Mustard background with the illustrated portraits of Clemencia Carabalí to the left, Carmen Silva in the center and Aura Roig to the right. Clemencia is black, with long shoulder-length hair and is smiling and wearing a pink blouse. Carmen is black, she has an afro and is wearing a yellow blouse. Aura is blonde, she has shoulder length hair and is wearing hoops.

Caring Economies

Feminists have been building economic alternatives to exploitative capitalist systems for ages. These alternatives exist in the here and now, and they are the pillars of the just, fairer and more sustainable worlds we need and deserve.

The Feminist Economies

WE LOVE

CARING ECONOMIESLAND AND AGROECOLOGYFEMINIST COOPERATIVISMFEMINIST UNION ORGANIZING

Come meet the feminist economies we LOVE.

The economy is about how we organize our societies, our homes and workplaces. How do we live together? How do we produce food, organize childcare, provide for our health? The economy is also about how we access and manage resources, how we relate with other people, with ourselves and with nature.

Feminists have been building economic alternatives to exploitative capitalist systems for ages. These alternatives exist in the here and now, and they are the pillars of the just, fairer and more sustainable worlds we need and deserve.

We are excited to share with you a taste of feminist economic alternatives, featuring inspiring collectives from all around the world.

A CARING

ECONOMY

Feminists Centering Care in the Economy:
A Cross-Movement Dialogue

What if we reimagined ways of caring for our communities?

What if the economy was not about someone else’s profit but about care for our individual and collective wellbeing? These stories are about building communities of care with and for people who are historically and presently excluded, disenfranchised and dehumanized by both state and society. These are the stories of feminists centering care in the economy.

Burgundy background with maps of Brazil in white, Spain in mustard yellow, and Colombia in pink

São Paulo, Brazil

COZINHA OCUPAÇÃO 9 DE JULHO

FIGHT LIKE SOMEONE

WHO CARES

Mustard background with the map of Brasil in purple, with the location of Sao Paulo marked with a pink pin.
A graphic with green feather patterns on a beige background, text on it in Portuguese says “Tanta Gente sem casa. tanta casa sem gente” which means "So many people without a home,  so many homes without people"

So many people without a home, so many homes without people.

São Paulo’s City Center

Source: Centro de população de rua da cidade de São Paulo

A woman sitting on the floor on a piece of cloth and a cup for change in front of her
   

Abandoned / Unoccupied Buildings

Illustration of an abandoned, run down building to depict the housing crisis

Population living in the streets 

 

31,000

 

40.000

Photo of a wall with a graffiti which says “Luta’
Photo of people in facemasks and aprons cooking together
Photo of a black woman in a red apron and black facemask, holding a book
Photo of a group of 4 of people wearing facemasks, demonstrating food and books

Women and collaborators at the occupation’s kitchen

Photo of two black women cooking

Ocupação 9 de Julho

When you come to the center of São Paulo, you will see the building of the Ocupação 9 de Julho - a landmark in the struggle for social housing and an important cultural site. This is the work of The Homeless Workers Movement (Movimento dos Sem-Teto do Centro, MSTC) a movement of over 2000 people that operates in the city center and converts abandoned spaces into housing for low-income workers, children, women, adults, the elderly, migrants and refugees. In this particular building, they provide food and shelter to 122 families. 

graphic portrait of Carmen Silva. She has brown hair and skin, wearing a yellow blouse.

But Ocupação 9 de Julho is more than just a building.

It is a community hub, where one can take courses and train in creative income-generation activities like local hairdressing, cooking and artmaking. Children can also enjoy cultural and educational activities. The MSTC doesn't work alone. It collaborates with institutions and art collectives to produce cultural, athletic and educational experiences, alongside critical access to health care. Since its inception, this participatory project has been led and carried out by mostly women, under the leadership of Afro-Brazilian activist Carmen Silva, who was once a homeless person herself.

 

 

 

 

We have the pleasure to introduce you to Carmen Silva Ferreira.

She was born in Bahia, the Northeastern part of Brazil. She is an immigrant, a social activist and a mother of 8 children.

Carmen experienced homelessness at the age of 35, after migrating to Sao Paulo on her own. This led her to become a fierce advocate for vulnerable, marginalized and invisibilized communities most affected by the housing crisis. She eventually became one of the founders of MSTC in 2000.

As a visionary political organizer and the current leader of the MSTC, Carmen’s work has laid bare the city's housing crisis and provided inspiration to others on different ways to organize and manage occupations. She stood strong on the forefront of several occupations. One of them is the 9 de Julho Occupation, which now serves as a stage for direct democracy, and a space where everyone can be heard, seen, appreciated and work together.

Carmen has been long celebrated for her boldness in giving life back to abandoned buildings in the heart of São Paulo.

To know more about her life, you can follow her on Instagram!

Woman in a white t-shirt, striped pants, red apron, and black facemask holding batch of food
A photo of two black women cooking

Occupation’s kitchen campaign:

Women sustain Care | Care Sustains Life | Life Sustains Economy | Who takes care of women?  | Not one less1 | Together | Sunday lunch

1 Nenhuna a menos literally translates as “not one woman less” or “ni una menos” in Spanish - a famous feminist slogan in Latin America that emerged in Argentina as a response to increasing gender-based violence.

Photo of Cozinha Ocupação 9 de Julho team in aprons

Yellow square that says

Yellow square that says

Yellow square that says

Yellow square that says:

Yellow square that says

Yellow square announcing Sunday Lunch at the Occupation's Kitchen

Three-fold horizontal graphic: 1st of a brown-skinned woman on the right side, she is sitting on a pink carpet and is wearing a pink shirt and yellow dress; 2nd two women of color looking at each other and touching their shoulders, they are on a pink background; 3rd - graphic version of three women cooking.

Housing is a right | Care sustains Life

NORTH CAUCA, COLOMBIA

Asociación de Mujeres Afrodescendientes del Norte del Cauca

 

WE DESERVE

MORE!

Map of Colombia in pink

Association of Afro-Descendant Women of the Northern Cauca

Black women community organizing in the Cauca Valley in Colombia can be traced back to the country's colonial past, which is marked by the racism, patriarchy, and capitalism that sustained slavery as a means to exploit the region’s rich soils. These organizers are the heroines of a broad movement for black autonomy - one that fights for the sustainable use of the region's forests and natural resources as vital to their culture and livelihood.

For 25 years, the Association of Afro-Descendant Women of the Northern Cauca (Asociación de Mujeres Afrodescendientes del Norte del Cauca, ASOM) has been dedicated to bringing power to Afro-Colombian women’s organizing in northern Cauca.

They became established in 1997 as a response to ongoing human rights violations, the absence of public policies, inadequate management of natural resources, and the lack of opportunities for women in the territory.

They have forged the struggle to secure ethnic-territorial rights, to end violence against women, and gain recognition of women’s roles change-making peace-building in Colombia.

CHALLENGES:

  • Climate Change
  • Access to financial credit Intermediaries
  • Cultivation for illicit usage

What are they working on?

Illustration of a hand with a pencil writing on white paper

Human and ethnic-territorial rights

Ensuring the defense of human rights and Nature’s rights through alliance-building with local, national, regional and global actors and organizations.

A person holding a plant in a pink pot in their hands

Sustainable development

Ensuring all economic, cultural and environmental activities contribute to sustainable development, food security and income generation, while respecting the self-determination and self-government of Afro-descendant communities.

Three women sitting next to each other

Education and training

Carrying out training for women and empowering them to carry out women’s rights advocacy in different political, social and economic spaces.

For more information, see here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
Black woman in a white headscarf and gray t-shirt, she is smiling and is holding a vessel above her head
People demonstrating and holding a long blue poster
Black woman speaking in a mic, there is a black girl standing next to her and a man sitting at the table
Photo of five black women in the front on a demonstration, wearing facemasks and holding posters
Photo of three women sitting around the table and talking in mics.

ASOM’s activists in encounters, parades and events

Three-fold graphic with 1st - dark skinned woman with brown hair and pink dress; 2nd - Pink background with two hands shaking - lighter skinned hand with a yellow shirt and darker-skinned hand with a burgundy shirt; 3rd person working in the field, wearing a pink hat, white gloves, and burgundy shirt;

Barcelona, Spain

Metzineres

 

Womxn Take Drugs.

DEAL WITH IT.

A map of Spain in burgundy, there is a yellow pin with a location of Metsineres;

Metzineres

When walking in the heart of the Raval district of Barcelona, you might come across Metzineres, a feminist cooperative by and for womxn2 who use drugs surviving multiple situations of vulnerability.

Imagine a place free of stigma, where womxn can be safe. A safe place that provides shelter, support and accompaniment for womxn whose rights are systematically violated by the war on drugs and those who experience violence, discrimination and repression as a result.

Right outside the entrance, passers by and visitors are greeted with a massive chalkboard that outlines tips, tricks, wishes and drawings by drug users. There is also a calendar that boasts a range of activities self-organized by the Metzineres community. Whether it’s hairdressing and cosmetics workshops, radio shows, theater, communal meals offered to the community, or self-defense classes - there is always something going on.

The cooperative provides safe consumption sites as well as utilities that cover people’s basic needs. There are beds, storage spaces, showers, toilets, washing machines and a small outdoor terrace where people can chill or have a goat gardening.

Metzineres operates within a harm reduction framework, which attempts to reduce the negative consequences of using drugs. But harm reduction is so much more than a set of practices: it is a politics anchored in social justice, dignity and rights for people who use drugs.

2 Womxn is a term used by the collective to describe cis and trans women as well as non-binary people
 
A crowd of people sitting in front of a banner which says ‘support, don't punish”;
Photo of two women talking to each other, one of them is holding a handheld fan.
Crowd of people with a black banner that says Metzineres in yellow.
Photo of four people sitting on the ground and talking
Photo people with plants around them, most of them sitting and clapping to a person who is walking in the middle

Metzineres activists in action

Group of activists standing on the street holding banners and signs

Side profile of a person applying red lipstick.

A person mixing ingredients in large paella pan

Four people standing in daylight, laughing and talking.

Round table with several people talking with microphones, like the setting for a podcast.

Illustration portrait of Aura Roig. She has blond hair, light skin, earrings, a white shirt, and is smiling;

Meet Aura Roig, the visionary feminist activist, anthropologist, director and founder of the Metzineres cooperative.

She spent the last two decades researching, designing and implementing drug policies from the perspective of harm reduction, human rights and intersectional feminism.

Having experienced and learned from communities who use drugs around the world, she returned to Barcelona and created Xarxa de Dones que Usen Drogues (the Network of Women Who Use Drugs, XADUD). XADUD was a space of mutual support and solidarity with the struggle to secure rights for marginalized groups, which later became the Metzineres cooperative.

Aura is currently working on expanding the Metzineres model to provide support to bigger constituencies, while also extensively documenting their prolific journey and learnings.

 

 

Metzineres provides the following kinds of support, known as

Environments of Shelter:

Illustration of a pink house with a yellow background

The Cover
Care and healing environment

Yellow and pink cog wheels

The Bold
Production and entrepreneurship

Illustration of a pink human in white underwear doing a power pose

The Powerful
Self-protection and strengthening

A pink paint palette with a pink brush with yellow details

Artisana
Art and creativity

An illustration of a vine with vine like leaves in neon with purple background

The Ivy
Community and neighborhood

Three arms with fist raised: one black, pink, and the last one in purple

The Howl
Participation and activism

Since its foundation,

Metzineres has supported over:

383

people

 

 

 

 

Threefold vertical graphic - 1st of a person with long brown hair sitting and wearing pink shorts and yellow t-shirt; 2nd of group of four people sitting and talking to each other; 3rd - three women holding each others backs

Care as the foundation of economies

The COVID-19 pandemic put the global crisis of care into sharp focus and demonstrated the failures of the dominant economic model that is decimating essential public services, social infrastructures and systems of care around the world.

Cozinha Ocupação 9 Julho, the Association of Afro-Descendant Women of the Northern Cauca (ASOM) and Metzineres are only some examples of caring economies that center the needs of marginalized people and nature, as well as the reproductive, invisibilized, and unpaid care work required to ensure the sustainability of our lives, societies and eco-systems.

GET INVOLVED!

Follow the work of these organizations on their social media accounts and websites:

While in Sao Paulo, Brazil, you can visit the Ocupação 9 de Julho and have a collaborative meal. You can buy their products in their online store from abroad.

Visit the Association of Afro-Descendant Women of the Northern Cauca’s online store where you can find beautiful handcrafted products.

There are several ways to support Metzineres: you can make a financial donation, donate materials and services, or propose a training course, workshop, or activity (for more information, see here).