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One Day, One Voice 2020: PEOPLE ARE THE SOLUTION! CELEBRATING MOVEMENT BUILDING IN SOUTHEAST ASIA
This year, we are proud to be celebrating the 10th year of JASS’ annual regional campaign One Day, One Voice (ODOV), which aims to unite the initiatives of women across Southeast Asia around the 16…
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Obituary for Mabel Moyo & Retelling Stories of Organising in Zimbabwe
We walk in the footsteps of those who came before us. What is your theory of change? But is it value for money? These pesky questions have become the bane of many an activist’s life…
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How I became bold – Meet Marg VeneKlasen
When I first sat down to interview Margaret VeneKlasen, I was very nervous. I wondered whether it was even appropriate to ask this 90-year-old woman with an inspiring legacy this simple question, “Marg, how did…
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Why am I a Feminist?
By Chantrea Koeut-Urgell I have been a feminist since before I even realized or understood what feminism meant—before I even heard what “feminism” was about. I am a proud feminist because I advocate for women’s…
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Safe Spaces Across Contexts: Comparing Southern Africa and Corporate America
Written by Veronica Espaillat Gender inequality manifests around the world in vastly different forms because of distinct underlying roots and causes. Take for example the case of the United States versus the Southern African region.…
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The Fires We Light
By Maureen Kademaunga The fires we light are not fires to set alight police cars, they are small cooking fires we make in our township backyards to feed the children when there’s no electricity. The fires…
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Bina Masadah: How Indonesian Women Transform Coastal Communities
Written by Noni Tuharea Have you ever heard of Seram Island? It is an island rich in natural resources located north of Ambon Island in Indonesia. Since 2003, Seram Island has been divided into three…
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Brazil: Sustainability vs Survival
Everywhere at the Human Rights Council (HRC) the catchphrase on everyone’s tongue is “shrinking spaces for civil society”. But what does it mean, really? How are activists grappling with this “shrinking space” in their work?…
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From Factory Worker to Union Organizer
Written by Sreymom Loem I have learned from my experience and I am going to encourage more women garment workers to stand up for our rights and power. Our rights have been gravely abused; women…
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African Women Stand up to Big Coal
JASS Southern Africa (JASS SNA) sat down with two activists who are saying “No!” to Big Coal: Nomonde Nkosi, a young feminist activist from rural Mpumalanga, South Africa and Betty Abah a poet-environmentalist from Nigeria.…
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Tripping Over Inequality
Kicking off 2015 with an odd bang, the African Union (AU) both commited to an agenda of women’s empowerment and elected 90 year-old Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe as chair – despite international criticism of his…
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The Business of Beauty & Body Politics
Marita sits on a stool at her stall in an open market just outside Harare. She is counting brightly-coloured sweets and placing them carefully into a bag. Her neighbour on the right sells packets of…
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A Young Cambodian Woman’s Dream
Written by Pin Marin I have long dreamed of living in a “prosperous” Cambodia – where everyone contributes to the country’s development, where women and men are active and equal participants, and where we finally…
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Malawi: How far have women come?
A Look at Positive Women’s Organising in Malawi, 2005 to 2014 It is hard to conceive the magnitude of what Malawian women activist leaders with whom JASS works and the hundreds of women they represent…
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Transforming Women’s Lives in Myanmar
Written by Julie Lun (Caing Ngaih Lwin) “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the whole world,” goes a popular saying honoring women. But why is it that there are so many women today who…
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Putting Women’s Agenda at the Core of Indonesia’s Legislative Elections
I barely slept on the days following the elections. We in Forum Aktivis Perempuan Muda – Indonesia (FAMM-Indonesia) took part in various work related to the legislative elections of 9 April 2014 mainly to call…
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Trekking the Internet
The first time I got my hand on computer, I wasn’t scared at all. Maybe it’s because as a 16-year-old, I was anxious to try something new. My parents encouraged me into “techie” stuff because…
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Ending Rape in Cambodia
Why do men rape women? This is a simple question with a complex answer. My friends, relatives and colleagues – both men and women – often ask this question. Last year, Cambodians were put on…
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Feminist BUZZ: Beyoncé has us asking WHO & WHAT is a feminist?
Beyoncé has the internet abuzz, but this time it’s not just about her music and the groundbreaking launch of her new album—it’s also about whether or not she is a feminist. From academics to culture…
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Alquimia: Creating a community of solidarity and common purpose
What a gathering! I just got back from the JASS leadership course in Nicaragua with some 34 women activists from Mesoamerica—that part of the Americas that reaches from Panama all the way up to Mexico…
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Claiming Online Spaces for Urban Poor Women’s Causes
Written by Misty Lorin Online activism is popular in the Philippines because the mainstream media, usually owned by corporations, does not provide enough space for the people’s agenda. Through the internet, the people’s discontent and…
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Dancing with Malawian Women
When a woman has been living life like that of ‘[a] rat on a treadmill,’ tired and resigned; in a state of hopelessness, helplessness and despair, on the brink of giving up—it is hard to…
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Feminist Social Struggles in a Globalised World: What Malawi’s Women Have to Teach Us
Written by Dr Simukai Chigudu JASS’ work in Malawi has many lessons to teach about activating the energy women have and opening safe spaces for them to interrogate issues of power, organize collectively and demand…
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Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder, But Who Is This Beholder?
I will never forget the day I decided to cut my hair. I remember taking my walk of courage to the beauty salon seven years ago. I walked in and the lady who usually braided…
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Why I joined the Million People March against Corruption
When Philippine President Benigno Aquino came into power in 2010, his electoral platform focused on eradicating graft and corruption in government voiced out in his “righteous road” speech. Now, apart from the recent “pork barrel”…
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A Walk Down Vilakazi Street
The winter sun bathes the gently curving road, the street, the people, the commuters and the face-brick houses.  In that instant, the narrow road we have been walking upon suddenly appears welcoming and prosperous. However,…
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Breaking Barriers: Writing Herstories from the Heart
“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…
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Tackling Women’s Stake on the Post-2015 Agenda
“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…
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Marking Women’s Day with a Bang
“I’m willing to join more protest actions and even be detained every week just to get women’s and the people’s message across,” says Abigail Extremadura, a Filipino woman activist who was arrested in a demonstration…
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CYWEN: Shaping the Feminist Movement in Cambodia
In June 2008, JASS widened its movement-building institute in Southeast Asia, in line with its multiregional capacity-building initiative.  This initiative, led by Indonesian activists Nani Zulminarni and Dina Lumbantobing, aimed at strengthening women’s leaderships and…
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The Unshakeable Spirit
“For me, cancer is a rite of passage – from darkness to light, from sorrow to joy, from despair to hope, from confusion to enlightenment.  Above all, from clinging to self-pride to warming up to…
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Highlights from the National Women’s Dialogue and More in Malawi
Over two days, more than 140 HIV positive women activists met to celebrate the campaign they built to access to better ARVs and treatment literacy. As a prelude to the Global Race to SAVE Lives…
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Young Zambian Women Tackle Patriarchy, Power & Sex
Patriarchy. Power. Sex. These are the concepts that young women in Zambia are grappling with at the Young Women’s Leadership Camp. Patriarchy – through institutions like the family, tradition and culture, education and the media – controls women’s sexuality as…
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Violence, Movement-building & CEDAW
“The Mexican government’s strategy to combat organized crime, should not be at the cost of women’s lives” – On July 16th I had the great honor of sitting next to Margarita Martinez, a spirited human…
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The Personal is political: Inside out with Malawian feminist Tiwonge Gondwe
Writer, feminist researcher, and market organiser, Dudziro Nhengu (Zimbabwe), interviewed Malawian activist, Tiwonge Gondwe in Istanbul, Turkey (April, 2012). Tiwonge, please tell me about your relationship with JASS? I knew JASS in 2008 in Cape…
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How Long? – Thoughts on Women and Occupy Wall Street
Translated from Spanish by Emily Goldman A few days ago, Iread the following item on Democracy Now!:   “In other news from ‘Occupy,’ activists in New York erected a tent to be used only by…
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Women Build their Collective Power by Pen and Paper in Buhera
By Vimbai Njovana   The period from the FTX till now has been something of a whirlwind tour for me and an exhausting one too. As I reflect on the skills gained and the time…
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CYWEN: Raising the Profile of Young Women in Cambodia
I’m in Cambodia this week getting to know the women of the Cambodian Young Women’s Empowerment Network (CYWEN) and their work around equipping young women with the confidence, information and skills needed to increase their…
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Psst, psst, I slapped a policeman today!
8:00 a.m Zimbabwe time. At Charge Office Flea Market, where we have learnt skills to multiply the dollar for daily survival, there are stacks and stacks of second hand clothes, and unopened bales too. We…
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Days of Learning: You think I can’t dance? Watch me!
From 16th – 18th April, I joined over 300 participants from all over Southeast Asia and South Asia and beyond at CREA’s Count Me In! Conference in Kathmandu, Nepal. Count Me In! focuses on marginalized…
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Heart-Mind-Body: Creating Organizations with a Soul
The Heart-Mind-Body workshop, held at Chengeta Lodge just outside Harare (April 9 – 10), brought together 26 women, each with diverse experiences, perspectives and survival strategies, all united by a common concern: sustaining the work…
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My Body Is Not a Strange Flesh Anymore
My body used to be a strange thing. It’s a fragile yet a sacred monument full of myth, which I found out later is not the truth. In some cases the myth serve as the…
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I am a Chameleon: Young Feminists in Zimbabwe Carve Out Space for Themselves
  Every woman is a chameleon. She changes her color to suit the situation; she adjusts and adapts to face the pressing challenges. She wears a different face but the essence of who she is…
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If this is not feminism, then what is?
Movement building in Rumphi, Tiwonge Gondwe’s village (Tiwonge has been part of JASS movement building in Southern Africa from 2007) As Sindi and I drove to Tiwonge’s town in Rumphi, northern Malawi, the light was…
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Reclaiming Women Space and Voices: Crossing the Line in Zimbabwe
The gathering on the 6th March 2010 was a public one at the National Art Gallery in Harare, Zimbabwe – one of the events taking place this month to commemorate International Women’s Day. The panel…
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Feminists in Resistance March in Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Pepe Lobo was inaugurated as the new president of Honduras today. After the inauguration, ousted president Mel Zelaya left Honduras with a “salvo conducto” pass from the new government. Although the Resistance opposed it, the…
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A day in the life of a zimbabwean woman
Public taxis are a nightmare, the screaming and rude conductors, the cursing drivers and the vulnerable passengers. Normally I don’t pay particular attention to other passengers in these dilapidated taxis, but what I witnessed today…
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Age Matters: A JASS Discussion Paper
How can we truly engage all generations in our movements? We all have something valuable to offer, no matter what our age, and yet the ageism that often blocks us has not been explicitly addressed.…
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The Flame that Will Build a Movement
This morning, the women left. We had a great time but also experienced some Oh! moments. A young woman, six months pregnant, fell really sick. The truth is she came to the workshop sick. Most…
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I Am My Sister’s Keeper!
Our lives are written on our bodies. Sisters! 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…
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From Sea Change to Rivers of Change: El Salvador
Building personal and collective empowerment for women’s rights and action  Building on the JASS’ Mar de Cambios (Sea Change) region-wide gathering in July and the accompanying Wings of the Butterfly-sponsored play, Salvadoran Petateras by September had launched Rios de Cambios (Rivers of Change),…
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Our Feminist Ancestors
Last week during the Sea Change Feminist Leadership School, participants created a mural of their “feminist ancestors,” women who have influences their lives as feminists and as women who cross the line. Many people brought…
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Mar de Cambios Panama
Here we are in Panama — 33 women from Mexico, Central America and the US sharing and deepening our understanding of power and patriarchy with all the passion and creativity that our collective energy and…
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Mar de Cambios
Just a short note from Panama City about Mar de Cambios (July 5-10), where around 40 women from different MesoAmerican countries are discussing about feminism and how the patriarchal power affects ourselves and our society.
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JASS’ Role at the NWI’s “Women Redefining Democracy” Conference
JASS was thrilled to play a significant role in conceptualizing, planning, and facilitating the Nobel Women’s Initiative’s international conference entitled Women Redefining Democracy for Peace, Justice and Equality that was held in Antigua, Guatemala from…
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Religious Harmony via Feminism in Israel: A Discussion with Ms. Roula Deeb
By Vyjayanthi Vadrevu Carrie, Carmen and I had the privilege of meeting with Ms. Roula Deeb, Director and Co-Founder of the Israeli-based feminist organization Kayan. Prior to Kayan, Ms. Deeb worked at Isha L’Isha- Haifa…
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End of Day One of Nobel Women Conference
Video of End of Day One Nobel Laureate Mairead Maguire closes day one of the international conference “Women Redefining Democracy.” Participants reflect on the full day of learning and knowledge, and proceed to a lively…
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Be sporty, healthy and fun feminist!
By Kamilia Manaf, Institut Pelangi Perempuan (Indonesian Youth Lesbian Center) Sport is very helpful for the physical and mental health. Sport can reduce stress, anger and depression. Several people do sport for fun and hobby,…
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Fight Homophobia with Politics of Fun not Anger
By Kamilia ManafInstitut Pelangi Perempuan (Indonesian Youth Lesbian Center) At the AWID Feminist Forum held on November 2008 in Cape Town,South Africa, on the fourth day of the conference, I attended aworkshop on homophobia organized…
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My turning point
Pantsunburma shares her reflections at the JASS Crossregional Dialogue. I could learn experience sharing form difference region. JASS each regional group is come from different continent, background and political situation which make different contacts, approaches…
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Women Crossing the Line in Cape Town at AWID ’08
JASS had a strong and visible presence at the AWID (Association for Women’s Rights in Development) Forum held in Cape Town, South Africa in November 2008. JASS core team leaders Nani Zulminarni (Indonesia) and Martha…
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Interesting event at AWID Forum in Cape Town
Today i’m very happy because i’m attend one session about dancing the revolution. I am learning about how to make activities to fun. it’s great….that’s inspiring my self to make a good plan activities in…
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Women’s Voices Strong at the Americas Social Forum in Guatemala
Wow, what a week. It is hard to know where to start and exhaustion is setting in so my thoughts are all over the map. Perhaps I should begin by attempting to share some of…
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Bittersweet goodbye to Mexico City
Mexico City: August 7th, our last day together, was another action-packed 10 hours of motion as we tried to make the most of the conference and being together. A discussion about the complex world of…
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The day I crossed the line
Tuesday at the IAC was an action packed day for me. I got to speak in front of a lot of people which was a new experience for me and it definitely made me feel…
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From the Global Village and Opening Ceremony, AIDS 2008
 I’m sharing this space with my friend and sister activist, Sindi Blose, from Treatment Action Campaign in South Africa. She won’t mention the fact that she did an extraordinary job of rocking the Global Village this…
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