Invitation to 2008 AWID Forum

animateforum.gifThe 11th AWID International Forum on Women’s Rights and Development

The Power of Movements

November 14-17, 2008
Cape Town, South Africa

The struggle for women’s rights continues to face formidable challenges.

Fundamentalist forces have gained ground around the world, exerting an increased control on women’s lives. The Millennium Development Goals alongside the new aid architecture have restructured development assistance with women’s rights taking a back seat. The HIV and AIDS pandemic has continued to spread, with women being disproportionately affected. Migration has become an increasingly feminized phenomenon, particularly in relation to issues of labour and sexual exploitation. Militarization has increased, with particularly devastating impacts on women, while at the same time “security” agendas have obscured global strategies for human development and the eradication of poverty.

These challenges and others have been accompanied by a marked increase in the fragmentation of social movements, as well as decreased investment by funding agencies in movement-oriented as opposed to project-oriented work. The result has been a lack of spaces for women’s rights advocates to think together about the implications of these trends and what new responses they may require, not just as individuals but as global movements responding to global forces — working in cooperation with other, like-minded social movements towards the common goals of gender equality, peace, social justice, environmental sustainability and human rights for all.

The questions we urgently need to reflect on are complex and multi-faceted:

How do we build movements that allow us to be strong but flexible, diverse without being fragmented, adaptable without compromising our core values, strategic without being expedient? What kind of collective power is possible in the 21st century? What types of mobilizations work – and in what contexts? What are the contradictions we need to confront in our movements in order to move forward? How do we build solidarity across different movements? And what is the cost of simply letting things drift along the present path?

From November 14–17, 2008, up to 1,500 women’s rights activists from around the world will gather in Cape Town, South Africa to debate and strategize about how to build stronger movements to advance women’s rights and gender equality globally.

We invite you to contribute to this urgent discussion
Register today to participate in the 11th AWID International Forum on Women’s Rights and Development:
The Power of Movements


online at
or contact us at forum08 [at] awid [dot] org
or +1 416 594 3773 for a registration form

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