Stories of hope and resistance from the CIDSE network
Each year, International Women’s Day (IWD) is a moment to give extra visibility and support to the daily struggles of women to fight for their rights, to call for bold action to address gender injustices worldwide, to spotlight the work of women, women’s rights movements and gender justice organizations that inspire us, and to reflect on the sacrifices and achievements made by women all around the world.
In this blogpost, we spotlight some of the many stories of hope and resistance that our members and their partners shared on IWD 2022.
On the occasion of International Women’s Day, CIDSE and the Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience (CAWR) from Coventry University released the first episode of their podcast mini-series exploring feminist agroecology. Throughout the mini-series, we explore how the oppression of women forms part of systemic oppression against anyone who falls out of the white, heterosexual, cis-male box. We also look into what decolonial and indigenous feminisms offer to the agroecology movement, and how to strengthen that movement from a feminist perspective.
Broederlijk Delen, Belgium
Being a woman and defending the land is the double challenge faced by women environmental defenders all over the world. On 8 March, Broederlijk Delen organised a roundtable with testimonies of women environmental defenders from Peru, Colombia and Bolivia. They shared stories about climate activism, their experiences and struggles defending their territories and the vital role of women in activism.
👉 Watch the video here: https://fb.watch/bEK_V7l1RQ/
CAFOD, England and Wales
When the conflict in Ukraine began, volunteers in the Caritas station kitchen in Przemyśl, Poland, switched to feeding refugees and aid workers. 50,000 units of soup have been distributed since the beginning of the conflict, that is over 1,800 litres of soup cooked daily. On IWD, CAFOD highlighted the amazing work of women around the world, from Ukraine to Sierra Leone.
CCFD-Terre Solidaire, France
CCFD-Terre Solidaire paid tribute to women who work tirelessly for a more united world by sharing the portraits of four inspiring and determined women who are defending their lands, advocating for peace and more.
👉 Les femmes qui nous inspirent – Terre Solidaire (ccfd-terresolidaire.org)
Cordaid, the Netherlands
The struggles of women fighting for their rights became particularly poignant in Afghanistan after the Taliban seized power in August 2021. Cordaid shared the thoughts of their colleague Amina who fled Afghanistan: “Afghan women set an example for courage and endurance.”
👉 International Women’s Day: let us honour the resistance of women in Afghanistan – Cordaid International
Development and Peace, Canada
Development and Peace spotlighted their new project to improve food and nutritional security in the Central Sahel region of Africa. In Central Sahel, political instability, conflict, climate change, COVID-19 and governance issues intersect in complex ways to cause and aggravate poverty and food insecurity, forcing millions to flee. Their project aims to boost the food security of vulnerable workers―especially women and youths―in the agriculture, forestry, livestock and fisheries sectors.
👉 Major new project to improve food security in the Sahel – Development and Peace (devp.org)
Entraide et Fraternité, Belgium
Can the fight against global warming be feminine and decolonized? In an analysis published on IWD, Axelle Fischer (Secretary-General at Entraide et Fraternité) highlights the inseparable nature of the issues of decolonization, the fight against global warming and gender integration. Without the full participation of the populations of impoverished countries and without taking into account the voice of women, there can be no real progress in saving our planet.
For Fastenaktion, women’s equality is central to the fight against hunger and poverty. In all their projects and programmes, they focus on supporting women’s empowerment and breaking down power relations in a sustainable way. For IWD, they shared an encounter in Nepal with Purnima Sharki, a young Dalit woman of 18, and her friends. It showed them that the road to equality is still long but that with confidence, dreams can be achieved, even if it means doing hard work to earn money and get an education at the same time.
👉https://fastenaktion.ch/der-weg-zur-gleichberechtigung-ist-lang-und-mit-schwerer-last-verbunden/ (also in IT and FR)
FEC and Mosaiko shared the results of a Social Survey they conducted on Inclusive Public Policies from a Gender Perspective in Angola. The objective was to get a better idea of the social reality and gender equality in 15 municipalities in the provinces of Uíge, Huambo and Huíla. In the research, the existing inequalities in areas such as access to justice, access to civil registration, education, civic participation, and access to secure sources of income were analyzed. With the dissemination of the research, Mosaiko and FEC intend to make a contribution to inform decision-making by state institutions, civil society organisations or other social actors, on the approach of gender equality in public policies.
👉 https://www.fecongd.org/2022/03/10/pesquisa-social-sobre-politicas-publicas-inclusivas-numa-perspetiva-de-genero/ . Full study also available in EN and FR.
On IWD, the Italian Coalition Against Poverty to which our member FOCSIV adheres, expressed deep concern for the war in Ukraine and in particular for the safety and survival of women and girls in Ukraine, and in all countries affected by conflict.
👉 You can read the statement, including their concrete recommendations, here: Porre fine alla violenza, all’esclusione e alla discriminazione contro le donne – FOCSIV
DKA (member of KOO), Austria
As one example of their many partners working towards gender equality, DKA showcased the work of their Bolivian partner ‘Centro Juana Azurduy’. The mission of the centre is to fight against the patriarchal system and machismo as they are the structural causes of oppression of women. You can learn more about the amazing work of the centre in the video below.