter-cultural behaviours were attained, such as men treating their wives differently, and challenging long-standing community norms regarding gender roles.

    · Community – networks of change agents were built, cultural and religious leaders were engaged, and communication of research results on gender violence was disseminated.

    · Organisational – women were given a voice within organisations, volunteer bases were strengthened, organisational understanding of gender equality was enhanced, and programs were developed to further women’s rights in communities.

  • What's the Point of Revolution if We Can't Dance?

    J. Barry, J. Dordevic
    Urgent Action Fund for Women's Human Rights, 2007
    This book is a compilation of many different activist voices and provides a powerful and personal account of the women's movement. Women activists' lives show common patterns. They work very long hours, never take breaks, travel a lot, and feel guilty for not spending enough time with their families. Their wages are usually so low that they constantly worry about feeding their families and retiring without a pension. They are exposed to trauma day in day out. This working culture is rarely questioned because commitment to the cause of social change and gender equality is more important. Yet activists often burn out, become depressed, and get ill because of the enormous stress they are under. It is important that women activists make their working culture more sustainable by starting to explore, develop and support a range of initiatives to support their well-being.

    Some of these could include: taking regular breaks when working, sharing their experiences of stress and trauma with their colleagues and allowing time for recovery from illness or accidents. Adequate wages, vacation time, health care, pensions, security, training and education should also be included in the budgets of development programmes
  • Making Change Happen Series

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    Just Associates (JASS), 2006

    Entitled Making Change Happen, this series of three short publications regarding the strategies and ideas shaping social justice work. The papers have been produced by Just Associates, in collaboration with various partners, and each takes on a different theme: advocacy and citizen participation; citizen engagement and global economic power; and concepts for revisioning power for justice, equality and peace.

    The first paper draws from the 2001 meeting Making Change Happen: Advocacy and Citizen Participation, summarising the output from speakers and discussions. Featuring 49 people engaged in advocacy and citizen participation around the world, the key themes addressed at the workshop form the structure of the paper: engagement in advocacy, distinguishing strategic policy space from ‘window-dressing’; linking social transformation and policy advocacy; identity, representation and legitimacy in advocacy; and how to assess success.

    In 2005, Just Associates co-sponsored an event that brought together advocates, educators, researcher, and community and labour activists to reflect in the practice and challenges of global economic justice work. The second paper in the series summarises the output from this meeting, with dialogue particularly focused on: trade-offs and tensions between policy advocacy and grassroots organising strategies; finding the balance between information and ideology; and what lessons could be drawn from popular education, a political education process and methodology that aims to help people examine the systemic roots of inequality.

    Finally, in the third edition of the series, comes a collection of ideas and questions that emerged from a 2006 meeting of a diverse group of women leaders from Mexico and Central America. They had met with the aim of examining, through their own experiences, questions such as: how the new globalised context affects their work; why most people seem disconnected and disengaged, even those most affected by injustice; and how they understand the complexities of power. The resulting document discusses multiple aspects of power, including the differentiation between ‘power with’, ‘power to’, and ‘power within’; correcting strategic power imbalances; as well as the intersections of identity and difference.

  • Charter of feminist principles for African feminists

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    African Women's Development Forum, 2006
    The Charter of Feminist Principles for African Feminists was formed out of a movement building initiative known as The African Feminist Forum(AFF), a regional forum bringing together African feminist activists to deliberate on critical issues affecting the movement for collective action at regional and national levels. The Feminist Charter was adopted at the first convening in 2006. It was formed out of a need for a framework to guide analysis, practice and organising as individuals and as a collective. 

    The charter has been disseminated as far afield as Latin America and South East Asia in addition to Africa and has been translated into Spanish, Kiswahili (spoken in East Africa) and Wolof (spoken in West Africa). It has been used as a resource for training, awareness raising, mobilisation and constituency building, advocacy, organisational monitoring and review as well as education and policy development. It has been instrumental in shaping attitudes and practice especially within the women’s movement in Africa. This has led to better programming, partnerships and alliances especially on some of the more ‘controversial’ women’s rights issues such as sexual rights.

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