From advocating for the legalization of abortion in Argentina to protesting for democracy in Thailand, to fighting for climate and environmental justice worldwide, young feminist activists in the Global South have been playing a central role in the most pressing claims for change of our times. Providing them with flexible, sustainable core resources and accompaniments should be on the agenda of all donors committed to social justice.
For 10 years, FRIDA | The Young Feminist Fund has been developing a model of grantmaking that leverages participation, collaboration and flexibility to help build the collective power of young feminist groups, and now launches the report “Young Feminist Plurisverse: weaving constellations of feminist organising”. The study explores in depth the ways that continuous, flexible financial and non-financial support influences the strength and evolution of these movements.
Produced in a joint effort with Recrear and What Took You So Long, the report documents the results of nine months of research centred on the case studies of five young feminist groups that have been partnering with FRIDA for 5 to 9 years. Working in Georgia, Mexico, Nigeria, Lebanon or globally – each of them are immersed in very different contexts, doing equally diverse feminisms locally and globally, and differing in their approaches to social change.
The report presents findings of how sustainable, flexible core funding and accompaniment programs can enable the autonomy and uniqueness of each movement, celebrating differences in opposition to trying to promote a standardisation of what feminist organising might feel or look like. Young feminist organizers relate differently to activism, and yet are connected by many experiences that tie them together crafting a feminist pluriverse.
“This report captures the beauty and power of the journey FRIDA and its diverse grantee partners have been on over the years, showing the depth of the feminist friendships and the transformation that is possible when you fund with politics, humility, trust, intention and care”, says Ruby Johnson, FRIDA’s former co-Executive Director and one of the authors of the study.
For Boikanyo Modungwa, FRIDA’s Research and Monitoring & Evaluation Consultant, the learnings of the study are even more relevant in times of crises:
“Support models based on trust and the recognition of the power and knowledge that young feminist groups hold can support them to not just survive through periods of crises, such as the current one, but to catalyse progressive change in the communities they work in even against immense odds”.
“Young Feminist Plurisverse” shares key learnings and recommendations for donors supporting or envisioning to support young feminist activists. They include:
- Granting continuous small and flexible core funds alongside non-financial support act as key building blocks towards the sustainability of the groups;
- Provide freedom and support for activists to shape their own organisational trajectory;
- Show more vulnerability as a fund, sharing about your own experiences, and help young feminist organizers become more comfortable in facing their challenges and struggles;
- Knowing that conflict is a part of life, including organisations’ lives, funders can offer young feminist groups specialized accompaniment to deal with their internal crises;
- Make a curated list of feminist events and opportunities, and share with young feminist organisations;
- Continue to build the movement digitally.
The report was developed based on the principles of participatory research, that included learning visits (that took place prior to the COVID-19 pandemic), in-person and online semi-structured interviews and review of FRIDA’s publications and internal documents. To see the special website set up for the launch, click here, and to read the full study, click here.