On the 19th of October 2022, the Inter-Generational Feminist Forum (IGFF) organized a talk program titled “Feminism/s And Why Feminist Movements Are Necessary in Our World”. The program was organized in the garden of Cafe Cheeno at the IGFF Secretariat, Patan Dhoka. The key speaker of the program was Hope Chigudu. She is a renowned feminist, organizational development expert, and strategist from Zimbabwe.
A total of 61 participants representing various diverse groups and organizations, LGBTQI, and people with disability attended the program. A couple of international guests, including Jennifer Fish (Ph.D.), also participated and shared their views.
The Program was moderated by Susan Risal (Ph.D.) – Steering Committee member of IGFF.
Rita Thapa -Steering Committee member of IGFF, introduced Hope and elaborated on her skills in organizational development, health, and well-being of individuals. Further, she explained the contents of a book “Strategies for building organizations with a soul” written by Hope that articulates the collective and holistic approach where people’s needs, emotions, and senses are supported. She invited all to join as a member for those who had not yet joined IGFF formally.
Hope elucidated the feminist movement, why movements matter, the challenges of the movement, how does the movement begin, and the perception of injustice suffered by the movement. During the talk program, Hope highlighted the fact that the feminist movement is an ongoing process, and does not have an end. It talks about private issues. It needs clear agendas & leadership and would have no value without members and constituencies. It needs to be owned by many feminists and not by a single person. While keeping our anger alive, there is an equal need for lightness interspersed with jokes, songs, and dancing for the movement. Speaking on how the feminist movement began, she stated that every time a woman speaks up, it means feminism has been ignited. She also explained that transformation is a journey and always starts with oneself.
She further shared that “Personal is political” and that we need to erase the script of the identity that society has given to us, and rewrite our scripts. She also focused that we have done much in the movement and that we need to sometimes celebrate. The future generation needs to know how they got the freedom they are now experiencing. They need to be grateful to the movement and appreciate it. Furthermore, she expressed her opinion not to stop asking “whys” for only then do we get the answers of “How”.
After Hope’s presentation which was much appreciated, Susan introduced Jennifer Fish, a professor from U.S. Jennifer shared that we need each other for the setbacks and requested to hold on to each other for building deeper values of the movement.
During the floor discussions, participants raised questions on the politicization, and the diversity of movement to the trans group, men involved in feminism, people with disability & marginalized groups, women’s movement & feminist movement, and feminism & disability. Answering all of them, Hope explained that well-being is common to all while the feminist movement might be exhausting. The feminist movement, in the beginning, was confused about whether to include transwomen, sex workers, and men. However, progress has been made in the movement despite the assumption of patriarchy that the feminist movement did nothing. She also elaborated that the Feminist movement is more political than the women’s movement. Moreover, she shared that we cannot advance the feminist movement without including disability and these types of meetings are reminders that we need to be aware of these issues.
Sharu Joshi – Co coordinator of IGFF, thanked Hope for her enlightening presentation. She reminded everyone about the support of Hope at times of preparing the charter of demands of IGFF. She also stated that “To destroy a men’s group, a world war is needed while only criticizing one another can destroy a women’s group”. She requested all the participants not to divert from our agendas and move tirelessly to accomplish the goal of gender equality and generation equality
The talk program gave the idea to be a great opportunity for all to know and listen to Hope Chigudu. Participation of conscious, and mature individuals could be seen in the program who seemed to be self-reflecting on the unnoticed issues of feminism.: Feminism/s And Why Feminist Movements Are Necessary in Our World
Group photo : IGFF members with global feminist Hope Chigudu