Power analysis

Hope Chigudu and the JASS Southern Africa team gathered Malawian women's stories to give a glimpse of work on the ground in Malawi, the shifts that the women have made to change their lives and the dilemma of monitoring and evaluating the shifts. This series of stories demonstrates that there are parallels and connections, and points of intersection between the oppression of HIV+ women in Malawi, and social and cultural expectation and poverty.  These elements actually overlap and reinforce each other.
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In the safe spaces that JASS Southern Africa creates, Malawian women have found growing confidence to tell their own stories, even when these concern taboos. While a great many women are involved in transactional or survival sex, the power of stigma prevents them from being open about it. Gradually, however, this too is changing. Sarah (not her real name) bravely shares her story with us in her own words.
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Although originally created in order to develop a common language, and history within the JASS community, we quickly realized the dictionary's potential as a vehicle for the political act of defining our world based on a distinct feminist perspective - one that recognizes how distortions in social, economic, and political power form the basis of inequality and justice.
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The challenge to platforms for gender equality comes not just from actors with fundamentalist agendas, but from a conjuncture where women’s rights have been opportunistically instrumentalized to serve geopolitical goals, and neo-liberal policies have severed social justice from gender equality concerns
JASS SEA Regional Workshop  In Phnom Penh, Cambodia - June 22-24, 2012 - JASS Southeast Asia's "landing the helicopter" workshop pondered how to deepen, understand and respond to power as 26 women from six Southeast Asian countries gathered to share stories and ideas on how to strengthen women's activism and JASS' role in the region.
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Sexual and reproductive health rights are key issues for young women in Zambia. This year the constitution-making process provides a critical opportunity to put the debate on women’s bodies and choices around sexuality and abortion front and centre. In a context of staunch conservatism articulated by religious and traditional beliefs, there has been little progress on entrenching these rights. “Women in desperate circumstances will continue to seek backyard abortions and use herbs to attempt termination,” says JASS partner and Youth Vision Zambia Executive Director, Amos Mwale. "Meanwhile as we continue to debate, a lot of women continue to die from unsafe abortions in the townships, or from accessing the services of quacks."
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Writer, feminist researcher, and market organiser, Dudziro Nhengu (Zimbabwe), interviewed Malawian activist, Tiwonge Gondwe in Istanbul, Turkey (April, 2012).
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This article uses Hilkka Pietilä’s reconceptualization of the economy as three spheres of production (free, protected and fettered) to illuminate the new ways in which neo-liberal globalization is intensifying exploitative capitalist processes. The study focuses on the particular vulnerabilities of women, the value of their unpaid work, and the transformative significance of their resistance.
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Self-care and wellbeing have made a welcome comeback in feminist politics. They have been around for decades, but drifted out of focus and out of favor around the early 1990s as the dominant trends in women’s rights work took other turns. In some respects, the focus on policy and legal rights advocacy, important as that has been and continues to be for fighting inequality and advancing women’s rights, also came along with an unhelpful disconnect and hierarchy between needs and rights.
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The JASS Cross Regional Dialogue (CRD) opened its doors to three days of critical thinking and mobilizing on charting a collective roadmap for attaining women’s rights and justice. Drawing 48 feminist activists from Southern Africa, Southeast Asia and Mesoamerica together for a rich and radical exchange of ideas and feminist strategies—all of this set against the backdrop of a world held firmly in the grip of patriarchy, increasing human rights violations, political crises and serious economic meltdowns.
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