Feminist Movements and Leadership

Interim Findings from the Global Count

Action Coalition 6: Feminist Movements and Leadership

The Action Coalition for Feminist Movements and Leadership (AC6) envisions that by 2026 “feminist leaders, movements, and organisations…are fully resourced and supported to become sustainable, can carry out their work without fear of reprisal, and advance gender equality, peace, and human rights for all.” It is critical that alongside feminist groups, the ordinary voices of women and gender-diverse people are defining what is needed in order to (1) properly direct funding (2) create, expand and protect civic space (3) advance gender parity in decision-making, and (4) strengthen youth movements. Without this, the actions risk creating a gap between what feminist groups predict women want and the issues and solutions women perceive through lived experience.

Qualitative and quantitative data from the Global Count (GC) can help in closing this gap in three ways.

Firstly, it gives a clear overview of the issues that are currently impacting women globally and the ability for this data to be translated into actionable insights locally. To underscore this point and simultaneously give a nod to the accuracy of the GEF’s focus, as it stands globally, 48.1% of respondents selected ‘Ending Violence, Harassment & Abuse’ as one of the most important issues to them and it is emerging as the top issue in nearly every country. This result gives credence to the merit of the study, as alongside the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, UN Women reported an alarming rise in domestic abuse, dubbing it the ‘shadow pandemic’. These findings show that in building and supporting feminist movements, there needs to be a special focus on organisations and groups that provide solutions to gender-based violence (GBV), as it is the main issue as cited by individuals themselves.

Secondly, it gives an overview of the perceived barriers by respondents themselves, therefore showing exactly where interventions, resourcing and advocacy should be directed to overcome these issues. For example, across the Americas, a majority (51%) of those who selected ‘Ending Violence, Harassment & Abuse’ as a critical issue to them saw ‘cultural/social’ barriers as the main hindrance to progress on this issue. These findings show that in supporting feminist movements to ‘thrive without fear of reprisal’, as stated in the mission statement of AC6, there needs to be a focus on creating social and cultural environments that enable these groups to thrive in the first place.

Thirdly, the Global Count has a wealth of data on organisations effectively working in these areas as cited by respondents themselves. This means that the organisations named are (a) already working on the ground and known to local women and gender-diverse people, and (b) they already have good relationships with local communities and can therefore continue to make an impact. For example, a respondent from Zimbabwe cited GALZ Zimbabwe as an organisation working to advance LGBTQIA+ rights there. As part of the AC mission to elevate diverse leaders working across the spectrum, they should ensure organisations like GALZ are properly resourced and there are thousands more results from the Global Count to help do this.

For the AC on Feminist Movements and Leadership to truly eliminate barriers to feminist mobilisation in all the diversity of the world’s women, the Coalition can use information from the Global Count, which provides responses from individual women all over the world on the priorities for their own empowerment, as they define them. In the next sections, we will outline more specifically how data from the Global Count can be used to advance the specific actions outlined in the blueprints for the Action Coalition, allowing the actions to have the best chances at accelerating gender equality for women and gender-diverse people everywhere.

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