Critical spaces are a key strategy we use for movement building, both through facilitating spaces by bringing together our partners, experts and other actors for collective learning, reflection and strategising, as well as by supporting activists and researchers through travel grants to participate in national and regional workshops and meetings which contribute to national/regional feminist discourses. We are particularly conscious of facilitating the participation of women from marginalised communities who are left out of or do not have access to strategic spaces.
In order for the women's movements to have a larger and effective impact, forging alliances at various levels is extremely important. The facilitation of such spaces by SAWF will not only ensure collective reflection, learning and building cross-country, cross-regional solidarities, but will also ensure that experiences and knowledge of those working at the local level is reflected at the national and regional level, and the knowledge of those working at regional level is shared with those working at national and local level.
SAWF organised its Annual Regional Convening in Kathmandu, Nepal, which brought together feminists from across the region for vibrant debate and discourse on issues at the local, national and regional levels. The meeting was attended by SAWF grantee partners, donors, networks, academics and feminist experts.
In January 2017, SAWF launched the Leading from the South Programme from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Under LFS, SAWF will expanding its grantmaking to cover 18 countries in South Asia, South East Asia and Mongolia. Experts from the region as well as potential partners attended this meeting.
In July 2017, South Asia Women’s Fund hosted the Strengthening Regional Feminist Movements convergence in Kathmandu. The regional convergence of partners, activists, and women's rights lawyers, amongst others, was focused on discussions around the themes that are reflected in our partners’ work on the ground, like Building Inclusive Movements, Right Wing and Identity Politics and Feminist Movements, Movement and Labour, Consent and Sexual Rights, Environmental Justice and Access to Justice. The convergence was also a great space for networking and feminist solidarity.
SAWF hosted its first South East Asia Convergence, Building Collective Strategies- Expanding SAWF’s Mandate to South East and East Asia, in Bangkok in September 2017. This convergence was focused on both sharing information with our new partners about SAWF as well as on learning more about the region in order to inform our long term strategy and programming for the larger region.