Standing with the changemakers: lessons from supporting women’s movements Cover image: Womankind partner, FIDA , has grown a movement of Maasai women to champion the rights of women and girls © Womankind /Thandiwe-Muriu

This page: Marisa from Kajiado Country in Kenya, campaigns against Female Genital Mutilation as part of the movement of Maasai women supported by FIDA Kenya. About Womankind Worldwide © Womankind /Thandiwe-Muriu

Womankind Worldwide is a global women’s rights organisation working with women’s movements to transform the lives of women. Our vision is a world where the rights of all women are respected, valued and realised. We support women’s movements to strengthen and grow, by providing a range of tools, including technical support, communications, connectivity and shared learning, joint advocacy and fundraising.


This briefing is based on wide-ranging desk research and interviews carried out by Bel Camargo Lyon and Mitali Sen for Womankind Worldwide between February and June 2017. It was co- authored by Chiara Capraro, Lee Webster and Jessica Woodroffe, with input from Abigail Hunt (the Overseas Development Institute) and Fenella Porter (Oxfam GB). It would not have been possible without the time and insight of women’s rights activists and partners. Our particular thanks go to: Susan Alobo, National Association of Women Organisations (); Faiza Jama Mohamed, (Africa Office); Jemimah Keli, International Federation of Women Lawyers (Kenya); Juliet Were, Isis-Women’s International Cross-Cultural Exchange (Uganda); Catherine Nyambura, African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET); and to all the women, and their organisations and movements, in , Kenya, Nepal, Uganda and who we spoke to in 2016 and 2017. Thanks also to Laura Brown, Mike Clulow, Barbara Dockalova, Caroline Haworth, Louise Hemfrey, Sarah Masters and Reshad Sharif for their input to the research and briefing. This briefing was edited by Kellie Smith, and was designed and printed by Dacors. Published in October 2017


Women’s rights organisations (WROs): These are women-led organisations working to advance women’s rights and gender justice. Women’s movements: These are broad social movements led by women and their organisations that campaign for women’s rights and gender justice at national, regional and international levels. They include WROs and other actors including activists, academics, journalists, lawyers and trade unionists. Women defenders (WHRDs): This term encompasses women who work to defend human rights, as well as any other human rights defenders, working to protect and advance women’s human rights and gender justice. and girls (VAWG): This is a violation of women’s human rights which takes different forms (e.g. physical, psychological, economic) and stems from structural power imbalances between women and men in society. Unpaid care work: This term refers to the daily activities that sustain our lives and health, such as housework (food preparation, cleaning, laundry) and personal care (looking after children, older people, those who are sick or have a disability). Unpaid care work is disproportionately carried out by women because of gender roles and stereotypes. 4 Standing with the changemakers 5 Lessons from supporting women’s movements

1. Introduction

Left: Members of the Dalit In her theory of change, Womankind Worldwide This briefing builds on our 2013 Leaders for women’s movement in Nepal, 2 organised and mobilised by asserts that progressive change happens when Change report , bringing in new analysis and Womankind partner, Feminist diverse and independent women’s movements examining the roles and impact of women’s rights Dalit Organization, are empowered to understand and have vision, strength, resilience and collective organisations and movements in advancing campaign for their rights. power. Change is sustained when these women’s women’s rights. Desk research commissioned by © Womankind /Thandiwe-Muriu movements thrive and flourish over time. Womankind in 2017 analysed secondary literature, Women’s rights organisations (WROs) and including journal articles, blogs, reports, news movements are vital to a just world where the articles and policy briefings from academia, civil rights of all women are respected, valued and society, international organisations and media. Our realised. Their impact is threefold: research team also carried out in-depth interviews with key informants from women’s movements. • ensuring policies and laws that tackle These findings aim to support donors, discrimination and protect and advance international non-governmental organisations women’s rights are developed, adopted and (INGOs) and the international community to implemented; recognise and understand the pivotal role of • promoting social change that supports the women’s movements in advancing women’s rights, achievement of women’s rights; including the challenges they face, and to consider • providing services that support the realisation how best to support them. of women’s rights. During almost three decades of working directly to support WROs, and working for change as part of the global women’s movement, Womankind has witnessed the impact that organisations and movements have had. From changing the lives of individual women to pushing for legal and social change that supports the realisation of women’s rights, WROs and women’s movements have made significant progress in advancing women’s

1. Womankind Worldwide (2016), rights. Throughout our history, we have learnt Women’s movements: a force for how best to support these changemakers and change. Womankind Worldwide’s “Throughout our history, Strategy 2016-2021. Available online listened to the challenges they face in working for at deep and lasting change, from overcoming we have learnt how /default- resource scarcity to resisting backlash. Our new source/resources/womankind-worldw best to support these ide-external-strategy-summary- strategy1 focuses on supporting strong, vibrant 2017.pdf?sfvrsn=0 2. Esplen, E, Womankind Worldwide women’s movements. In this briefing, we focus changemakers and (2013), Leaders for change: why primarily on laws and policies but look also at the support women’s rights listened to the organisations?, available online at role of WROs and movements in challenging /default- social norms and empowering and organising challenges they face” source/resources/briefings/leadersforc hange-final.pdf?sfvrsn=6 women for social change. 6 Standing with the changemakers 7 Lessons from supporting women’s movements

2. Context: women’s rights in a changing world

Right now, a global backlash against women’s creation, revision and implementation of national rights is on the rise. In the words of the UN level laws in accordance with international Below: A group of women who Global policy regression that impacts on women’s feminist and human rights groups, has been 5 are supported by Womankind Commissioner for Human Rights, this comes with instruments and agreements on women’s rights . partner, Women for Human choice and control has far-reaching implications. monitoring the efforts of conservative and a “renewed obsession with controlling and limiting Rights, through the economic, The Mexico City Policy, or the Global Gag Rule as it religious fundamentalist groups to undermine In addition, although progress has been achieved political and cultural women’s decisions over their bodies and lives, and for some women, profound inequalities remain for empowerment of single women is known, reinstated by the US government under international human rights agreements. Its 2017 in Nepal. views that a woman’s role should be essentially women belonging to marginalised groups and President Trump, blocks federal funding to non- report sheds a light on the rhetoric, strategies and © Womankind /Thandiwe-Muriu 3 restricted to reproduction and the family” . Whilst who face multiple and intersecting discrimination governmental organisations that provide abortion impact of such groups and maps their affiliation women’s movements have pushed long and hard because of their gender and other aspects of their counselling and referrals or advocate for increased and relationships. These range from concerted for women’s rights to be enshrined in international identity6. This example from the Feminist Dalit access to abortion. However, the current version of lobbying of member states to organising youth at policies and frameworks, with notable success, the Organisation (FEDO) in Nepal highlights the 8. Ford, L., (2017), Women will die: the policy goes further than previous Republican national level and promoting alternatives to current global political landscape risks a serious everyday impacts of intersecting oppressions on Trump leaves Ugandan women in governments to additionally include restrictions on comprehensive sex education in schools. These jeopardy available online at regression on progress made. marginalised women: public health related funding for Zika, malaria and groups will intervene in the deadlocking of development/2017/jul/27/trump-glob “Dalit women suffer from al-gag-rule-sexual-health-women- HIV. This policy directly threatens the lives of negotiations and the watering down of ugandan-in-jeopardy thousands of women and girls in the global agreements. The UN Commission on the Status of Selected international frameworks and triple discrimination as we 9. International Planned Parenthood 8 agreements protecting and promoting are oppressed by the so- Federation, (2017), Policy Briefing: South , and will lead to an estimated 3.3 million Women, always a conflicted space, has seen the GGR and its impacts, available more abortions, most of which will be forced to renewed, emboldened conservative action10. women’s rights called high caste people online at occur in unsafe settings, 15,000 more maternal • Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination (which affects both male /2017- Rising religious fundamentalisms, economic and 08/IPPF%20GGR%20Policy%20Briefi deaths and 8 million more unintended Against Women (CEDAW, 1979); and female Dalits), the ecological crisis, political turmoil and nationalism, ng%20No.1%20- 9 %20August%202017_0.pdf pregnancies . • Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action (1993); design of the Hindu conflict and civil strife, and backlash against patriarchal system and 10. Shameem, N., (2017), Rights at The rise of organised, conservative resistance to combine and conspire to roll back the • Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995); risk: Observatory on the Universality Dalit male counterparts. of Rights trends report 2017, women’s rights also takes more subtle but equally gains made by women’s movements. It is clear that • UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000), 1820 (2009) and available online at We face the problems dangerous forms. The Observatory on the the realisation of rights for all women requires related UN Resolutions; content/uploads/Rights-At-Risk-OURs caused by Untouchability, -Trends-Report-2017.pdf Universality of Rights, a joint project run by continued and concerted activism and action. • Sustainable Development Goal 5 on and the caste and gender-based empowerment of women and girls and targets relevant to discrimination in our daily women’s rights throughout Agenda 2030 (SDGs, 2015); lives, and are excluded • Regional women’s rights protocols: from both the public and • Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment, private spheres. and Eradication of Violence against Women (Convention of “The levels of exclusion,

3. Statement by UN High Belém do Pará 1994); deprivation and Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein – 08 March 2017., • Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights discrimination faced by available online at on the Rights of Women in Africa (, 2003); Dalit women are chronic /Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=20 • Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating and multidimensional. 474 Extreme poverty, 4. violence against women and (Istanbul e/world.htm Convention, 2011). illiteracy, landlessness, 5. UN Women (2015), The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action restricted livelihood turns 20: summary report, available options, poor access to resources, online at On the one hand, global agreements (see box https://sustainabledevelopment.un.or discouraged entrepreneurship, and poor g/content/documents/1776The%20B above) are a substantial victory for the promotion participation in political and decision eijing%20Declaration%20and%20Pl and protection of women’s rights, at least on atform%20for%20Action%20turns making processes are key problems faced %2020.pdf paper. In tandem, the number of women 6. Paz Arauco, V. et al (2014), by Dalit women, leading to very poor Strengthening social justice to lawmakers has doubled in the past two decades, address intersecting inequalities post- development indicators. 2015, available online at from 11.7% on average in 1997 to 23.5% in 20174. But this hasn’t created a shift in gender “We are subjected to caste and gender- iles/odi-assets/publications-opinion- files/9213.pdf relations; instead, the power dynamics that drive based discrimination, physical, sexual and 7. FEDO, (2017), Concerns of Dalit inequality between women and men remain in psychological abuse; prone to trafficking women in High Level Political Forum- 2017 on Sustainable Development, force at all levels. Reviews of progress made under and , victims of accusation of available online at witchcraft, boycotted by the society during the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and /default- inter-caste marriage and likely to undertake source/resources/briefings/fedo-lobby the Beijing Platform for Action highlighted that a 7 -document.pdf?sfvrsn=0 lack of political will and investment stifled the unsafe migration.” 8 Standing with the changemakers 9 Lessons from supporting women’s movements

3. Women’s movements as changemakers

Women’s movements and WROs: Women’s movements and Womankind’s contribution to movement strengthening what they are and what impact: what the evidence says Engendering the constitution in Zimbabwe they do “Few of the normative advances on Ahead of the 2013 referendum on the new constitution in Zimbabwe, Womankind supported the Women’s movements are broad social women’s rights would have been possible women’s movement to increase women’s participation and ensure women’s rights were clearly movements led by women and their without the advocacy of women’s rights defined within the new constitution. Four organisations funded by Womankind – Musasa, the organisations that campaign for women’s organisations and movements to raise Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ), the Women in Politics Support Unit (WiPSU) and the rights and gender justice at national, regional public awareness, pressure governments for Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association (ZWLA) – played an important role in an intensive series of and international levels. Women’s movements change, and hold governments to account activities to mobilise women across the country to influence decision makers. An effective range of 13 throughout history have campaigned for votes for for implementation of laws and policies.” strategies was used, from community dialogues and public awareness campaigns, to research and women, equal pay and protection from domestic A growing body of evidence demonstrates the documentation, training, and advocacy and lobbying of key political actors. violence, and against sexual harassment. Time and impact that strong, vibrant women’s movements Using these tactics, the women’s movement was able to secure between 75-95% of the demands again, movements have proven to be successful in have on the realisation of women’s rights. An made by women, including a clear gender equality clause and language in the constitution that bringing about meaningful change due to their important study by Htun and Weldon (2012), ensured customary law could no longer discriminate against women. For the Zimbabwe women’s ability to unite and mobilise large groups of which researched over 70 countries over 40 years, 17. H. O’Connell (2012), What movement, reaching a shared set of goals through consensus building and the forging of alliances set women, and make their collective voice heard. added-value do organisations that found that autonomous feminist movements were are led and managed by women and an important precedent for future collective action18. Women’s movements are not homogenous: the girls bring to work addressing the the most critical factor in achieving progressive rights, needs and priorities of women Ahead of the 2018 election and building on previous work, Womankind is supporting WCoZ to strongest are made up from a broad cross-section policies on violence against women and girls and girls? 18. Wilson, P. et al., (2013), Women’s mobilise the women’s movement to strengthen women’s election preparedness. Strategies include of women, and many bring a feminist perspective 14 (VAWG) . successful struggle for equal rights in feminist analysis of the election process, election strategy development, women’s manifesto and practice into broader social movements such the Zimbabwe Draft Constitution: an as those campaigning for labour rights or the Women’s movements play a pivotal role in internal evaluation of the advocacy development, engagement with the media and candidate training. ensuring that laws and policies are implemented work of Musasa, the Women’s environment. Women’s movements typically Coalition of Zimbabwe, Women in by raising awareness, influencing elected officials Politics Support Unite and the employ a range of innovative and context Zimbabwe Women’s Lawyers Barriers to change: the Additionally, violations against WHRDs are not at local and national levels, mobilising Association with support from relevant strategies, build alliances from the Womankind Worldwide. challenges facing women’s systematically documented by governments, which 11. Womankind Worlwide (2013), communities, building the capacity of duty Leaders for Change: why support community to national levels and beyond, and 19. AWID, (2015), Infographic: movements limits prospects for special protection measures for women’s rights organisations?, provide rapid and holistic support to women bearers, and monitoring and holding governments Women human rights defenders them23. Although many international declarations available online at killed in 2015, available online at The current backlash against women’s rights (see when their rights are violated. to account in international arenas. In the absence and commitments exist to protect the rights of /default- of autonomous feminist movements, governments graphic-women-human-rights- Section 2) does not spare those organising for source/resources/briefings/leadersforc WROs are often the backbone of movements. defenders-killed-2015 WHRDs, including the Declaration on Human hange-final.pdf?sfvrsn=6 change on the ground; it forms the backdrop to all tend to ratify treaties but do not follow up with 20. Action Aid, 23rd Jun 2015. Rights Defenders (1998), political will to defend 12. Srilatha Batliwala, quoted in They are, put simply, women-led organisations Women’s Rights Activists Increasingly meaningful action15. their work. Too often women bear the brunt of AWID (2009), Forum 08 in review: working to advance gender justice and Under Threat, available online at WHRDs is lacking and accountability for violations the power of movements, page 18, backlash for their activism, sometimes with tragic 24 available online at women’s rights. They comprise a huge spectrum Similarly, True (2016) found that the emergence of news/womens-rights-activists-increasi is woefully insufficient . ngly-under-threat consequences. In 2015, at least 31 women human and diversity of focus and approach. Some operate anti-VAWG laws in Asia and the Pacific, including port-awids-2008-forum-power- 21. The Office of the United Nations rights defenders (WHRDs) were murdered as a Alongside the inherent danger faced by WROs, movements those outlawing domestic violence, rape, sexual High Commissioner for Human primarily at the grassroots level, set up by women 19 movements and WHRDs, women’s movements 13. OECD DAC Nework on Gender Rights (OHCHR), 29th Nov 2016, direct result of their activism . Countries as diverse to organise in their community. Others are active in assault, sexual harassment and trafficking, has Equality (Gendernet) (2016), Donor Press release – For International as Afghanistan, Brazil, Nigeria, South Africa and face financial pressures with limited funds and lack support to southern women’s rights advocacy and accountability work at national, been due in large part to feminist advocates Women Human Rights Defenders organisations: OECD Findings, Day, available online at the USA have witnessed an increase in threats and of donor support for their agendas. In 2011 the available online at regional and international levels. Some represent (working both inside and outside the region) being /Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=20 20 Association of Women’s Rights in Development 16 violence against WHRDs . development/OECD-report-on-wome the interests of specific groups of women such as trained in CEDAW . 938 (AWID) surveyed over 1,100 WROs from around ns-rights-organisations.pdf WHRDs are targeted by violence because of the young women, rural women, indigenous women, In a report for Comic Relief on the added value of 22. AWID, (2014), Our Right to the world and found the median annual income of 14. Htun, M. and Weldon, S.L. Safety: Women Human Rights work they do, whether it is defending women’s (2012), The Civic Origins of farm workers, women living in urban settlements, investing in women’s rights organisations, Helen Defenders’ Holistic Approach to 740 of these to be USD 20,000. Progressive Policy Change: domestic workers, lesbian, bisexual and trans Protection, available online at rights, LGBT+ rights, indigenous rights, the Combating Violence against Women O’Connell found that “women-led The women’s rights organisations that Womankind in Global Perspective, 1975-2005, women, migrants, Dalit women and women with -right-safety-women-human-rights- environment, land or democracy. They face further American Political Science Review, organisations have opened spaces for women defenders-holistic-approach-protection 11 has partnered with over the past 28 years have 1-22. disabilities . violence because of their gender and their work to and girls from diverse backgrounds and 23. Ibid consistently highlighted the lack of core, flexible, 15. ibid tackle patriarchal social norms and expectations of The links between WROs and movements is situations to meet, learn, strategise, speak for 24. Women Human Rights Defenders 16. True, J., (2016), ‘Ending Violence International Coalition (WHRD-IC), a woman’s role in society. Attacks are perpetrated long-term funding as a serious impediment to their against Women in Asia: International documented by feminist scholar Srilatha Batliwala, and represent themselves. Women-led 29th Nov 2016, WHRD-IC Statement impact on women’s rights. As pointed out by Norm Diffusion and Global On International Women Human by state and non-state actors, and have a Opportunity Structures for Policy who highlights that “organisations are sites from organisations take a rounded view of the Rights Defenders Day, available profound negative impact on women’s health, Bandana Rana of Saathi, Nepal: Change’, UN Research Institute for which movements are built and supported. But rights and lives of women and girls, linking online at Social Development (UNRISD) http://www.defendingwomen- relationships and families21. “We now run three shelters for women [survivors Working Paper 2016-5, available organisations, even though they are part of personal to political, micro issues to macro online at men-human-rights-defenders- The work of WHRDs is often not recognised, of VAWG] in different parts of the country – but movements, are not in themselves movements. matters, and advocating for practical, policy international-coalition-whrd-ic-state /document.nsf/(httpPublications)/0AE ment-on-international-women- over the years it has been difficult to find Movements operate at a scale that no single 17 which prevents them from accessing existing 05C2AE73E998DC1257FD10051838 and structural changes.” human-rights-defenders-day-29-nove 22 sustainable financial support to run them. E?OpenDocument organisation can operate at.”12 mber-2016/ protections for human rights defenders . 10 Standing with the changemakers 11 Lessons from supporting women’s movements 4. Changing a patriarchal world: approaches and lessons from women’s movements

Women’s movements take a holistic approach to A human rights approach therefore classes states changing women’s lives and to understanding and as main duty bearers under human rights law, addressing their subordination under a patriarchal which is a critical factor in creating change34. It social order. They understand gender as a social also enhances accountability by allowing women construct and gender inequality as a power to legitimately claim their rights, while holding imbalance, underpinning and shaping relations, policymakers responsible for their policies and norms and laws, institutions and resource actions (or lack thereof) as established in allocation. There is much to learn from their international treaties35 . analysis, strategies and actions. This section highlights some common approaches and tactics Women’s political participation taken by women’s movements and WROs. Changes in the lives of women are often complex, non-linear, realised over a long-term trajectory, and A human rights approach most of the time require a combination of multiple Women’s movements and WROs use a human enabling drivers of change. Whilst there isn’t always rights approach in their work, which is critical for a linear correlation, women’s political leadership has deep and lasting change: been shown to have a positive impact on the 29. Sepúlveda Carmona, M. and achievement of women’s rights. For example, a Donald, K., (2014), What Does Care “A human rights approach is comprehensive study of 100 countries identified that national Have to Do with Human Rights? and progressive, because it explicitly Analysing the Impact on Women’s parliaments with higher proportions of women Rights and Gender Equality. Gender envisages all women as agents with & Development, 22:3, 441-457. have increased efforts to improve gender equality36. : Routledge, available online inherent dignity and entitlement to a range at http://policy- A higher than average presence of women of rights – rather than just as mothers, hat-does-care-have-to-do-with- workers, or engines for greater productivity lawmakers influences broader policies, not just human-rights-analysing-the-impact-o n-womens-righ-333381 or efficiency.”29 gender equality. For instance, there is evidence of a 30. Batliwala, S., (2012), Changing correlation between women’s leadership and their world: concepts and practices of For change in women’s lives to be meaningful and women’s movements, available climate change policy: out of the 70 most online at: long term, it must go beyond alleviating the developed countries in the world only 18 reduced es/atoms/files/changing_their_world_ ‘symptoms’ of gender inequality, and focus on the or stabilised carbon emissions between 1990 and 2ed_full_eng.pdf root causes – including social norms, behaviours 31. Ibidem 2004. Of these countries, 14 out of 18 had a and attitudes, and gendered power dynamics in 32. Marcus, R. and Harper, C. (2014) higher than average number of female elected Gender justice and social norms – both public and private spheres – to transform 37 Above: Women from Godawari, Nepal, are supported by Womankind partner, Saathi, through savings processes of change for adolescent representatives . groups and income-generating skills trainings. girls: Towards a conceptual societies that place women in a subordinate status. 38 framework 2. London: ODI, available As stated by O’Neil and Domingo , there are two © Womankind /Thandiwe-Muriu To be deep and lasting, change needs to take online at main reasons why women’s political participation is place at individual, community and systemic level The government has only recently begun providing In addition, local WROs, in particular those serving iles/odi-assets/publications-opinion- a key driver in advancing gender equality. Firstly, it 25. Bandana Rana, Saathi Nepal, files/8831.pdf and across the full spectrum, ranging from interviewed for Womankind partial support to one of our shelters. In spite of marginalised women and located outside capital 33. See note 30. creates a strong symbolic message that women can Worldwide (2015), At the crossroads informal beliefs and attitudes to formal laws, everyone believing in the importance of the service cities, face fierce competition from INGOs which 34. Ibidem be leaders and hold positions of power, challenging Women’s rights after 2015, available policies and resource allocation30. online at there is no support to run it – whether it is donors have more capacity to satisfy donor requirements, 35. Ibidem widespread norms that men are the leaders and 25 36. M. Hallward-Driemeier et al., Ensuring national legislation is based on human default-source/resources/reports/at- or national governments.” including the ability to bid for funding, meet (2013), Women’s Legal Rights over women should be at home. Secondly, women the-crossroads-womens-rights-after-2 50 Years. Progress, Stagnation or rights principles, such as equality and non- 0156d1e4d1e0c8663e39143ff00009 The financial challenges facing WROs and compliance and implement large-scale projects. Regression?, World Bank Policy politicians, working with feminist bureaucrats and d7e70.pdf?sfvrsn=8 discrimination, self-determination, autonomy and movements need to be understood in the context While WROs implement programmes to deliver Research Working Paper 6616, activists, have effectively enabled legal and policy 26. AWID (2013), Watering the leaves available online at participation, has potential to create long-lasting starving the roots: the status of of two powerful trends: 1) visible rhetoric on the gender mainstreaming and components of https://openknowledge.worldbank.or reforms that advance the rights and wellbeing of g/handle/10986/21474 31 financing for women’s rights standalone women’s rights programmes, they have transformational change for women . A human women and girls in many countries. organizing and gender equality, importance of achieving gender equality and 37. MacGregor, S., (2017), Moving available online at rights approach establishes rights, responsibilities women’s rights, and 2) pressure to deliver results no space to shape their own work or advance their beyond impacts: more answers to the ‘gender and climate change’ Women’s movements have a critical role to play in 27 and mechanisms for accountability via a process of s/atoms/files/WTL_Starving_Roots.pdf and value for money through development agenda because of limited funding opportunities . question, in Buckingham, S. and Le promoting women’s political participation at all 27. See note 6. Masson, V. Understanding climate legal change, based on agreed international norms 26 change through gender relations, 28. OECD DAC Network on gender interventions . These pressures are challenging for Recent data from the OECD Gendernet Secretariat 32 levels – by advocating for more women in Routledge: Oxford. on gender equality, such as CEDAW . This equality (2016), Donor support to WROs to navigate, as tackling the root causes of confirms the challenging financial landscape is positions of power, providing training and southern women’s rights 38. O’Neil, T. and Domingo, P. explicitly and legally obliges state parties to take all organisations: OECD Findings, gender injustice involves long-term social change, unchanged: in 2014, only 8% of aid focused on (2016), Women and Power: platforms for women, and enabling spaces for Overcoming barriers to leadership appropriate measures to achieve substantive available online at yet they are expected to deliver tangible results in gender equality went to Southern civil society, of collective action and women’s organising. After and influence, available online at equality and transform unequal power relations33. development/OECD-report-on-wome the short term. this a negligible amount reached WROs28. many years of campaigning and mobilisation in the ns-rights-organisations.pdf iles/resource-documents/10443.pdf 12 Standing with the changemakers 13 Lessons from supporting women’s movements

post-conflict period by FEDO and many others in community. In Zimbabwe, women started Lessons from Uruguay: feminist organising for the “right to care” Nepal’s women’s movement, the 2017 Local Level attending and speaking at village head Care provision became a central part of the public policy agenda in Uruguay when a wider process of Election Act stipulated that at least two out of the meetings, while in Nepal, participants joined social reforms was introduced in 2005. UN Women, United Nations Population Fund and other four members of each Ward Committee must be the Dalit rights movement and political parties. development agencies carried out time use surveys in 2007 and 2013, which proved that women women and one should be a woman from the spent two thirds of their week on unpaid work, and only one third on paid work. For men, the Triangles of empowerment Dalit community. Thanks to these efforts, in reverse applied41. The data supported critical shifts in debate and policymaking: the notion of “right September 2017, large numbers of women, Political opportunity reform is particularly ripe to care” played a major role in creating changes to the health system, social security and tax reform. including over 6,000 Dalit women, were elected to when there are feminist advocates in elected Civil society and academia in Uruguay repositioned care as a collective and societal issue, taking it out local government for the first time. According to office, state bureaucracy (in well-resourced gender of the private and family sphere and positioning it as a human rights issue. In November 2015, the Renu Sijapati of FEDO: ministries and in the civil service more broadly) and Care Act (No. 19,353) – a flagship policy of President Tabaré Vázquez – was adopted by the autonomous feminist movements. Feminist 42 “The local level elections constitute a Parliament . scholars have referred to this as ‘triangles of significant achievement for our country as a Analysis of the process that led to this landmark Bill discovered several key factors acting together as empowerment’40. Montoya emphasises that these whole and the representation of Dalit levers of change: conditions can drive meaningful change for a women is a remarkable achievement for us. number of reasons. Firstly, feminist advocates • A progressive party resisted the dictatorship, had strong leadership and participation among After a long struggle and campaign by inside the government understand and have women, and had support from the human rights movements; FEDO to politically empower Dalit women access to the process and politics of policymaking. • Women’s leadership and participation in trade union activism significantly increased the presence and increase their representation in state Secondly, the presence of feminists in the civil of women in decision making positions, which in turn opened up space for feminist agendas in structures, to integrate them into national 43 service can increase the chances of WROs and national politics and public debate ; development processes, the local level movements being included in the policymaking • The concept of care was repositioned as a human rights issue, which played a major role in elections have finally provided an process, which is necessary for ensuring that creating changes to the health system, social security and tax reform; opportunity.” policies are grounded in local women’s needs. • Women’s movements pushed for wide-reaching and fundamental advances, including Thirdly, the presence of feminist advocates within influencing implementation of international treaties and creation of national laws and policies, The value of women-only spaces all three spaces significantly improves the pushing for human rights approaches and increasing women’s political participation. Women’s participation and leadership is not prospects of VAWG laws and policies being In Uruguay, according to Batthyány, “information and knowledge have played a central role in limited to formal political positions. Participation monitored and enforced. The combination of recognising the care crisis and in placing the subject of care with a gender perspective on the public and leadership in community-based structures is robust state feminism, strong autonomous agenda, basically through indicators that have been provided by the time use surveys and the an important pathway to securing women’s rights, 44 feminist organisations and progressive leadership 41. UN Women, (2017), In Uruguay, conceptual-dialectical contribution of academia”. as well as a possible springboard for women in Spain in 2004, led to some of the most care law catalyzes change, ushering 39 services and breaking stereotypes, entering formal politics. Womankind’s research in extensive VAWG policy reforms of any EU country. available online at Afghanistan, , Nepal and Zimbabwe, as part However, it should be noted that the relationships ories/2017/2/feature-uruguay-care- Strategic litigation of rape and grievous harm and sentencing them of the Dutch government funded FLOW law between feminist advocates inside and outside the each to 15 years’ imprisonment45. programme, highlights the value of women-only 42. Ibidem Women’s rights organisations, particularly those state are not always positive and constructive. In 43. Filgueira, F, et al., (2012), Social media campaigning was a key tactic used to groups as incubators of change. Welfare, Care, Gender and that take a legal reform approach, have many cases, the women who are represented in Generations in Uruguay. In Razavi, S. successfully used strategic litigation as a tactic to support the legal campaign, and demonstrates the In particular, women-only spaces: government are privileged, elite women who do Seen, Heard and Counted, Chichester: Wiley and Blackwell. force legislative change. importance of solidarity between WROs and • provide a safe place, which is critical to not work to include poorer and marginalised 44. Batthyány, K.D., (2015), Policies A recent example from Kenya includes the Justice movements in different contexts. An online building women’s confidence, self-esteem and women in policymaking processes, making it and care provision in Latin America. ECLAC – Gender Affairs Series No. for Liz campaign which was launched following petition started by an Ethiopian feminist advocate agency. Through these spaces, women difficult to build alliances. Poor relations can also 124, available online at demanding that Liz’s rapists be prosecuted went the high-profile gang rape of a teenage girl. The research participants in all countries felt occur when feminist advocates on the outside 362/37727 Solidarity for African Women’s Rights Coalition viral and achieved 1.3 million signatures from inspired and confident to take action in their criticise those on the inside, without appreciating 45. Equality Now, (2017), The world’s around the world46. This helped to propel the case shame, the global rape epidemic: (SOAWR), led by Equality Now, The African communities as well as to contest for the challenges and constraints of their how laws around the world are into international and national headlines, which failing to protect women and girls, Women’s Development and Communication leadership roles; bureaucratic location and the party political available online at 39. Womankind Worldwide, (2015), Network (FEMNET) and FIDA Kenya, took up the intensified the pressure on the Kenyan Creating new spaces: women’s • increase women’s understanding of their own pressures placed upon them. Feminist advocates fault/files/EqualityNowRapeLawRepor government to act in light of the failure of local experiences of political participation case and highlighted the high prevalence of sexual in communities, available online at rights, in particular equal right to participate who have worked both inside and outside of state t2017_Single%20Pages_0.pdf authorities to adequately address . 46. The petition gained the interest violence across the country and the lack of redress meaningfully in mixed groups, talk to structures have stressed the importance of building /default- of the campaigning community for survivors. The Justice for Liz campaign changed the legal source/resources/reports/creating-ne husbands and other male relatives about relationships that are based on mutual trust and organisation (Avaaz), which hosted landscape in Kenya. Interviewees from Equality w-spaces-women’s-experiences-of- the petition on its website and The case sparked mass public outrage when the political-participation-in-communities issues important to them, such as working on respect as well as constructive challenge. This is promoted it to its members globally Now, FEMNET and FIDA Kenya report that the case .pdf?sfvrsn=0 asking for signatures in solidarity. essential for creating the strong state-civil society police initially ordered the offenders to cut grass as 40. C. Montoya, (2013), From Global farm land, and approach decision makers to 47. Extracted from interviews with led to new policies on sexual violence and to punishment for their crime. In response, SOAWR to Grassroots: The European Union, solve local issues; coalitions needed to drive domestically led Faiza Mohamed – Director of the amendments being made to Kenya’s Sexual Transnational Advocacy, and African office of Equality Now, mounted a two-year legal advocacy campaign that Combating Violence against Women, • act as a catalyst for women to take on progressive reforms. Jemimah Keli – Head of Programs at Offences Act to close some of its loopholes47. Oxford University Press: Oxford, page FIDA Kenya and Catherine Nyambara led to the Kenyan courts convicting the offenders 28. leadership roles in other spaces in the – Advocacy Intern at FEMNET. 14 Standing with the changemakers 15 Lessons from supporting women’s movements

Strategies and tactics: lessons from Nigeria and Uganda

Women’s movements in Uganda and Nigeria was a high-profile murder of an army general by successfully lobbied for extensive advances in the his ex-girlfriend. In the wake of this incident, laws on VAWG. This section gives a brief overview UWOPA members purposefully re-defined DV as a of the changes and then highlights the common gender indifferent problem that could easily claim approaches and strategies the movements took to male victims60. While this move ran the risk of achieve change. depoliticising domestic violence, it proved In 2010, Uganda brought its landmark Domestic successful in securing the support of religious Violence (DV) Act into force53. Among the DV Act’s leaders and male politicians, which was necessary provisions is the protection of survivors, for the passage of the Act. This example illustrates punishment of offenders, and procedures and the difficult decisions women’s movements face guidelines for the courts to follow54. The Act is when pushing for change in highly patriarchal firmly rooted in Ugandan women’s struggles societies. Such power struggles around framing of around unequal power relations in the household, demands are not unique to the Uganda case and have been examined in the context of the passing 53. Uganda: Domestic Violence Act: which date back to the 1940s. Decades of 2010, available online at of domestic violence legislation in Eastern pressure by the women’s movement for the 61 2010/2010/domestic_violence_act_2 realisation of married women’s rights led to the European Countries . 010_pdf_20398.pdf 54. Ibidem Ministry of Justice drafting the Domestic Relations Nigeria’s Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act Above: Single women supported by Womankind partner, Women for Human Rights, run their own vegetable farm in Chapagun, Nepal. 55. Ahikire, J. and Mwiine, A.A., Bill in the 1980s. This progressive Bill was shelved 2015 is an example of WROs building a strong (2015), The politics of promoting 62 © Womankind /Thandiwe-Muriu gender equity in contemporary during the political unrest that occurred during the movement for change . This Act criminalises many 48. UN Women (2015), The Beijing Uganda: Cases of Domestic Violence ’80s and ’90s and then finally resurfaced in a forms of VAWG, including rape (not marital), early Declaration and Platform for Action Law and the policy on Universal turns 20: summary report, available Primary Education, ESID Working parliamentary debate in 200355. However, it was and forced marriage, FGM, abusive widowhood online at Tackling social norms reveals that long-term approaches, led by WROs, Paper No.55, Manchester, Effective https://sustainabledevelopment.un.or can yield positive results. Work at community level States and Inclusive Development fiercely attacked by conservative Christian and practices, spousal beating, forced financial g/content/documents/1776The%20B Patriarchal roles, behaviours, attitudes, cultural Research Centre, available online at 63 eijing%20Declaration%20and%20Pl Muslim groups, which were opposed to its dependence and forced eviction from home . This values, and moral and religious codes reinforce by WROs in Ethiopia, Ghana and , atform%20for%20Action%20turns content/uploads/working_papers/final provisions banning polygamy, criminalising marital achievement was the result of 14 years of vigorous %2020.pdf including raising awareness, creating safe spaces -pdfs/esid_wp_55_ahikire_mwiine.pdf and reproduce gender stereotypes at all levels. 56 49. Partners for Prevention, (2013), for women to discuss the issues affecting their 56. Ibidem rape and recognising cohabitation as marriage . campaigning by civil society organisations. In Why Do Some Men Use Violence Social norms are patterns of behaviour motivated 57. Ibidem against Women and How Can We lives and fostering collective action, have helped to President Museveni quickly withdrew the Bill and 2001, WROs, including Women’s Rights by a desire to conform to the shared social 58. Ibidem Prevent It? Quantitative Findings change attitudes about gender roles and VAWG accused the women’s movement of trying to Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA) from the United Nations multi expectations of an important reference group, and 59. Ibidem. Other feminist WROs also country study on Men and Violence and behaviours of individuals50. In all country tactically employ instrumentalist impose western liberal ideals on a traditional and the International Federation of Women in Asia and the Pacific, available reflect deep social structures. Harmful social norms framings of VAWG to capture the online at research sites, women involved in the programmes attention of male power holders. In African society – a common tactic among male Lawyers (FIDA) Nigeria, international human rights manifest in beliefs and behaviours that entrench her interview, Jemimah Keli from 57 sites/default/files/resources/p4p- reported positive changes in the division of labour power holders to vilify women’s movements . NGOs and religious organisations came together gender inequality. For instance, recent data from FIDA Kenya explained that her report.pdf in the household, with men carrying out domestic organisation stresses the economic In 2008, WROs, academics, Uganda Women’s to form the Legislative Advocacy Coalition on 50. Womankind Worldwide, (2014), nearly 60 countries reveals that many men and costs of VAWG to male politicians, including by emphasising the value Violence Against Women (LACVAW) to push Prevention is possible: The role of women still think that wife beating is justified tasks and looking after the children. There were Parliamentary Association (UWOPA) and the women’s rights organisations in that women’s health has on the collectively for national laws to tackle VAWG64. ending violence against women and based on women’s behaviour48. Another recent also individual women in all three contexts who country’s overall development. Ministry for Gender, Labour and Social girls in Ethiopia, Ghana and Zambia, reported that their husbands had stopped or 60. Ibidem Development (MGLSD) formed the Domestic Over the following years, they researched, wrote available online at study across Asia and the Pacific found the most reduced the perpetration of physical or emotional 61. Krizsan, A. and Popa, R.M., Violence Coalition specifically to advocate for the and launched a prospective bill on violence against /default- common reason men gave for committing partner (2014), Frames in Contestation: 51 source/resources/reports/prevention-is violence . Gendering Domestic Violence Policies passage of the DV Act. In light of the controversy women, and campaigned for it to be adopted. and non-partner rape was their belief that they in Five Central and Eastern European -possible-(1).pdf?sfvrsn=2 After several years of rejections and pushback 49 In Uganda, one particular approach called SASA!, Countries, Violence Against Women, surrounding the rights-based Domestic Relations 51. Ibidem have the right to sex, regardless of consent . 20(7), pp. 758-782. Bill, the WROs leading the coalition – Uganda from parliamentarians and government, the 52.Abramsky, T. et al., (2014), Changing social norms is a complex, messy and a community mobilisation methodology developed 62. Nigeria: Violence Against Persons Findings from the SASA! Study: a (Prohibition) Act, 2015 (VAPP), Women’s Network (UWONET) and the Centre for coalition revised and relaunched the Violence cluster randomized controlled trial to by WRO Raising Voices to prevent VAWG and HIV non-linear process – it can be rapid and abrupt, or available online at against Persons (Prohibition) Bill in 2008. They assess the impact of a community by tacking social norms, has been the subject of a Domestic Violence Prevention (CEDOVIP) – mobilization intervention to prevent incremental and unnoticed, or somewhere in 5eb14.html followed this with a sustained advocacy campaign violence against women and reduce randomised controlled trial. The study found that strategically repackaged their demands for DV HIV risk in Kampala, Uganda, between. Women’s movements and WROs have 63. Ibidem which led to the Bill’s passing in 2013 and then available online at SASA! reduced the risk of intimate partner 64. Women’s Rights Advancement legislation using an instrumentalist policy https://bmcmedicine.biomedcentral.c historically taken social norms head on, and and Protection Alternative (WRAPA), 58 passage into law two years later. violence against women in intervention framework . Activists reportedly emphasised that om/articles/10.1186/s12916-014- challenged patriarchy where it first manifests itself: ‘Landmark Legislation on Gender 0122-5 communities by 52%52. Based Violence in Nigeria: How CSOs ending DV would improve women’s productivity, There are important common lessons to be learnt in relationships at household and community level. made a difference’, in B.Combo, 53. Uganda: Domestic Violence Act: which would help Uganda to achieve the MDGs59. from the two examples on strategy and approach. 2010, available online at R.Sow and F.J.Mohamed (eds.), Womankind’s evidence of community programmes (2013), Journey to Equality: 10 Years Not long into the campaign for the DV Act, there 2010/2010/domestic_violence_act_2 of the Rights of Women in Africa, 010_pdf_20398.pdf to tackle social norms that perpetuate VAWG Nairobi, Equality Now , pp. 136-138. 16 Standing with the changemakers 17 Lessons from supporting women’s movements

5. Conclusion

Below: Women from the Whilst the backlash against women’s rights is current and Maasai community are part of “Women’s movements a movement to end violence growing, so too is the determination of women’s against women and girls in movements and WROs to tackle the patriarchal structures have the skills, These lessons include: In Nigeria, a number of LACVAW member Kenya. © Womankind /Thandiwe-Muriu that oppress women, and to resist and make gains. organisations were also part of SOAWR that was experience, vision, The use of global and regional frameworks Women’s movements have the skills, experience, vision, set up specifically to pressure governments to leadership and passion to shift the world on its axis, and In Nigeria, LACVAW based its demands on the leadership and ratify and domesticate the Maputo Protocol. create a fundamentally better one. state’s obligations to address VAWG under Through their involvement in SOAWR, these This paper has provided a background to the work of passion to shift the CEDAW, the Protocol to the African Charter on organisations took part in Oxfam’s Raising Her women’s movements and WROs, highlighted the Human Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa Voice campaign, from 2009-2012, which aimed to world on its axis, challenges they face, including threats to their safety and (Maputo Protocol) and the Rome Statute of the improve political participation of women living in the chronic funding crisis, and shown, despite those and create a International Criminal Court. In Uganda, the poverty. These organisations gained access to and challenges, the strategies they use to campaign for legal women’s movement put the government under galvanised many more organisations working on fundamentally and social change on women’s rights. pressure by stating their obligations under various VAWG, helping them to amplify demands for the human rights treaties and using processes Bill at local, national and regional levels. This was Investing in WROs and movements and enabling them to better one” developed by consecutive UN Commission on the pivotal in driving the Bill forward. follow their own agendas is both a matter of urgency and Status of Women. necessity. We call on donors, the international community, In Uganda, the coalition mobilised rural women: INGOs and allies to take immediate action. Targeting those with law making power keen to build an inclusive movement, it supported In Nigeria, LACVAW hired a former MP to help over a thousand women from the countryside to navigate the parliamentary system and identify the march to parliament to demand legislation against most efficient tactics to lobby parliamentarians, domestic violence. including targeting them with a SMS campaign. In Enlisting allies Uganda, the coalition mobilised UWOPA to lobby powerful male MPs to support the Domestic In Nigeria, LACVAW engaged with a range of Violence Bill. The efforts of influential female MPs, stakeholders to garner their support for the bill, such as Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga – who had long including traditional and religious leaders and supported the anti-VAWG movement – were groups, and ‘male champions’. They also reached pivotal in driving the Bill forward. out to international allies; international organisations including Justice4All, UN Women, Strategic use of media and communications Ipas, UNICEF and UNFPA actively supported the In both Nigeria and Uganda, coalitions trained campaign. In Uganda, the coalition worked with journalists to keep domestic violence in the the police to develop a pilot project in Kampala to headlines and report in a sensitive, non- demonstrate the workability of the proposed law. sensationalist, non-biased way. The campaigns for It also managed to get backing from diverse the Bills garnered support from the media, which international organisations, including the Club de helped to elevate and sustain them. Social media Madrid, Plan International, UN Women, UNFPA was also widely used: LACVAW developed a and the Catholic Church of Ireland. website, set up a Twitter page and Pinterest Raising public awareness account, and created YouTube videos and an online petition for the Bill, all of which helped to In Nigeria, a range of strategies were deployed to raise awareness. raise awareness of VAWG among the public, such as mock tribunals to showcase abuses of women’s Galvanising the women’s movement rights, debates in schools and market places, and Coalitions in both countries made the most of key songs and slogans with simple, catchy messages. international moments, such as the 16 Days of In Uganda, recognising the President’s political Activism Against Gender Violence campaign and power, the coalition repeatedly played audio International Women’s Day, to shine a light on recordings of him problematising domestic their demands by stepping up media work and violence to boost the campaign’s profile and mobilising women. credibility. 18 Standing with the changemakers

6. Recommendations for the international community

Recognise the value of women’s • Actively listen to and learn from the experiences of movements in achieving sustained WROs and women’s movements by adopting their recommendations. change and the role of WROs in • Actively create opportunities for specialist WROs, building women’s movements: women’s movements and WHRDs to have a voice in • Embed a commitment to support WROs and women’s national, regional and international forums, including movements in organisational strategies, including organising their international travel and using funding plans. Where a commitment exists already, technology to facilitate dialogue, for example, by ensure it remains meaningful and actively look for ways playing video testimonies. to strengthen it. • Meaningfully consult specialist WROs and WHRDs when • Listen to and be led by the agendas of WROs for developing policy positions on women’s rights and movement building and strengthening, and support sustainable development, and fund the organisations’ their strategies and priorities. time participating in consultations. • Consult with a diversity of WROs when it comes to the • Support and fund collaboration among WROs to development of funding mechanisms, programmes; and encourage movement building and strengthening. monitoring, evaluation and learning initiatives. Make sure they have a seat at the table and a space to speak Increase funding: up – take a step back. • Increase the accessibility of existing funding streams to • Work with WROs and movements representing WROs and women’s movements, particularly funds marginalised women to understand the barriers that targeted at human rights and civil society organisations. women face, the intersectional nature of discrimination • Increase devolved funding through women’s funds and and solutions for change. specialist intermediary organisations that have strong • Increase WROs’ resources to identify their own partnerships with southern WROs, women’s movements strategies for movement building and strengthening. and WHRDs. • Place greater emphasis on core funding, where Build stronger partnerships: possible, based on WROs’ plans and budgets, and • Recognise and trust the expertise and experience of provide sizable grants. Small amounts of money can WROs and women’s movements, including those stimulate innovation but do not enable vital expansion, representing marginalised women. scale-up and strengthening of organisational and • Support specialist WROs to pursue their own agenda operational capacity. based on the needs and wishes of their members. • Increase protection for WHRDs by integrating gender Support evidence and learning: responsive security and protection mechanisms into • Provide support for WROs and movements to carry out funding streams and working with specialist WROs to research and documentation to evidence the impact and assess and address risks. value of their work. • Place pressure on governments to fulfil commitments to • Strengthen your agency’s understanding of the kinds of the protection of WHRDs, including fully resourced quantitative and qualitative indicators and action plans that address effective protection measures, methodologies that capture complex social change impartial investigations to bring to justice those towards women’s rights and gender equality, based on responsible for violence, and the strengthening of the experiences of WROs and women’s movements. national and regional laws in line with the UN • Ensure adequate funding is allocated for monitoring, Declaration on Human Rights Defenders. evaluation and learning and that chosen methodologies • Where appropriate, offer capacity building initiatives are suitable to the nature of the work WROs and to WROs and women’s movements based on their women’s movements undertake. own needs.

Right: Nabulu campaigns against Female Genital Mutilation in Insinya town, Kajiado County, with support from FIDA Kenya. © Womankind /Thandiwe-Muriu Wenlock Studios, 50-52 Wharf Road, London, N1 7EU, UK [email protected] © Womankind Worldwide 2017 UK registered charity No. 328206 All footnotes correct at time of publication.