While there is still a need for specific guidance and materials on building gender-just movements, there are resources and tools, often developed in women's or feminist movements, that other social movements and activists can adapt and use to promote change. Here you can explore a selection of these materials.
ARROW resource kitAsian-Pacific Resource & Research Centre for Women, 2014
This Asian-Pacific Resource & Research Centre for Women (ARROW) publication, the ARROW Resource Kit (ARK), is a compilation of the most effective governance and management tools and resources that ARROW has developed over the past 20 years. ARROW decided early to give equal priority to programme and organisational development, and has since been assessed by donors and external evaluators as strong in both aspects. ARROW has documented and shared their experiences to enhance their own development, as well as to support and encourage other organisations. The ARK is a resource for leaders and managers working in the women’s movement or other movement-based organisations, as well as scholars and organisational development practitioners. The ARK is divided into four chapters, the first of which provides a brief history of ARROW’s inception and growth as a feminist organisation dedicated to sexual and reproductive health and rights, highlighting key developments, etc. The second chapter describes ARROW’s core beliefs, including that consciously acknowledging and mediating power can lead to a higher level of participation in an organisation; this chapter also shares processes, tools and stories related to ARROW’s structural pillars. In the third chapter, the authors illustrate how ARROW has succeeded in building partnerships, focusing on the following topics: the selection of partners, sharing power in partnerships and capacity building. The fourth chapter presents the main components of ARROW’s organisational sustainability strategies, as well as resources for each. The conclusion summarises the main lessons ARROW has learned over the years, among which is to invest in process: take steps to come to common understandings, agreements and decisions over any governance, organisational or programmatic matter in a way that creates a sense of belonging, inclusion, valuing and collective ownership. The final, and perhaps most important, lesson is the importance of sharing insights, tools and resources among women’s organisations. Through the ARK process, ARROW realised that more time and effort must be invested into its own organisational development, for which there has been insufficient funding in recent years. This publication is made possible with support from the Global Fund for Women, Nina Raj, Sida and the Ford Foundation.
WELDD Feminist leadership web portalShirkat Gah, 2014This web portal, developed by the Women’s Empowerment and Leadership Development for Democratisation (WELDD) programme, is intended to be a space to share useful resources, as well as a forum for sharing experiences and holding discussions about how to nurture feminist leadership that is transformative and sustainable. The resources area has a feminist library and a tool for activists section. The ‘public square’ section contains blogs written by portal users on a range of subjects and the ‘our voices’ section contains news and updates on women’s rights issues in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. There is a particular focus on public and political participation, peace and security, culturally justified violence against women and land and economic rights.
An introduction to advocacy: training guideAcademy for Educational Development, USA, 2013
While defining problems and exploring alternative solutions have long been used to promote change, the need for systematic and iterative advocacy in this process has been less well understood. Recently, researchers, managers, NGO personnel, and other concerned groups and individuals have found it necessary to become advocates, but they often have little knowledge of or training in the subject. This training guide introduces the concept of advocacy, and provides a framework for developing an advocacy campaign. It is designed for a workshop setting, but can also be used as a self-teaching device. Divided into twelve modules, it provides the tools for people to start engaging in the advocacy process, and is designed to:
- inform a diverse audience of potential advocates about advocacy and its methods;
- build some basic skills in advocacy;
- increase the use of available data to inform the advocacy process;
- give confidence to those who are embarking on advocacy efforts; and
- encourage the democratic process by providing people with the skills to make their voices heard.
This guide should be useful to people in all sectors that wish to improve policies and programs through advocacy. Potential users may be:
- professional institutions, associations and networks;
- researchers interested in promoting their findings;
- programme managers who wish to influence their agencies and/or the public;
- NGOs or community organizations;
- ad hoc groups that may form to address particular issues; and
- training institutions or groups that work with potential advocates.
Although the guide is written primarily for use in training sessions, potential advocates can also use it as a tool to help them start their own advocacy work. Selected chapters can be used for one or two-day sessions that can be added to meetings or conferences to give a general orientation on advocacy. Institutions, networks, or associations can use it with their staff and members as a guide to help plan particular advocacy campaigns. Researchers can use it to plan the dissemination of findings on particular issues. It can also be used for pre-service training, using simulated issues for advocacy. Additionally, any or all examples in the guide can be replaced by examples from other sectors.
This document is also downloadable in nine PDF files on the following webpage:
Our justice, our leadership: the grassroots women’s community justice guideHuairou Commission, 2013
This guide was designed to serve grassroots women, trainers, and facilitators involved in community justice activities across Africa. It was written by grassroots women, trainers, and facilitators who are members of the Huairou Commission and Women’s Land Link Africa (WLLA) – a Pan-African platform on land and property rights. It shows how grassroots women across Africa have achieved justice, especially related to land rights, and how they have equipped volunteers who continue to work for justice in their communities. They share sample activities, case studies, and references to helpful additional resources.
The guide has six broad aims and three specific purposes:
-Introduce women with land issues to opportunities for justice
-Share the experience and wisdom of grassroots women
-Help women gain ownership of land and property and work on land and property rights
-Build capacity to mobilise women and communities for justice work
-Support cooperation among organisations focusing on statutory and legal rights and communities focusing on customary and traditional practices
-Support sustainable initiatives
-Describe what a Community Justice Process involves
-Describe what Community Justice Workers are trained to do
-Provide resources to help grassroots women organise their own Community Justice Process and mobilise their own Community Justice Workers
For the purposes of this guide, a distinction is made between two kinds of activities (two paths) that make up the Community Justice Process: community organising and leadership development. The section on community organising activities is structured as a seven step process, which ends with sustaining long-term support for community justice. The following four kinds of community organising activities are highlighted: conducting community-driven processes for resolving land disputes; raising awareness of land rights issues; providing advice and help in working with the legal system; and offering support to people who might not be able to afford legal services.
Seven leadership development resources are also included, encompassing the following kinds of activities: conducting assessments to identify community, group, and individual needs; deciding relevant training objectives and planning training activities; identifying potential trainees and selecting training participants; as well as organising, conducting, and evaluating community events and training activities.
AWID e-learning session - changing their world: concepts and practices of women's movementsAssociation for Women's Rights in Development , 2013
This e-learning session is the first in a series of AWID webinars to celebrate the launchof their publication ‘Changing their world: concepts and practices of women'smovements, second edition’. This webinar was hosted by Srilatha Batliwala (long-time grassroots activist, renowned gender equality advocate, and women’s studies scholar) who edited the publication. During the session, participants were able to engage through real-time polling, speaking, and and using the chat boxes while others spoke to indicate if they were in agreement or not.
Srilatha’s presentation, ‘Movements and why they matter’ covered the following points:
- What is a movement?
- What is movement building?
- Key characteristics of movements
- Why movements matter for social transformation
- How do movements begin?
- Key steps in movement building
- Different stages of growth and levels of maturity of movements
- The relationship between movements and organisations
- What are organisations?
- Types of organisations in the social movement sphere
- Movements contain two types of organisations: formal and informal
- Roles organisations play in movements.
Movements are said to matter because they can create change from individual to systemic levels, in both formal and informal domains.
The presentation was followed by discussion between some of the ‘Changing their world’ case study authors and Srilatha. This was followed by questions and discussion from participants on a range of issues including: the bottom-up and sustainable nature of movements; different kinds of activists (volunteers and paid); women’s issues in minority movements, and minority issues in the women’s movement; intergenerational issues and the inclusion of young people in gender and social justice movements; as well as the different tactics and strategies of social justice and women’s movements versus fundamentalist movements.
Srilatha finished the webinar with a summary of the main points covered, including enabling and disabling environments for women’s movements (financial pressures, government suppression of movement activism). Really interesting topics from the discussion that she highlights are: leadership, power and conflict within movement structures; sustainability and the long-term survival of movements; and the differences between ours and other kinds of movements.
This webinar is also available as a podcast.
AWID economic toolboxAssociation for Women's Rights in Development , 2012The theme of the 12th AWID International Forum on Women’s Rights and Development, celebrated in Istanbul, Turkey (19-22 April 2012) was ‘transforming economic power to advance women’s rights and justice’. On the first day of the forum, participants took part in session block dedicated to information sharing, awareness raising, and skills building on themes linked to economics, economic policies or other issues of key concern for feminists interested in transforming economic power.
This section of the 12th AWID Forum website has been shaped from the ideas, resources, debates and materials shared at the Feminist Economics Toolbox sessions. It contains multimedia resources, divided into the following sections:
- Gross Domestic Product (GDP) / Growth – explores the current status of national income accounting, the best questions feminists can be asking, and the best strategies to adopt.
- Surviving Money and the Financial System – addresses how money and financial systems operate and impact on women of limited means; how the system serves economic purpose, but also deceives and impoverishes through abuse; what women need to know and do to counter the system and survive.
- Gender Equity through Taxation – includes the Tax Advocacy Tool Kit from the Tax Justice Network-Africa to equip gender-based organisations to expose the implicit and explicit gender biases of tax policies and advocate for their removal.
- Rethinking Ideas of Work – covers how feminists have sought to reconceptualise the idea of work, highlighting the artificial nature of the distinction between paid and unpaid work; and discussing how the rise of global care chains has made visible some of the hidden dimensions of women’s work.
- Climate Change Finance – explores the gender dimensions of international climate change finance, including essential nuts and bolts of gender climate change adaptation, mitigation and technology transfer and development.
- Demystifying the Financial Crisis – expresses participants’ concerns about the on-going financial crisis of 2008 and austerity measures being imposed upon entire populations, finding these to be citizen’s and women’s issues.
- International Financial Institutions (IFIs) – includes an overview on the IFIs (what they are, their role, and how they influence and impact country policies, investments and women’s rights and livelihoods), and how civil society can advocate for gender sensitive IFI investments that promote women’s rights and justice.
- Macroeconomic Policy – asserting that understanding the overall impact of macroeconomic policies on human rights can be an effective tool in feminist activism, this section explores the linkages between macroeconomic policies and human rights.
- Food Sovereignty and Food Security – presents basic concepts of food security and food sovereignty; where these concepts emerged and their contexts; and highlights distinctions between the two and their relevance for advancing women’s rights and economic justice.
- Feminist Economics 101 – provides a basic understanding of Feminist Economics (FE), and explores its contributions to both economics and feminism.
- Commodification of Knowledge – includes an article by genderit.org of the issues raised in the economic toolbox session addressing how increasing access and availability of the Internet has transformed the way knowledge is produced and shared.
- New Forms of International Trade – with a focus on developing countries, explores issues regarding the gendered impacts of bilateral free trade and investment agreements across sectors such as agriculture, industry and services.
- International Financial Architecture – with a focus on gender justice, examines key pillars of the international financial architecture, fiscal and monetary policy, financial markets, public debt, and the roles of various actors; highlighting the ideology and principles shaping the current system and how it could be re-structured.
- Corporate Campaigning 101 – discusses how campaign organisations working to advance worker rights in global supply chains balance campaigning and engagement with corporations to pressure for change.
- Development: Some of Us Live It – engages with critical feminist perspectives of the different constructions and conceptions of development; exploring and challenging what these diverse, mainstream and complex understandings of development mean for women’s rights.
The 12th AWID Forum website contains more materials from the event preparations, outcomes, and follow-up; exploring key issues and debates; and helping people learn more about economic power and its connections with women’s rights issues and agendas. To learn more, visit: http://www.forum.awid.org/forum12/
Feminist movement builders’ dictionaryJust Associates (JASS), 2012
Intended to provide a conceptual and practical foundation for feminist movement building, this dictionary was written in response to a perceived “crisis of discourse”; terms like ‘empowerment’ have been co-opted by more powerful groups, such as the World Bank, causing them to lose their original meaning. Just Associates created this dictionary for feminist activists and movement-builders to generate and claim their own definitions.
The contents of this dictionary reflect the various vantage points, intersecting identities, values, and experiences of its writers and contributors. It also draws on the expertise and experience of JASS’ community of feminist popular educators, scholars, and activists from 27 countries in Mesoamerica, Southeast Asia, and Southern Africa.
The dictionary is organised into the following sections:
• Feminism(s)—social and political theories and concepts
• Identity and difference—the building blocks of who we are
• Power and knowledge—power analysis and feminist knowledge production
• The State—the institutions and practice of citizenship, democracy, and governance
• The Economy—deconstructing the current economic world order
• Feminist Movement Building—organizing and leadership for a more just and equal world
It begins by defining ‘feminist movement-building’ as different from ‘building feminist movements’. The latter is a process that mobilizes women, women’s organizations and allies for specific gender equality outcomes (eradicating violence against women, expanding equality of access to citizenship, etc,). Feminist movement building, on the other hand, attempts to bring feminist analysis and gender-equality perspectives into other agendas and movements (environment, peace, human rights, etc); and can involve building movements among women from different movements or agendas.
This first English language edition of JASS’ Feminist Dictionary was developed by Alda Facio, Lisa VeneKlasen, Valerie Miller, Srilatha Batliwala, Annie Holmes, Molly Reilly, Alia Khan, Maggie Mapondera, Natalia Escruceria, and Anna Davies-van Es. The idea for this dictionary originated with JASS Mesoamerica; Alda Facio wrote the first version, ‘Diccionario feminista’, in Spanish.
This resource is also available in Spanish: http://www.justassociates.org/en/resources/diccionario-de-transgresion-feminista
To contribute to the development of this dictionary (new words, clearer definitions, etc.) e-mail:
Manual on women human rights defendersNazra for Feminist Studies, 2012In 2012, the Women Human Rights Defenders programme at Nazra for Feminist Studies produced this manual, especially tailored to the Egyptian context (it is written in Arabic), on Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs). Sections include legislative and military verdicts used to constrain public action; the unique violations committed against WHRDs and why this needs attention; regional and international mechanisms available to WHRDs to report violations; and security tips of use in dangerous circumstances.
The manual takes note of the history of both state and military violations against WHRDs, extending beyond the recent rule of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) back through the Mubarak regimes rule. The state of emergency imposed by the SCAF at the time of this manuals production militarised Egypt’s transitional period and was used to legitimise violations against WHRDs. Rather than representing a complete list of violations, the manual instead emphasises a tendancy of targeting WHRDs by Egyptian authorities.As well as patriarchal cultural norms, the manual highlights legislative constraints on the presence of WHRDs in the public sphere, such as the criminalisation of some sit-ins under threat of imprisonment and fines which effectively bans protest.
Also discussed are tools of protection, such as the availability of a hotline enabling receipt of swift legal, psychological or relocation support, as well as documentation of violations. Also explained are the regional and international mechanisms that can be used to expose violations, namely the UN system and African Union. Finally, the manual presents a list of state actions that may be used against WHRDs, such as arrest and detention, and tactics that can be used by individuals in response. These tactics include inquiring about the legal basis for detention, insisting on the presence of a lawyer during investigations, keeping the telephone number of a lawyer with you in perilous circumstances, and ensuring mobile phone batteries are fully charged.
Power: a practical guide for facilitating social changeJoseph Rowntree Foundation, 2011
This handbook is for facilitators, development workers and people within organisations, networks or community groups who want to build capacity to explore power relationships and achieve social change. It is a practical guide that is largely based on two-years of action-oriented work (2008-2010) on power, participation and social change. The tools, methods and workshop outlines presented in this handbook come from this project’s experience of using power analysis to support organisations in the UK. The project involved twenty organisations focusing on various social issues, exploring ways in which the analysis of power could support them to achieve their social change objectives.
This resource was designed for collaborative use - to combine a range of different strategies and ways of analysing the issue. Although it was designed primarily for those wishing to explore power issues over a sustained period of time (through workshops, one-to-one mentoring, and self reflection), it can also be used for stand-alone workshops introducing power analysis.
Part One gives background information, including the current UK context, definitions are provided for terms such as ‘power’ and ‘power analysis’, etc. It sets out a number of ways in which power analysis has helped organisations and could help others. The remaining contents of Part One address the project’s particular approach to power analysis, the role of the facilitator in using this handbook, and power and power frameworks.
Part Two of the handbook is divided into the following four sections: ‘How to introduce power’, ‘Problem analysis’, ‘From analysis to strategy’, and ‘Reflection on action’. Each section contains workshop outlines, and instructions for facilitating specific activities and exercises.
This handbook supplements the report, ‘Power and making change happen’, written by Raji Hunjan and Soumountha Keophilavong, which can be accessed at: http://www.carnegieuktrust.org.uk/getattachment/b8104d70-3547-4c99-8774-22b8c20e233d/Power-and-Making-Change-Happen.aspxhttp://www.carnegieuktrust.org.uk/getattachment/f4cd28e9-8518-4d7b-9c9b-119e555d79df/Power---A-Practical-Guide-for-Facilitating-Social-.aspx
Self-care and self-defence manual for feminist activistsCREA, 2008The self-care and self-defence manual for Feminist Activists has been translated from Spanish into English, via a collaborative process initiated by CREA. They were inspired to embark on this effort because they saw the value inherent in the text and felt it should be as widely read as possible. The manual reflects the thoughts and knowledge that feminist activists have been debating and sharing with their peers, articulately bringing together a number of issues in a journey of self-exploration. Originally developed by Marina Bernal, the manual seeks to ensure that activists, and all women, understand their own needs, vulnerabilities, and potential in an honest way.
For the manual to be effective, the author notes that the following aspects are important to consider:
- You are your own material for study and reflection; your own experiences are your resources.
- Through introspection, identifying the various social orders affecting your life, it is possible to gradually identify the ways in which women activists can protect themselves.
- This does not mean imposing new demands on an already overwhelmed 'to do' list, however, nor believing that you have no problems whatsoever.
- Belief is required in the possibility of achieving all that is being fought for, to visualise that and make it a reality within you.
The manual is broken down into six main sections, with regular questions and space for answers. Chapter one is entitled 'Recognising who I am', which helps women to identify and become more self-aware of the various dimensions of their identity – as a women, as an activist, within the home, etc. Following this, the chapter 'Recognising the violence we face' examines violence within women's environments, talking about recognisable forms of gender violence, as well as violence in places considered non-violent, like our own workplaces.
Chapter three is carries the title 'Self-inflicted violence'. For women who have often been expected to place others before themselves, it is necessary, the manual says, to reconcile this with one's own self. This chapter explores the ways in which a lack of self-care can translate into self-inflicted violence. The next chapter is called 'Optimising our vital strengths', and details the various streams that converged in the making of this manual.
Chapter five covers psychological defence, physical defence, step-by-step guides to assessing dangerous situations, and legal information. The final chapter, 'Resources', includes information relating to specific areas, such as one's relationship, work, as well as critical situations.