Feminist Community of Care at CSW66

Screenshot from one of the CSW66 FemCom sessions

We collaborated with DIVA for Equality to host an installment of our Feminist Community of Care (FemCom), a space which has been instrumental in how we collaboratively hold space to facilitate collective learning, joint analysis and reflection and practice collective care for each other and with younger south feminist and newcomers participating in regional and global advocacy spaces. The FemCom was a series of virtual gatherings in the lead up to, during and after the CSW66 sessions, across February, March and April. 

Through an open call, we had participants from Africa, Asia, Latin America, SWANA and the Pacific. As a response to the challenges around virtual engagement we have been raising including time justice, we made a decision to host each FemCom session twice, to make the sessions more accessible to those participating from different time zones. We also tried our best to ensure that language needs of participants including sign language and live captioning were addressed, and we learnt how we could continue to improve our accessibility such as ensuring methodologies don’t exclude people with disabilities.

The First session which was in February focused on the gut reactions to the zero draft of CSW66. In this session, participants discussed the purpose of taking part in CSW66 and its relevance to our communities, ways to input and safeguard language around climate justice as well as sharing insight on how to navigate CSW66 in general. In session 2, we took a deep dive into the interlinkages around climate change and gender equality where our members and accomplices from DIVA made presentations on Socioeconomic: care economy, Ecological: biodiversity and food security and Climate: loss & damage). We dedicated session 3 to check in with our accomplices. With the use of the CSW66 timeline, we invited participants to share their experiences within CSW66, including challenges and lessons.  

We used our last session, which happened after the conclusion of the CSW66 for post CSW66 sessions reflections and analysis. Based on differing levels of engagements with CSW66 among FemCom participants with some participants working on ground with first-hand experience with climate crises and/or in frontline states, some participants are directly engaged with CSW and UN processes, and some being new to CSW and other multilateral spaces and/or new to the main theme, we found it important to hold a space for a relaxed feminist circle to reflect on the process and ways of organizing within and around CSW66 for the political analysis of CSW66.  Drawing from the reflections shared during the femcom sessions, DIVA and some of the FemCom participants have finalized the political analysis of CSW66 which examines feminist organizing during CSW66 and reflect on the agreed conclusions and how we move the work. We saw the femcom as a way of sustaining cross-movement and cross-regional organizing, solidarity, and analysis towards positioning a stronger interlinked sexual and reproductive justice approach.