Power analysis

Writer, feminist researcher, and market organiser, Dudziro Nhengu (Zimbabwe), interviewed Malawian activist, Tiwonge Gondwe in Istanbul, Turkey (April, 2012).
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In the beginning of the so called 21st Century, of one of the least civilized planets of the universe, the economic, political, symbolic, social and military power was in the hands of a few sick men who suffered from such a severe misogyny that they had come to despise life itself. The illness had appeared some five or six thousand years earlier, when the male humans discovered that they had something to do with the reproduction of their species.
Alquimia, JASS Mesoamerica’s learning and education initiative, integrates leadership training and knowledge generation to create a dynamic fusion of key program elements designed to strengthen feminist movement building in the region.
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Developing a critical political consciousness is at the core of JASS’ feminist movement building strategies. Popular education, or more specifically, feminist popular education, has long served as a conceptual and methodological foundation for JASS’ activist training, learning, organizing, and action.
This article uses Hilkka Pietilä’s reconceptualization of the economy as three spheres of production (free, protected and fettered) to illuminate the new ways in which neo-liberal globalization is intensifying exploitative capitalist processes. The study focuses on the particular vulnerabilities of women, the value of their unpaid work, and the transformative significance of their resistance.
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Self-care and wellbeing have made a welcome comeback in feminist politics. They have been around for decades, but drifted out of focus and out of favor around the early 1990s as the dominant trends in women’s rights work took other turns. In some respects, the focus on policy and legal rights advocacy, important as that has been and continues to be for fighting inequality and advancing women’s rights, also came along with an unhelpful disconnect and hierarchy between needs and rights.
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The JASS Cross Regional Dialogue (CRD) opened its doors to three days of critical thinking and mobilizing on charting a collective roadmap for attaining women’s rights and justice. Drawing 48 feminist activists from Southern Africa, Southeast Asia and Mesoamerica together for a rich and radical exchange of ideas and feminist strategies—all of this set against the backdrop of a world held firmly in the grip of patriarchy, increasing human rights violations, political crises and serious economic meltdowns.
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“How has the political crisis of the early 2000s --- along with increasing violence and economic insecurity -- demobilised and divided women’s organising efforts in Zimbabwe—or has it? What kinds of innovative, brave organising have emerged in Zimbabwe in a context of violence and political repression?” As Zimbabwe approaches elections, fanning fears of renewed violence, these are just some of the questions 16 women activists grappled with at The Changing Face of Women’s Activism and Feminist Action in Zimbabwe held in Harare (March 28th – 29th 2012).
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 A New Weave of Power, People & Politics provides a well-tested approach for building people’s participation and collective power that goes beyond influencing policy and politics to transforming public decision-making altogether.

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