by Cai Yiping*
The 11th Association of Women's Rights and Development Forum was held from November 14-17, 2008, at the Cape Town International Convention Center, South Africa. Nearly 2,000 women's rights leaders and activists from around the world discussed various issues around the theme “The Power of Movements.”
This AWID forum provided a space in developing and articulating ideas in building and strengthening feminist movements in the different contexts. Many panels also examined the roles and relationships of stakeholders including the need for a balance of power between donors and grantees.
The multi-generational solidarity and inter-movements dialogues were likewise given great attention at the forum. For the first time in the history of AWID, at least 20 percent of participants were women under the age of 30.
It is however, unfortunate that the participation of Asia-Pacific feminists and activists was underrepresented. Moreover, there is definitely a need for more in-depth discussions on mapping the current economic and financial crises and their implications on the struggle for gender quality, sexual rights and social justice. Also emphasised is the need to collectively interrogate the changes that the election of Barack Obama as the 44^th United States president would bring to the global South, particularly in the contexts of conservatism, fundamentalism and militarism. These dimensions were the highlights at the 11^th AWID Forum as areas that should must not be neglected. These highlights represent areas for strategically building stronger movements.
*Cai Yiping is Isis International's Executive Director.