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“Most of us, particularly people like me who come from a legal tradition, see power as a negative construct. And I think it’s important to see power as a more fluid term: it’s about the contestation of power, but it’s also about power being used to create societies that are more sustainable, that are more equitable, that are more just.”

Mandeep Tiwana, Civicus

“Building leadership is a step-by-step process. When we [PEKKA] start out working with the women they have never seen themselves as decision makers. So we build decision-making in from the beginning. For example, at our first meeting of the new collective, they have to name their group together. This is their first decision outside their family.”

Nani Zulminarni, PEKKA and JASS

“Women-only spaces make us strong. We come together and become friends. We understand the problems in our lives. We see how power works, those with power over us and the power within ourselves. We see together that we have the collective power to make change in our lives.”

Linnah, JASS Malawi

“In the women’s sector, in 2005, we concluded that we have five disputed territories: body, land, nature, memory and history. In a 2014 meeting with indigenous peoples, the compañeras added another: worldview. Today I say that there is another disputed territory – the state. If we do not contend for it, they’ll continue to make decisions against the common good. I hold that the struggle, the confrontation is our power against theirs, collective power against individual power, power that seeks to build against power that seeks to destroy – that’s the dispute. So I assert that there are actually seven contested territories: body, land, nature, memory, history, worldview and the state. We have a lot to do!”

Sandra Moran, Former Deputy in the Guatemalan Congress, feminist, lesbian, drummer, movement builder

“Power, properly understood, is the ability to achieve purpose. It is the strength required to bring about social, political, or economic changes. In this sense, power is not only desirable but necessary in order to implement the demands of love and justice.”

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Where Do We Go From Here? Chaos or Community” 1967

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