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How to Build A Movement by Simone Leid, Founder of The Womenspeak Project

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How to build a movement

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How to Build A Movement by Simone Leid, Founder of The Womenspeak Project

  1. 1. HOW TO BUILD A MOVEMENT A Strategic Approach to addressing the issue of Violence Against Women in the Caribbean Simone Leid Founder – The WomenSpeak Project http://womenspeak.tumblr.com
  2. 2. THE CARIBBEAN REGION
  3. 3. The Region • Caribbean region has population of over 35 million. • Largest Caribbean nations (Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico) are spanish speaking. • Largest English-Speaking island is Jamaica with a population of over 3 million. • The Smallest islands have populations of less than 100 000.
  4. 4. The Anglo-Caribbean • Population comprises mostly people of African Descent • Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana (continental Caribbean) have large numbers of Indian descended people • Small numbers of European, Chinese, Syrian/Lebanese descended people throughout the islands.
  5. 5. Overview of VAW in the Anglo-Caribbean • Trinidad and Tobago - Deaths from cases of domestic violence have quadrupled over a five-year period from 2004 to 2008 • Barbados – half of all murders in 2011 were the result of domestic violence • St. Kitts – 24% of court cases are for sexual offenses (2010) • Three of the top ten recorded rape rates in the world are in the Caribbean. (2007)
  6. 6. Several Governmental and Non- Governmental Agencies have been working on ending VAW for years.
  7. 7. ACCOMPLISHMENTS • LAWS ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE STRENGHTED • CREATION OF GOV’T DEPARTMENTS DEALING WITH WOMEN’S AND GENDER AFFAIRS • RATIFICATION OF INTERNATIONAL TREATIES ON VAW • INCREASED NUMBER OF NGO NETWORKS ACROSS REGION DEALING WITH VAW
  8. 8. But incidents of rape, domestic violence and murder of women continue unabated
  9. 9. BUT WHY? HOW COME?
  10. 10. Social and Cultural beliefs and attitudes that perpetuate the tacit acceptance of violence against women are INGRAINED
  11. 11. For real change to occur we need to reach the minds and hearts of the general population
  12. 12. We need to challenge the gender conditioning and gender stereotyping which allows discrimination against women to continue.
  13. 13. But often the manner in which we receive information about VAW can make us feel overwhelmed
  14. 14. “WOMAN SET ON FIRE After quarrel over money with lover.." “ MOTHER OF SEVEN BRUTALLY CHOPPED TO DEATH ” “No bail for three charged with rape of mom, daughter” Man gets HIV from wife. Kills her. Gets 25 years Six year old girl found murdered “…between January and April 2011, there were 161 reported cases of incest, rape and sexual offences against children
  15. 15. Instead of being inspired to act people retreat and become disconnected and desensitized VAW STATISTICS NEWSAPAPER HEADLINES
  16. 16. So how do you get people to engage with the issue of VAW ?
  17. 17. You help people see how VAW affects them on a personal level
  18. 18. And you help them find simple ways in which they feel they can contribute to change
  19. 19. You create a MOVEMENT
  20. 20. To create a Movement you need a critical mass of people who share a common vision and are willing to take action to create change
  21. 21. Key Elements for Building a Movement CONSCIOUSNESS RAISING & PARTICIPATION
  22. 22. THE WOMENSPEAK PROJECT An online forum that encourages Caribbean women to tell their stories of discrimination - in the home, at work and in the public domain
  23. 23. THE STRATEGY Consciousness Raising Involving women in the process of identifying how discrimination affects their everyday lives
  24. 24. THE STRATEGY Consciousness Raising Educating about gender discrimination gives people the tools to discourse and analyze the issues
  25. 25. THE STRATEGY Participation Allow people to contribute their own analysis to the discourse on discrimination against women
  26. 26. THE STRATEGY Participation Give people the opportunity to share information, dialogue, and explore the issues
  27. 27. CHALLENGES
  28. 28. HOW TO KEEP PEOPLE ENGAGED?
  29. 29. Continued ENGAGEMENT requires a great investment of Time and Creativity
  30. 30. You need to build RELATIONSHIPS
  31. 31. And constantly seek out new and interesting ways to get people to PARTICIPATE
  32. 32. BUILDING CROSS-SCALE NETWORKS is essential to enable you to reach those outside your circle of influence
  33. 33. TO BUILD CROSS-SCALE NETWORKS Collaborate on projects with other interest groups ARTISTS / UNIONS / COMPANIES
  34. 34. Changing attitudes and beliefs takes a long time.
  35. 35. But without adequate Resources and Relationships your Movement will become stagnant and die.
  36. 36. A bit of Advice?
  37. 37. It only takes one person to start a Movement but it takes consistent input from various people to nurture and sustain it
  38. 38. You can’t do it alone. You need ALLIES who are as committed as you are to the cause
  39. 39. Thank You.

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