Mission & Vision

JASS is dedicated to strengthening the voice, visibility, and collective organizing power of women to create a just, sustainable world for all. Our feminist movement-building and popular education strategies combine innovative learning, organizing, communications and action that equip and energize activists, expand alliances and mobilize women’s movements for greater political influence and to ensure the safety of activists in an increasingly risky world.  Founded in 2002 as a community of practice by activists, popular educators and scholars from 13 countries, JASS generates cutting-edge knowledge about power, movements and change to shape the theory, practice and policies for advancing women’s rights and democratic change.  Working with women and diverse organizations in 27 countries, JASS’ agile regional and international structure and processes are designed to support grassroots organizing as well as local-to-global solidarity and action, placing frontline activists and agendas at the heart of our social justice work.

 Our Vision

We call forth the future in the sense that we make the path by walking. JASS is resilient, creative and persistent in its engagement. Some mistakes are made but we never give up. We learn a lot on the job and hence our work in that walking allows the future to emerge. It is not just any kind of work, but careful work that makes it clear that every person matters…as a principle – this is the core of JASS’ humanity; that it is not just every person, but every moment, every thing we do that matters. ~ Hope Chigudu 

JASS is dedicated to a feminist vision of social and political transformation where all people live with freedom, dignity, respect and wellbeing. This vision calls for the rights of all people – regardless of their identities, location, or beliefs – to be recognized, respected and protected, and for the redistribution of resources that ensures their wellbeing as well as a sustainable planet. But what do freedom, dignity, respect and wellbeing mean to the women we work with? Not mere lofty words, but the stuff of daily experience:

FREEDOM: To have mobility / freedom of movement, association and autonomy in decision‐making including about their bodies, freedom of thought and expression, freedom of sexual expression, choice and reproductive autonomy 

DIGNITY: To be visible, recognized, acknowledged, counted, INCLUDING not stigmatized, shamed, marginalized or judged as inferior for any reason

RESPECT: To be accepted and not discriminated for who we are, what we stand for, our knowledge and experience, regardless of our identities, location, or other factors

WELLBEING: To have the rights and resources to enable us, our families and communities to thrive; the right to care for and protect ourselves.

JASS Women Crossing the Line

This vision requires democracy both as a governance framework as well as a value that permeates relationships at the personal and community level. It demands “deep democracy,” where governments, the private sector, customary structures, communities and families – all the key institutions that impact the spaces in which women, and especially poor women, transact their daily lives ‐ fulfill their obligation to advance equality and protect the rights of all their citizens and members. This means the conscious pursuit of policies and practices that eradicate all forms of violence, including those arising from war, civil conflicts, criminal networks and fundamentalisms that deploy violent means, and of economic and social development models that are sustainable for the planet and all its people. JASS believes that such transformation is possible only when the voice, visibility, and collective organizing power of women is strengthened since the omission of women’s voices and perspectives on peace, development, sustainability, equity, democracy and accountable governance have resulted in both distorted and incomplete visions of social and political transformation.

As research and history demonstrate, gender inequality is among the most intractable and resistant to change in part because it is perpetuated and reproduced by everyone -- men and women -- everywhere through the deep, invisible dynamics of socialization within families, and reinforced by institutions, media, and in many places, the threat of violence at home and in public. And gender inequality dovetails with other forms of oppression based on race, ethnicity, class, sexuality and a myriad of other forms of discrimination.  ~ Lisa VeneKlasen