Practice Makes Perfect
These are the key domains derived from an exchange on the Beijing Platform for Action (BPfA), among an intergenerational group of feminists from the Asia Pacific region:
Re-Politicization of Feminist Agenda and Process
Re-politicization of the feminist agenda refers to putting forward a transformative agenda as against reformist programs that do not challenge existing structures of power and dominance. It includes a re-politicization of a feminist process that practices an expanded and dynamic power analysis. It requires a critical use of language that is reflective, inclusive, and facilitates an emotional connection to social realities.
Feminist Leadership refers to challenging the assumptions that masculinist leadership is essential, effective, and is the standard or norm. It instead puts forward the practice of feminist leadership that is founded on values of reflexivity, care, and ethical concerns as prime.
Communications as Sincere Connected Conversations
Communications refer to content and mediums that are appropriate, familiar, and accessible to its target audiences. It requires content and form that is grounded so as to achieve connection and not alienation. While communications can be simple, it cannot be simplistic. Communication must ensure complexities are captured, understood, and facilitate exchange. Feminist communications strive for authenticity and diversity, guided by sincerity.
Inclusivity and Grassroots-Oriented
Inclusivity and grassroots-oriented refers to a focus on those in margins. It asserts a strengthening of a bias and emphasis for the poor, across the various sectors and issue areas of concern.
Yet it also recognizes that inclusivity is about being mindful of actors that are deemed “organic” to the issue, but are voiceless, unheard, or made invisible.
Inter-movement solidarity refers to the openness of the women’s movements to working with other social movements at the national, regional, and global levels. It also refers to social movements outside of the women’s movements to know the feminist agenda, carry it, and engage with it. Inter-movement solidarity therefore requires providing and creating spaces for feminist practice across movements.
Intergenerational movements refer to knowing the different waves of feminist practice across time — locally, regionally, and globally — and building on them. It asserts the importance of learning from a generation’s strength, bias, strategies, and visions. Intergenerational movements encourage an intergenerational approach to ways of knowing and ways of doing.
Intersectional analysis refers to an appreciation of the historical context and sensitivity to cultural specificities when addressing a challenge to the feminist agenda. It asserts the shaping of a feminist position based on identifying the critical intersections of political influence, economic status, racial norms, sexual standards, social privilege, among other salient identities, structures, and contexts for advancing the feminist agenda.
Produced by the Women and Gender Institute (WAGI) and the Southeast Asia Women’s Watch (SEAWWatch) in partnership with the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD) and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF). Written by Tesa Casal de Vela, Luz Martinez, and Dasha Uy.
Renewing Women's Collective Leadership
An environmental scan towards renewing women’s collective leadership, and the key domains of the BPfA is available here.