The greatest changes the world has seen towards greater justice, equity and inclusion have been the result of movements – the struggles of disempowered people or simply caring, passionate people, to build a better world. Think about the abolition of slavery, the amazing body of human rights treaties and conventions we have today, the control and regulation of nuclear weapons, or the efforts to save the planet from climate disaster, to ensure food and livelihood security for all people, and to end violence and discrimination against women and all gender non-conforming people. All these changes — in internalized attitudes, in our policies and laws, in our social norms — were achieved because people, especially the most affected, mobilized, re-visioned justice, and built strong movements to achieve these goals.
With increasing NGO-ization, however, movement building is becoming a lost art in many parts of the world. This primer is intended to help us renew and regenerate the movement-building approach, especially the feminist movement building approach, to achieve a deeper and more sustainable transformation of our societies.
The primer builds on concepts shared in CREA’s earlier primer, “All About Power”, and thoughtfully and clearly answers some critical questions such as what is a movement and why do movements — and feminist movements — matter, how do we build movements, and how do we assess their growth and impact? The answers to these questions translate into action guidelines for all those wanting to explore, understand, and use the movement-building approach in their work.