Ethical and Political Care for Sustainable Activism

17 May 2019

On December 1 and 2, 2018, UAF-LAC participated in XII Convening of Women Activists and Civil Society Leaders. This event is convened each year by the Platform PRO CUIDADOS (PRO CARE), the CDE - Center for Documentation and Studies of Paraguay, together with AFM - Marcosur Feminist Coordination.

UAF-LAC was invited to reflect on CARE and protection for women activists and defenders, to share our experiences that can enrich comprehensive feminist protection, and to promote alliances that strengthen Sustainable Activism from a perspective of ethical and political care.

During two days we joined around 180 women activists from diverse collectives of the Paraguayan civil society: indigenous, afro-descendant, trans, youth, communicators, artists, craftswomen, small-scale farmers, urban, teachers, healthcare workers, sex workers, lesbians, non-binary, wetland inhabitants, etc.

The risks highlighted include: environmental and food contamination, physical exhaustion, mental health issues, heightened risks for women leaders, and a heavy workload resulting from a leadership model that concentrates power. Also mentioned were: guilt, being connected 24/7, a lack of support networks, and non-constructive criticism among the movements.

The following alternatives were recognized by activists to promote healthy activism: a distribution of responsibilities, safe and trust-based spaces, collective support, women's circles, healing, reaching out to our chosen families, a recovery of experiential knowledge, creating a solidarity fund for “inter-care,” and finding our HOME- our BODY- and a returning to our ESSENCE.

We thank the CDE - Center for Documentation and Studies for inviting us to this event, and we thank all participants who shared their experience on CARE, as a position and condition for Sustainable Activism.

Find some photos from this event HERE.

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