JASS Southeast Asia

“Are writers born or made?” The young women activists of Indonesia have long resolved this classic Jack Kerouac question. The JASS-inspired organization Forum Aktivis Perempuan Muda – Indonesia (FAMM-Indonesia) or Young Indonesian Women Activists’ Forum (erstwhile JASS-Indonesia) has been holding write-shops (or writing workshops) to develop the writing skills of its members, composed mostly of young grassroots women leaders. 
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Women are wooed. Women are raped. Women are impregnated.Women are abducted. Women are raped. Women become mentally ill.Women are wrongly accused. Women are raped. Women get death threats.Women are raped. Women are raped. Women are raped.Different women, same stories: sexual violence in conflict.
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“Our lives are not dependent on our governments. Many governments actually fail to do their duty. They just leave the women and the people to struggle alone,” says Dina Lumbantobing of JASS Southeast Asia.  In a bid to address the continuing exclusion of civil society organizations (CSOs) and social movements from government processes, hundreds of activists and grassroots leaders joined the Global Civil Society Organizations (CSO) Forum on the Post‐2015 Development Agenda held last March 23-24, 2013 in Bali, Indonesia.
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Niken Lestari is an urban, middle-class-educated woman. She has experienced verbal violence has survived sexual harassment. Niken is currently one of the regional coordinating group (RCG) representatives of Indonesia. She is also the national coordinator of the newly-formed Forum Aktivis Perempuan Muda Indonesia (FAMM-Indonesia) or Indonesian Young Women Activist Forum, a women’s organization influenced and inspired by JASS.
The Philippines has a strong nationalist movement and I grew up in this context.  Movements and movement building are not novel concepts for me.  The Filipino counterpart of movement is kilusan; I learned this word at about the same time I learned how to count and to read.
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None of us could have anticipated that the final phase of our Leadership Transition at JASS, my stepping into the role of Executive Director, would coincide with a global pandemic!
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In the wake of COVID-19, JASS has made some exciting organizational pivots. Embedded in our DNA is agility and responsiveness to changing contexts and crises. We are proud at how we have been able to move quickly and leverage our staff who are embedded in the movements we support to rethink our work in response to this moment. These shifts are ensuring that we help our allies and constituencies meet immediate practical needs while simultaneously finding creative ways to strengthen and support strategic organizing based on these needs in a rapidly shifting context. 
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The JASS community gathered in Mexico City in February. Read all the exciting insights and reflections.
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This Thursday, JASS is launching its virtual dialogue series, Women Radically Transforming a World in Crisis. Please join us! Thursday, April 2, 13:00 hrs UTC (check for your time zone) 
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These times of uncertainty and crisis are also times of solidarity, care and the building of new forms of community. To speak to this moment, JASS is excited to offer a series of virtual dialogues – Women Radically Transforming a World in Crisis!
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