Feminist Movement-Building

linnah-matanya-malawi-jass

JASS’s core mission is to build, strengthen and galvanize women’s collective power for a just and sustainable world – for all.  By “collective power” we mean the ability to create change that comes through grassroots organizing, alliance-building among diverse constituencies and galvanizing networks of allies around shared vision and agendas.  In other words—movements. 

JASS puts movement building at the heart of our work, believing that the change women want comes from the movements they build.   History teaches us that change in institutions, social attitudes, policies and decision- making, as well as in our every day lives, especially for women, is made possible through the sustained demands and organized action of movements. 

Feminist Movement Building: JASS calls our movement-building “feminist” because our work encompasses the struggles in women’s personal lives for dignity, safety, equality and control of our bodies, as centrally as their shared organizing and leadership in public arenas.  All our work is imbued with an understanding of the need to challenge and transform power relationships so that women can rise and flourish.

"You can’t build a movement without a strong compelling vision. You need the courage to move in a bold new direction where feminist ideas are born, innovation is fueled, and change happens." ~ Hope Chigudu

JASS’ holistic approach to movement building is grounded in sustained work with women in their communities and the concrete demands of those constituencies.  Located in both the Global North and South, JASS is a facilitator (accompanying and supporting activist leaders and movements) and an actor (involved directly in strategic action). We empower women activists and strengthen women’s movements by:

  • equipping activist leaders from all walks of life with the confidence, information, skills, strategies and connections they need to organize women for democratic change and to navigate risky contexts;
  • promoting and sustaining grassroots organizing and alliance building to advance concrete demands of women’s constituencies, and activate local to global responses to urgencies and opportunities.
  • mobilizing influence and allies for strategic opportunities to engage, persuade, and pressure governments and international actors to respond effectively to violations of women’s rights and to advance gender equality;
  • maximizing women’s use of media to amplify the visibility, appeal and reach of women’s rights agendas and the role of women’s movements in advancing democracy and justice; and
  • documenting and publishing knowledge from practice–in multiple formats from videos to analysis and training tools–to contribute to smarter thinking and responses to inequality and women’s rights challenges.

JASS and Feminism: JASS’ approach to feminism not only defends the rights and interests of women, but also upholds the equal value of all persons, transforming inequalities shaped by race, ethnicity, class and income, sexuality, ability, location, age and other factors.

What’s the difference?

  • building feminist movements: organizing and mobilizing women around gender equality goals, and
  • feminist movement-building: bringing gender equality goals and feminist perspectives into work with all kinds of movement partners, and organizing women in many different spaces including but not limited to self-defined feminist movements.

For more feminist movement-building, JASS offers many resources and our work in Southern Africa, Southeast Asia and Mesoamerica shows feminist movement-building in action.