How to build a women’s movement

Economic policies are not gender neutral and women are excluded from global economic decisions. The real system against which women fights is the patriarchy.

The Nicaraguan case of movement building is a successful story that can be followed. The methodology of the movement tried to find a way out from the blockade that the government had put. This blockade was created in the very moment when the organization had reached a dialog with the UN. Women’s movement in Nicaragua created a link with UN that succeeds to present a political, social and economic agenda.

It was used a nonnegotiable collective economic agenda as key to communicate with UN officials, meaning that the issues on the agenda were preset and no change could be accepted. The only concession that was possible was to settle the priorities in time, what could be done right away, what should be done in near future and what on long term.

A real achievement is that the movement built a network in Latin Central America. Strong feminist leadership was oriented toward new generations of women and left the personal interests for collectives ones. Regional Women’s Movement combined their agenda with the UN agenda. But that may be risky to follow the tracks of laws implementation or money flow. Instead, the success is the discussion over women’s economical issues at global level. On one side women need to have access to economical assets, on the other side women mobilization is needed for exceeding the bureaucratic system in order to have an impact on population. While women’s movements have to work at national level on some specific situations, other points on collective agenda will be linked to global interests. Globally women’s movements are highly contested; it was gained less than it was lost. The qualitative feminist agenda is extremely debatable: it is not enough to be part of the movement without saying anything, it is important to enter own issues on the movement’s agenda. The strategies should be flexible in order to summarize a coalition of forces, raising awareness through challenging of stereotypes, reading diversity, change the image of women as victims into the image of women as agents, new kind of links with the Global South.

Ioana Vrabiescu, participant in the Workshop “Vision Lab” in the last day of the conference.

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