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By Awino Okech, Shereen Essof, and Laura Carlsen

This article draws on the work of Just Associates (JASS), a feminist movement support organisation that strengthens the leadership and organising capacity of community-based women networks in Southern Africa, Southeast Asia, and Mesoamerica, to transform the structures that perpetuate inequality and violence. We analyse qualitative interviews and surveys drawn from recipients of the JASS mobilisation fund (JMF), an innovative financial crisis support mechanism for feminist movements. We argue that localisation strategies deployed by women’s networks supported by the JMF in response to COVID-19, challenge dominant humanitarian responses that de-centre feminist movements, local knowledge, and expertise. By accounting for local knowledge generated from long histories of movement building, building collective power, and challenging racialised and gendered responses to humanitarian crises, women’s collectives and networks supported through the JMF developed contextually relevant responses that challenge patriarchal structural barriers heightened by COVID-19.

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