We advocate for feminist leadership as the new paradigm for the social impact sector. With the FAIR SHARE Action Circle, the project brings in perspectives of its six diverse thought leaders in the field of feminist leadership to leverage the power of the movement that is currently developing around the concept of feminist leadership, as well as to develop an ambitious agenda for the international community. Based on a collaborative and participatory approach, the project is aimed at developing an actionable guide for civil society organisations to implement feminist leadership tools and practices within their own structures, and the sector at large.
2020 was supposed to mark the beginning of a new decade for gender equality: The sector was preparing for the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and a growing number of international institutions, governments and organisations embraced gender parity and women’s leadership as key issues. However, the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic highlighted yet again that women are disproportionately affected by the crisis while being largely excluded from decision-making processes. And the Black Lives Matter movement sparked a debate about racist structures in the international social impact sector. We are convinced that feminist leadership is a crucial tool for change in our sector.
Feminist Leadership is not only about women leaders or “female qualities” of leadership. Feminist leadership offers a political approach towards social justice and social transformation and the opportunity to connect external goals to internal organisational structures. There are many different definitions of feminist leadership which CREA, one of the key institutions advocating for feminist leadership, summarises as follows.
“Women with a feminist perspective and vision of social justice, individually and collectively, transforming themselves to use their power, resources and skills in non-oppressive, inclusive structures and processes to mobilise others – especially other women – around a shared agenda of social, cultural, economic and political transformation for equality and the realisation of human rights for all.”
– Srilatha Batliwala for CREA, in Feminist Leadership for Social Transformation: Clearing the Conceptual Cloud
Feminist leadership therefore offers an intersectional vision, with the potential to transform organisations at all levels towards gender equality and social justice. Through this project we aim to present a tangible and practical approach how individuals and organisations in the social impact sector can start a jouney towards feminist leadership as the guiding paradigm for their work.
We are compiling a list of resources focusing on feminist leadership in context of the COVID-19 pandemic and racial justice in the social impact sector. We will continually update the list. If you know a resource you would like to share, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.