Letter from Latanya: Why Gender Justice is “Fundamental” This Women’s History Month

Dear Friends,

I really do have the best job in the world.  I get to meet some pretty badass women around the world – and those recent collaborations during Black History Month in February and now during Women’s History Month in March have reinforced my commitment to gender justice movements.  Women inherently know that gender equality is as important to the human condition as the water we drink, the air we breathe, and the children we birth.

At Global Fund for Women, we are committed to celebrating these issues all year long – not only one or two months out of the year. Throughout 2020, we are joining UN Women in celebrating the 25th anniversary of the landmark Conference on Women that took place in Beijing. And every day, we are funding and strengthening intersectional movements for gender justice—and working to igniting a new wave of gender justice activists to create lasting change.

That is why we launched “Fundamental: Gender Justice. No Exceptions.” this week, in partnership with YouTube and Refinery29. Fundamental is a film series made up of five short episodes, and directed by two-time Academy Award-winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. Each episode shines a light on grassroots activists and community organizers who are fighting for gender justice and disrupting the status quo to alter the course of history. With International Women’s Day just a few days away, I can think of no better way to celebrate than highlighting these stories of leaders working to dismantle the power structures that oppress us all.

Last weekend we screened an episode “Defenders of Justice” at the Athena Film Festival in New York City. The episode centers on Afro-Brazilian women fighting for reproductive and racial justice and against fundamentalism in Brazil – a fitting end to Black History Month.

You can watch the first episode of the series on ​Refinery29’s YouTube channel and the Global Fund for Women YouTube channel. You can also join the movement—spread the word by hosting a screening or sharing the series on social media.

In the words of Fannie Lou Hamer,  “If I fall, I’ll fall five feet four inches forward in the fight for freedom.  I’m not backing off.” Thank you for doing what it takes to achieve freedom for us all.