As the pandemic sheds light on the critical yet largely invisible role of women as food producers, care workers, and other essential/frontline workers, Grassroots International has supported grassroots feminist organizing in response to multiple crises.
Grassroots International is proud to support the growth of a global network of movements advancing feminist solutions that center the leadership of women and gender-nonconforming people of color. In 2020, we saw the strengthening of this network in response to the challenges of the pandemic.
A highlight at the regional level has been the growth of the We Are the Solution (WAS) campaign. Led largely by women food producers, WAS has been expanding its organizing across seven countries of West Africa. As the pandemic drives up rates of hunger, WAS has been bolstering communities’ capacity to feed themselves through agroecology. It has also been countering false solutions such as land grabs masked as agricultural investment and the imposition of harmful industrial agricultural practices across Africa. WAS has strengthened its community media capacity over the past year, with a focus on reaching young people, and especially young women, as the next generation of leaders.
As women across the globe are asserting greater leadership, they are coming under intensified attacks, particularly from authoritarian regimes. Our ongoing collaboration with Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Indigenous Environmental Network, and the World March of Women strengthens and advances grassroots feminist movements as they struggle against right-wing backlash targeting women, gender-oppressed peoples, and communities of color.
Through this collaboration, the new Berta Cáceres International Feminist Organizing School is being developed to strengthen collective knowledge, share experiences and expand grassroots feminist movements worldwide. Following a successful online pilot in 2020 attended by 75 leaders from 25 countries and 45 organizations, the school launched more formally on March 4, 2021. This date is the birthday of our close friend and ally, Berta Cáceres, for whom the school is named. In 2016, Berta was murdered for her courageous work organizing with our partner organization COPINH to defend Indigenous territory against megaprojects in Honduras.