The aim of the BRIDGE gender and social movements programme is to inspire and help build more effective, gender-just social movements, better able to create positive transformation and equality for all.

The programme has championed a collaborative approach, actively involving ‘communities of practice’ made up of over 100 activists and scholars from a range of global regions and social movements. Together we have been debating:

  • Why social justice movements need to engage more deeply on a women’s rights/gender justice agenda.
  • Why women’s and feminist movements need to reach out to other movements and build strong alliances.
  • How feminists and gender justice advocates work within social justice movements, influencing and re-shaping them.
  • What a gender-just social movement looks like.
  • What the challenges are in integrating women's rights and gender justice into social movement politics and practice.
  • What effective routes to change have been found in transforming social movement approaches and strategies on women's rights and gender justice.

We are interested in how social movements think about gender inequality; both in the outside world and within their own internal structures, and we are keen to explore the potential of feminist movement building to enable diverse social movements to recognise and address the inequalities and power dynamics in their midst.

Our expert advisory group

Srilatha Batliwala, our lead adviser, is a feminist activist and researcher who is currently Scholar Associate with the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID). Srilatha has worked for gender equality and women’s empowerment for the last 40 years through grassroots activism, advocacy, research, training, building theory from practice, and organisational capacity building. Srilatha has written extensively on women’s issues and is well known for her publications on women’s empowerment, transnational civil society, women’s movements, feminist leadership, and monitoring and evaluation of women’s rights. Her current work focuses on feminist movement building, measuring the impact of women’s rights work, and building the analytical and strategic capacity of young women activists.
David Kelleher is an organisational consultant and a co-founder and Senior Associate of Gender at Work, a global knowledge and capacity-building network on institutional change for gender equality. For more than 35 years, David has worked with numerous non-government and public organisations helping them build their capacity to further social change. He has served in various roles with Amnesty International including as President of the Board of Directors for Amnesty Canada and has been a member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Association of Women’s Rights in Development (AWID).
Sharon Bhagwan Rolls is a media professional who initiated the establishment of FemLINKPACIFIC - a feminist community media NGO that works to increase the visibility of gender issues and women’s stories and to ensure conflict prevention through community media initiatives. She set up the regional women’s media and policy network on UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and was subsequently appointed to the UN Civil Society Advisory Group on UNSCR1325 Women, Peace and Security. Since December 2010 Sharon has been the co-chair of a Pacific Working Group on Women, Peace and Security.
Hope Chigudu is a sociologist by training. After a start in the corporate world, feminism opened Hope’s eyes and she joined the Ministry of Women’s Affairs in Zimbabwe. Later she became a founding member of the Zimbabwe Women’s Resource Centre and Network. As a renowned gender equality activist and consultant, Hope has supported a great many African and international justice groups, working in most African countries from Ghana to South Africa and serving on the boards of the Global Fund for Women, Just Associates and Urgent Action Fund and on the working committee of the African Feminist Forum.
Marivic Raquiza is Assistant Professor at the National College of Public Administration and Governance of the University of the Philippines. As co-Convenor of Social Watch Philippines, she actively campaigns for policies and engages in political action to combat poverty and inequality, and fights for women’s rights at national, regional and global levels. Marivic has sat on the boards and leadership bodies of various civil society organisations at national, regional and global levels. She has a MA in Development Studies and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. studies at the City University of Hong Kong.
Patricia Ardón has been working in development, women's rights and human rights and peace building initiatives with national, regional and international organisations as well as at the community level for more than 30 years. She is the founding Director of Sinergia No'j of Guatemala, which works to strengthen the leadership of women, especially indigenous women. At present, she is an adviser and a member of the Mesoamerican team of the international women's network Just Associates (JASS) which provides leadership training and political support for women's rights.
Hazel Reeves, our programmatic adviser, is a consultant and member of the BRIDGE International Advisory Committee. She was formerly Programme Manager at the Institute of Development Studies with the Pathways of Women's Empowerment research consortium and was the manager of BRIDGE for many years. Hazel has extensive experience in research and communications aimed at engaging policy actors and others in the international policy arena and of coordinating policy-oriented communications on issues of gender equality and women's empowerment. 

Our Cutting Edge Pack author

Jessica Horn is a women’s rights consultant and writer. She has worked with NGOs, progressive donors, and the United Nations around rights, justice and the body - advancing sexual rights, ending violence against women, supporting women living with HIV, researching religious fundamentalisms and ensuring women’s rights in conflict-affected contexts. Jessica is a founding member of the African Feminist Forum, and was lead curriculum developer and trainer for Fahamu’s flagship Movement Building Bootcamp for African activists. She serves as board member of women’s funds Mama Cash and Urgent Action Fund-Africa, and is co-editor of the Our Africa platform on openDemocracy. Jessica holds a BA in Anthropology from Smith College and an MSc in Gender and Development from the London School of Economics.


The BRIDGE team

The BRIDGE team working on this programme is:

Jenny Birchall
, programme manager

Jenny received vital support and advice throughout the programme from several colleagues and external specialists including Alyson Brody, Adrian Bannister, Alia Khan, Amy Hall, Amy Thompson, Angela de Prairie, Aurélie Cailleaud, Devangana Kalita, Elaine Mercer, Emily Esplen, Georgina Aboud, Helen Dixon, Laura Asturias, Paola Brambilla and Peter Mason, as well as the BRIDGE International Advisory Committee.

Get in touch

Project donors

The Cutting Edge programme on gender and social movements was funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), through its Gender, Power and Sexuality grant, and the UK Department for International Development (DFID), through its Mobilising Knowledge for Development grant.

BRIDGE work is also supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and Irish Aid.

Multilingual outputs

Multilingual outputs have been produced in partnership with SendasAL and Genre en Action