San Francisco — Up to 2,000 women’s rights activists from all over the
world will gather in Cape Town, South Africa, November 14-17, at the Association for Women’s
Rights in Development (AWID) International Forum on Women’s Rights and Development to
bolster the women’s rights movement and further advance women’s rights and gender equality
AWID and the Global Fund for Women are pleased to present a feature panel,
“Challenges and Successes to Effective Feminist Movement Building: Case Studies from the
Global Fund for Women Grantee Network.” The panel will feature activists from Costa Rica,
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Lebanon, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Fiji.
“Challenges and Successes” will explore topics ranging from:
•Fundamentalist religious forces gaining ground around the world and increasingly
controlling women's lives;
•Young women’s leadership in global social change movements;
•The disproportionate effect of HIV and AIDS on women and children;
•The lack of emphasis on women’s rights funding in the international development
•Women’s increased vulnerability to labor and sexual exploitation; and
•The fragmentation of social movements around the world.
The panel will take place Saturday, November 15 from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. Presenters, who
will draw on their own experiences to explore hurdles and milestones in movement building,
include Global Fund for Women advisors Maria Suarez Toro, producer of the Feminist
International Radio Endeavor (FIRE) at Radio for Peace International in Costa Rica; Svetlana
Durkovic, founder of the Organization Q for Promotion and Protection of Culture, Identities, and
Human Rights of Queer Persons in Bosnia and Herzegovina; Lina Abou-Habib, founder and
executive director of the Collective for Research for Training on Development-Action in Lebanon;
Katana Genge Bukuru, leader in women’s rights networks in Eastern Democratic Republic of
Congo and Burundi; and Virisila Buadromo, Executive Director of the Fiji Women’s Rights
Global Fund for Women program officers from Africa, the Americas, Europe and the Former
Soviet States, the Middle East and North Africa will attend the Forum, as well as activist/Global
Fund for Women grantees Dr. Rose Mensah-Kuti, Regional Programme Manager of ABANTU
for Development in Ghana; Pinar Ilkkaracan, co-founder and co-director of Women for
Women’s Human Rights – New Ways in Istanbul; and Yanar Mohammed, founder of the
Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq.
One of the biggest challenges that the panel will explore is the lack of funding for women’s
organizations around the world. According to a recent AWID report, “Financial Sustainability for
Women's Movements Worldwide” by Joanna Kerr, almost two-thirds of the 1,000 surveyed
women’s rights organizations have annual budgets of $50,000 or less, which explains why small
women’s rights organizations are perceived as not having the capacity to grow and why more than
half of the survey respondents are receiving less funding since 2000.
The Global Fund for Women is the world’s largest foundation focused solely on women’s human rights.
Since 1987, the Global Fund for Women has been funding women-led organizations who are
striving to create a world in which women and girls enjoy their full human rights.
AWID is an international, multi-generational, feminist, membership organization committed to
achieving gender equality, sustainable development and women's human rights.
For more information, please contact: Leah Borkin of Fenton Communications