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JASS Southern Africa is building the leadership and organizing capacity of Malawian women to pressure local and national government to make development resources accessible and to deliver on laws that supportwomen and HIV‐positive people. By organizing the power of their numbers, women can make their voices heard in order to confront stigma, increase access to healthcare, and improve basic livelihoods.
Women living with HIV who are leaders in the AIDS movement in their communities in Malawi came together for the start of a four-day workshop organized by JASS. They started by creating startling and beautiful body maps. They did it without any artists to help. In groups of five, the women started by outlining their bodies on large sheets of paper. Each woman was drawn by the other women in the group. People stayed in their small groups to do this, sharing magic markers and other art materials. Through a series of imaginative exercises they added parts to the outline of their bodies.
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A group of young women from Indonesia and Timor Leste were invited to the first JASS movement-building institute in Southeast Asia (in Bogor, Indonesia, June 2007). Here, they shared a common language – Indonesian – and a common commitment to social justice, but also the complicated history of their two countries, as colonized and colonizer.
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  JASS’ third annual crossregional gathering assembled 27 close allies, board members and staff from 17 countries for a learning and visioning process about feminist movement-building from local to global levels. At a pivotal moment in JASS’ young life, as we take our training, organizing, action, advocacy, and knowledge to a new level, we paused to draw lessons on the impact of our approach thus far, seeking specifically:
On 6 and 7 April 2009, Berliana Purba & Dina Lumbantobing of PESADA and Niken Lestari of JASS SEA held two workshops. The first, in Teluk Dalam, the capital of South Nias, involved 69 women and 6 men, while the second, in Gunung Sitoli, the capital of Nias Induk, involved 50 women and 2 men.
Following the AWID Forum, JASS brought together its core teams and board for a two-day strategic planning meeting that integrated the insights generated from the dialogue and the Forum into a forward-looking four-year vision and plan.
This session, which uses the JASS Southern Africa framework and video as it’s core outline, will look at HIV/AIDS from the lens of power and inequality in order to define the many ways that this urgent challenge facing women presents opportunities for movement-building and energizing women's rights agendas.
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The International AIDS Conference in Mexico City, August 3-8, 2008 provided an important opportunity for JASS activists to understand, face-to-face, the politics and actors dominating global decision-making on HIV/AIDS and to make their voices heard at this important international gathering. The JASS delegation was comprised of seven Southern African activists, five Mesoamerican activists – including two journalists from JASS’ strategic partner, Feminist International Radio Endeavor (FIRE) based in Costa Rica – and three members of the JASS crossregional team.
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Organizing in Zimbabwe has been challenging, even dangerous, for some years. As the country’s economic crisis has deepened – with measurable inflation reaching 79,600,000,000% monthly and 98% daily in November 2008 – activists have had to pit themselves against repressive laws and actions such as Operation Murambatsvina, a wave of brutal urban clearance, beginning in 2005 and repeated since, that has affected an estimated 2.4 million Zimbabweans.
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