About The Forum


Transforming Economic Power to Advance Women’s Rights and Justice, the 12th AWID International Forum, will gather up to 2000 women’s rights leaders and activists from around the world from April 19 to 22, 2012 at the Halic Congress Center in Istanbul, Turkey.

What is AWID?

The Association for Women’s Rights in Development is an international feminist membership organisation that works to strengthen the voice, impact and influence of women’s rights advocates, organizations and movements internationally to effectively advance the rights of women.

What is the Forum?

The AWID International Forum on Women’s Rights and Development is both a conference and a call to action. The largest recurring event of its kind, the AWID Forum brings together women’s rights leaders and activists from around the world every three to four years to strategize, network, celebrate, and learn in a highly charged atmosphere that fosters deep discussions and sustained personal and professional growth.

Delegates to the Forum participate in four days of plenary speeches, interactive sessions, workshops, debates, and creative sessions geared to powerful thinking on gender equality and women’s human rights. Delegates also participate in informal caucuses, artistic events, cultural activities, and social and political spaces geared to global and regional networking and alliance building.

Delegates who participate fully in the Forum not only empower themselves with new tools and resources, but they also, collectively, re-politicize the gender and development community, strengthen alliances between women, and engage in work and thinking that is truly transformative.

Why will Istanbul, Turkey be the site for AWID Forum 2012?

Istanbul was selected as the site for the next AWID Forum for many reasons. One, AWID wanted to bring the event to a region that had not already hosted a Forum. Istanbul is a very accessible location for Eastern Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Middle East and North Africa – all regions that have been under-represented in past AWID Forums. Turkey has a strong, vibrant women’s movement that we believe can contribute to enriching the Forum through the diversity of women’s organizing and experience and that we also hope can find value in solidarity from and engagement with this large convening of women’s rights activists from around the world. In addition, Istanbul is logistically convenient as it is easily accessible to international flights from various regions, with relatively easy visa access, and is reasonably priced, with excellent infrastructure for an event of this size.

Who can participate?

Participation in the AWID Forum is open to anyone who works or has an interest in women’s rights, international development, and social justice. AWID particularly welcomes women and men from the Global South, young women, and groups that historically have had difficulty getting their agendas heard on a global stage.

What can I expect from the Forum?

You can expect to be enlightened, provoked and inspired by an exceptional group of thoughtful, forward-looking and fiercely committed women and men. You can expect to move beyond simply talking to getting involved in global action plans and campaigns that will emerge out of the Forum, but will last well beyond it. You can expect to work hard and gain an abundance of new skills, new knowledge, new colleagues, and new ideas for the long road ahead. You can expect to be welcomed, nurtured, fortified and challenged by a group of like-minded activists, academics and practitioners.

And finally, you can expect to have more fun than you thought was possible at a conference!