We don’t want to sugarcoat. We are living in a chaotic world shaped by prejudices, discrimination, injustice and ignorance about pressing realities. We realise it can be a daunting task to stay positive and continue the work with the same amount of enthusiasm every day. We recognise it can sometimes even feel lonely to be part of a larger movement and experience moments of despair and disillusionment.
It can be hard to stay motivated. But it is the work and passion of the people that we work with that can help us to keep going. You don’t have to look far to find inspiration from young feminist activists who can inform your own strategies, give you faith, and encourage you to keep marching against all oppressive forces that obstruct the human rights of people everywhere.
So if the start of the year feels bleak and the state of the world has got you down, we want to remind you that young feminist organizers have already been hard at work dismantling unjust systems, thinking intersectionally, and resisting oppressive agendas.
We share with you some of the New Year Resolutions Revolutions that our grantee partners are working on:
To address conflicts along religious identities in Myanmar, Nat Phar Ya Ma Institute is organizing a training on intensive peace, civics, gender and leadership. Participants will receive guest lectures from political, peace and gender activists and do site visits to religious sites and art exhibits in Yangon. The group hopes to increase young women’s understanding of civic and inter-religious issues in the country and beyond.
Tiiiit! Inc. is gearing up for the 5th edition of IT’S FIRST AND IT’S A GIRL (ПРВО ПА ЖЕНСКО), a first of its kind feminist festival started by young feminists in Macedonia region. There are exhibitions, workshops, film programs, concerts, lectures, slam poetry performances, donation drives, bazaars, bookstores and more! This picture above is one from last year of a donation corner set up for women and children migrating from Syria and passing the Macedonian territory on their way to other European countries.
Last year, Fe-Male built its feminist news website “Sharika wa Laken”, that has now become one of the main resources of information about women’s rights in Lebanon. It serves as an online community run by and for young feminists, and the group is going to work hard to get more traffic and continue to offer sharp, uncompromising feminist analysis of culture and politics in the country.
In Georgia, Helping Hand is aiming to operationalise its online Radio Station “My voice” dedicated to raising awareness on women’s rights. They plan to offer the opportunity for young women to attend a camp focused on leadership and professional development in internet radio and journalism. The camp will help girls set achievable goals, integrate them into the supportive volunteer community and give them a platform to discuss and combat gender stereotypes in Georgia.
Copper Rose Zambia is going to enter two new districts in the country to reach young girls and provide them with mentorship on menstrual hygiene, sexual and reproductive health education to girls enabling them to discover and value themselves and not drop out of school. This picture is from October last year when they took part in a fundraising march, raising awareness on happy and healthy periods. Zambia Daily Mail recently covered the story of one of its co-founder’s journey. Read the article here.
Youth Approaches to Health Association continues to be the only registered organization in Turkey working on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and youth, especially women and LGBTI. Thanks to FRIDA funding, they have been able to secure admin costs and finally have a new office in Ankara (They made a cute little celebration video too!) They are now gearing up to reach almost 120 young women by informing them about SRHR and understanding gender based violence.
In São Paulo, Brazil, Minas Programam is working towards creating more training activities and workshops for black women in tech, on topics related to digital literacy, use of social networks for mobilization and activism, and introduction to programming. In order to broaden the discussion on the intersection of gender, technology and race, they are partnering with the University of São Paulo to teach a course on ‘black consciousness’, racial diversity in technology and violence against black women in online spaces.
Sistah2Sistah continues in 2017 on their aim of providing safe spaces to the women and girls in Trinidad and Tobago. They pursue knowledge, searching for ways to teach Young girls topics outside the range of normal school curriculums, knowledge about their bodies . The aim of the program is to expose girls to alternative narratives around issues and situations that they will inevitably encounter in their lives as young women. FRIDA is excited to see the results of their visions!
In 2017, the collective Reflexion y Accion Feminista continues its work demystifying feminism within their local context and the spaces in which young women live their lives. They plan to continue promoting the bike as a form of transportation for women by regularising all-women bike trips. Likewise, they’re getting training on core human rights and sexual and reproductive rights issues. So this year we are gearing up to seeing how these young women develop their creative feminist work in the Yucatán peninsula in Mexico.
Towards the end of 2016, FRIDA renewed its support to over 40 young feminist groups from all over the world. And we are excited to see their feminist goals for this year. Their commitment and creativity is a constant reminder of the amazing power that we have, as young feminists, to shape our movement in bold ways.
We see 2017 as yet another significant year of smashing patriarchy, feminist-ing sexist attitudes and defeating misogyny, xenophobia and homophobia.