Mahnaz Afkhami interview on the history of civil organizing and women's organizations in the Global South in the context of rising authoritarianism, fundamentalism, and instability (video)
Mahnaz Afkhami, Founder of WLP, gives an overview of the difficulties of civil organizing and women's organizations in the Global South in context of rising authoritarianism, fundamentalism, and instability. Discusses position of women's organizations with legislation limiting receipt of funds, negative impact on civil society activism when regressive consequences of wars in the name of democracy.
Discusses problem of ideological positions. Discusses post-conflict challenges of capacity-building of NGOs with arrival of international agencies. Discusses growth of fundamentalism, war on terror and East/West stereotyping, observing focus by extremists of role of women in family. Provides examples of terrorization of women and organizations in Morocco, Jordan, Afghanistan.
Discusses culture of philanthropy, religious endowments, legislation restricting receipt of funds from abroad as government's way of controlling civic action. Example is provided from Egypt, that has a new requirement of registering workshop participants for future identification.
Describes WLP strategies and action in face of government controls with reference to Uzbekistan and Iran. Describes WLP partners' successful South-South exchange of ideas and experiences with examples from Morocco and Malaysia. Describes skills building, importance of communication in the developing world and between developing and developed world. Describes significance of e-learning in Afghansitan where public spaces are not accessible to women, and Iran where assembly is difficult. Describes ways funding restrictions have been overcome. Describes collective struggles and solidarity within Partnership. Discusses regional transfer of training institute to Kazakhstan with upon government closure of Uzbekistan partner.
Discusses role of leaders of movement from 1970s and 1980s, intergenerational mentoring and capacity building. Describes organizational work in 18 countries, four continents, 17 languages, capacity building for larger national reach, regional reach through structure of sharing. Discusses WLP's role in facilitating interaction, exchange of information internationally, bringing visibility to work of local organizations, mobilizing human and financial resources, creation of movement through respect and understanding.