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Is it possible to build a strong transnational organization – part movement, part NGO, part network – that retains flexibility and energy, resists bureaucratization, and truly recognizes and builds on differences? That’s our goal as JASS! In December 2009, we gathered to track our journey, learn from each other and from allies’ experiences, and name the principles that underpin this work
JASS (Just Associates)
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.
March 25, 2009 - Gladys Monterroso, lawyer, University professor, and Secretary General of the Encuentro por Guatemala party, and wife of Human Rights Ombudsman Sergio Morales, was kidnapped in Guatemala City on Wednesday March 25 at 7am and released 13 hours later. She was interrogated and burned with cigarettes on different parts of her body; no ransom was demanded. The Guatemala Human Rights Commission and our Guatemalan partners (including UDEFEGUA, CALDH, CIIDH, GAM, SEDEM, IECCEG and ODHAG) express outrage concerning this attack.
JASS and our Mesoamerican allies, Las Petateras, are attending the 11th Feminist Forum in Mexico City. Martha Sanchez, an indigenous leader from Mexico, carried the opening plenary with her outspoken and fiery commentary.
Not yet Uhuru! March 8 was International Women’s Day. This is a day marked to ‘celebrate women and recognize the great role they play in the world’. Women are not just women they are mothers, lovers and caregivers too. Yet for many women this day really had no meaning, not because it’s not special but it does not fulfill any purpose in their lives. Women bear the brunt of social, political, economic woes, yet they are still treated as second-class citizens.
The JASS team held movement building workshops in three regions of Malawi. Each workshop convened 20 grassroots activists living with and working on HIV/AIDS to share experiences, support each other, discuss and dramatize power dynamics and strengthen their organizing strategies. "...Almost every woman who attends the workshops talks about the disruption of her life by HIV and AIDS but they also share stories of rebellion (crossing the line) and coming to terms with defying the cultural norms..." reflects Hope Chigudu (JASS team).

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