Umbrella Issues

Strategies for greater solidarity and collective power must be developed and discussed in both geographic and thematic context.

These umbrella issue sessions have been designed to highlight core challenges and the need for integrated and coherent approaches that cut across diverse locations and strategies.

These sessions will provide a much-needed space to dialogue about how to build alliances for cross-movement engagement on key issues. This will enable us to advance new shared visions, strengthen cross-movement solidarity and frame collective action agendas beyond the Forum.

Please check schedule/App/website for days, times, and places for these sessions.

State of our Feminist Movements

Organized by: AWID and members of the Forum International Planning Committee

Enormous gains in women’s rights and gender justice over the past few decades often get overshadowed by the current backlash against them. Ironically, the backlash itself is a testimony to the progress achieved by diverse women’s rights and feminist movements globally. The past decade has seen major shifts in strength, organizing capacity and strategies, and diversity among feminist movements across regions. This strategizing session will offer a space to assess the current state of feminist organizing in all its diversity and nuances. It will encourage us to step back and think together about what types of organizing, organizational structures, and movement building strategies are currently needed to effectively respond to challenges and opportunities ahead of us.


  • Rudo Chigudu, (Zimbabwe)
  • Charlotte Brunch, AWID (USA)


  • Lara Aharonian, Women's Resource Center (Armenia)
  • Amal Elmohandes, Nazra for Feminist Studies (Egypt)
  • May-i Fabros, WomanHealth (Philippines)
  • Emanuelle Goes, Odara - Instituto da Mulher Negra (Brazil)
  • Natalie Jeffers, Matters of Earth / Black Lives Matter UK (UK)
  • Marusia Lopez Cruz, Just Associates (JASS) (Mexico)
  • Amina Mama, UC Davis (USA) (TBC)
  • Farida Shaheed, Shirkat Gah - Women's Resource Centre (former UN Special Rapporteur for Cultural Rights) (Pakistan)
  • Leigh Ann van der Merwe, Social, Health and Empowerment Feminist Collective of Transgender Women of Africa (South Africa)
  • Zeina Zaatari, Lecturer & Independent Consultant (Lebanon)

Reclaiming Democratic Spaces

Organized by: Conectas and AWID

Through the influence of feminist and other social justice movements, our understanding of ‘democracy’ has evolved. More than a system of governance, democracy is a framework guiding human relationships and practices in a wide range of institutions, including in the private sphere. However, in recent years, democratic spaces and human rights norms have been rapidly eroded through a variety of economic, social, cultural and political processes. Increasing violence and repression from both state and non state actors across all regions of the world are a growing trend that complexifies and raising new challenges to the struggles and work of diverse social movements and key actors.  This session will discuss how are different civil society and social movement actors experiencing the closing of the democratic space and to explore how to build solidarity, work together to reclaim these spaces and claim new ones.  


  • Martha Agbani (Lokiaka Community Development Centre, Nigeria)
  • Zelal Ayman (Women for Women's Human Rights-New Ways, Turkey)
  • Jessica Carvalho Morris (Conectas, Brazil)
  • Charlene Carruthers (Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100), Movement for Black Lives, US)
  • Aya Chebbi (African Youth Movement, Tunisia)
  • Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka (UN Women)
  • Almut Rochowanski (Chechnya Advocacy Network, US)

Climate and Environmental Justice

Organized by: Women’s Environment and Development Organisation (WEDO) and AWID

In partnership with Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJA) and World March of Women (WMW).

It is more clear than ever that reverting a catastrophic climate crisis requires deep systemic change, as well as strong climate and environmental justice work that places the sustainability of life, and economic and social justice at the core. This session will bring together and foster engagement between women’s rights and climate justice activists in recognition of the gendered impacts of the environmental and climate crisis, its intersections with socio-political and economic upheaval, violence and militarization,  and the need to search for common feminists alternatives to the current system.


  • Bridget Burns, WEDO
  • Cindy Weisner, GGJA
  • Graca Samo, WMW

See the Summary of Umbrella Issue eDiscussion

Bodily Integrity and Freedoms

Organized by: Coalition for African Lesbians (CAL), CREA, RESURJ, and AWID

The body today is a reimagined artifact. It is a major site of our contestations, lived realities, and identities. Through feminist and queer movements we have reclaimed the body in all its possibilities of expression, and made important strides on numerous issues around bodily integrity and freedoms, including sexual and reproductive rights and the right to freely express one’s sexual and gender identity.

However, the backlash is severe, with control and ownership of the body claimed by extremist and conservative forces in all societies. Given the seriousness of these threats, it is vital to bridge disconnected struggles, identities, and contexts. This is a space for a diversity of actors addressing the myriad forms of attack on our bodies to share alternatives, visions and responses.