My local activism in a global movement
7 March 2022
This International Women's Day, read how Feima got involved with our Community Campaigner Network and how you could join in this year.
If I had to choose a few experiences that have positively affected my life, volunteering would definitely feature on the list. For me, volunteering is an opportunity to gain so much more than I could ever give.
Back in 2019, after a brief hiatus, I was actively looking for opportunities around women’s economic and social rights that I could balance with full-time work. During my online search, I came across ActionAid’s Community Campaigner network.
ActionAid tackles gender inequality as a root cause of women's rights abuses and supports women and girls to assert their economic rights.
I was excited at the prospect of being part of a diverse global community of empowered individuals, designing creative campaign actions and building my knowledge on feminist leadership.
A few weeks after submitting my application to be a Community Campaigner, I was at Action Aid’s head office immersed in a conversation with their staff about discrimination against women, period poverty, and the limits of legal protection.
In clinging on to the hope of a different world, I see myself as an active agent of change and realise the strength of collective power when we all act in solidarity. I cannot think of a better way to spend my time."
One of the causes that I am particularly interested in is the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, an international campaign which runs annually from 25th November to 10th December.
After signing up, I helped organise a film screening of ‘Working Woman’ directed by feminist Michal Aviad in collaboration with the Human Rights Consortium at the School of Advanced Study. This was followed by a rich and engaging panel discussion on women’s rights and workplace violence.
In 2020, I developed my feminist leadership skills through attending ActionAid workshops.
In 2021, I delved deeper into the issue of gender-based violence - I learned about the impact of ActionAid’s work in various communities, reading the comic ‘Black Girls Resist’ and hearing stories from women change-makers at an online webinar. It was invaluable to have a safe space to reflect on such an important issue with like-minded people.
After a few years of supporting a campaign focused on harassment at work, it was gratifying to learn that Parliament had finally given the government the green light to ratify the first international treaty to end harassment and violence in the workplace - the International Labour Organisation Convention on Violence and Harassment 2019.
There is still a lot of important work to do on this framework but I’m glad that this milestone has been achieved.
For me, volunteering at ActionAid is an opportunity to make a difference, to be a part of something bigger than myself and to contribute to a cause that I truly believe in.
In clinging on to the hope of a different world, I see myself as an active agent of change and realise the strength of collective power when we all act in solidarity. I cannot think of a better way to spend my time.
If you’re curious and want to learn more about being a Community Campaigner, you can start your journey with ActionAid today.