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Our Bodies, Our Lives: insights from feminist movement building in Southern Africa Just Associates SNA.

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Presentation on theme: "Our Bodies, Our Lives: insights from feminist movement building in Southern Africa Just Associates SNA."— Presentation transcript:

1 Our Bodies, Our Lives: insights from feminist movement building in Southern Africa Just Associates SNA


3 Feminist Movement Building

4 Alliances

5 Solidarity and sisterhood

6 Collective demands

7 local transformation power with Popular education HOPE trust & solidarity personal is political Safe spaces unity inspiration Women’s voice and agency power to self-care and personal renewal women’s collective power Building & mobilizing Movement-based organising Leadership

8 Feminist popular education Popular education is an educational approach that collectively and critically examines everyday experiences and raises consciousness for organizing and movement- building, acting on injustice with a political vision in the interest of the most marginalized. ~ Paolo Freire

9 Power analysis: visible, hidden and invisible power

10 Body mapping It starts with our bodies. When you see a woman, everything she has gone through is written on her body: her pain, her joy, her suffering, her happiness. It takes courage to say it starts with me. This courage is important. That is why we do body mapping because it starts with me and my body. – Woman activist leader, Malawi

11 The Master’s house For the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us to temporarily beat him at his own game, but they will never enable us to bring about genuine change. Audre Lorde )

12 Heart-mind-body Prioritising the wellbeing of individual women is essential for nurturing stronger organisations and catalysing movements for real, sustained change. JASS Heart Mind Body Methodology Guide



15 Impact: social transformation The women were demanding behaviour change on many levels [e.g.,] that their husbands also start taking treatment, use condoms, go for testing and take other measures for prevention. They discussed how the practice of young women/widows/divorcees accompanying chiefs to cultural celebrations to provide services, including sex, impacts them and increases infection rates…The husbands started shouting at the meeting saying that this research was a wrong thing to do…the paramount chief agreed with all of the issues [and] said that we should update him on what is happening on the ground and that at all installations, chiefs should bring their wives. He instituted a new policy to confirm that and we continue to check it. Interview with Tiwonge Gondwe, Women Forum in the North and Coalition of Women Living with HIV/AIDS (COWHLA), Malawi, October 2012

16 Impact: building power within I’ve been working with JASS since 2008 they have really empowered me with skills and knowledge and power…women only safe space[s]…make us strong, we come together and become friends. We understand the problems in our lives. We see how power works, those with power over us and we see together that we have power within, to make change in our lives. Linnah Matanya, Director, Women for Fair Development, Malawi

17 Possible insights for WoMIN’s work: The personal is political; understanding patriarchy. Impact of organising led and shaped by women and based on women’s issues. The need and time for generative processes,. Diversity - the need to build alliances and shared analysis and action across varied actors and. Range of strategies and a responsive movement building approach that can identify and tackle all forms of power. What would it mean to develop a shared politics on sex and sexuality as it relates to women in/affected by extractives, including but beyond sex work, so that women can control their lives, bodies and sexual health?


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