Movement Building In IGPN Member Countries: Experiences And Perspectives
Kristina Kosatikova gave an overview of the work of the International Gender Policy Network (IGPN), followed by inputs from panelists. The panel consisted of 4 panelists representing Georgia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Kazakhstan.
The introduction to the work of the IGPN broadly covered the following key points:
• Their work is concentrated in Central, Eastern, South Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia
• The work on IPGN is based on the following key principles
o Cooperation and partnership
o Calling for accountability
o Sharing of expertise
• Global Perspective of the latest development in the region – focus on facts
• Women’s Rights movements in the region
• The IGPN programmes and projects include
o Development Cooperation and Gender
o Increasing Women’s Political Representation
o Where is the money for Women’ s Rights
o UN: Reform of Gender Equality Body
The overview by IGPN was followed by presentation/inputs from the panelist. The panelist was each given an opportunity to respond to the question:
“Is the Women’s Movement dying? If not what are your strategies?
All panelist responded with a resounding “NO it is not dead” , but we face particular challenges and obstacles in the work that we do.
Some of the key challenges/obstacles emanating from the inputs include but is not limited to the following
• How do we sustain the women’s movement given our diversity? This question needs ongoing discussion.
• Laws were adopted to enter EU – but laws are not applied and implemented
• Difference – between elite and constituency ( those who organize in the women’s movement are sometimes removed from the constituency) Majority of the population live in poverty – democracy also brought some bad things to people
• Language – we use language that rural women don’t understand – Some of the documents we work with are inaccessible to the women at grassroots level, this is a disempowering exercise.
• Resources – where do we find women friendly/ feminist money
• Government will give support/funding but there are conditions attached – “you do what we say”
• Political instability – parliaments change every year, - 6 months. Parliamentarians fighting for money and power – they pay no attention to needs of the people.
• The environment is changing so we are working in changing times – what should our strategies be? We have to design new strategies – so that the political leadership in our countries should recognise us.
• Inter generational issues - there are misunderstanding between generations around the work we are supposed to do.
Issues raised in the form of questions/comment from the floor during the session include:
• The involvement of men
• Movements do not only include NGOs, it must include broader public. If we open the movement it will not die.
• Involvement of rural women – complex because they are poor- first economic strengthening before we can do the political education and leadership training
• Women’s Movement vs Feminist Movement - to call yourself a feminist can create problems for you. There are assumptions that we all have the same understanding but we don’t - need to discuss the issue.
• Use our own people as experts – because they know the country and understand the issues.
• Conflicts between governments – what is the place of the Women’s Movement
• Despite withdrawal of money - should not give up on the gains made
• Current global economic crisis and its impact on the women’s movement
Audio: No audio available.