3 thoughts on “Reader query: women-only spaces?

  1. I was part of a now defunct women’s NGO working towards women’s human rights through development education, lobby and advocacy (we had to close because of the austerity measures and cutbacks to our funding). We were a ‘women only space’ because we found that when the space had been opened for men, women’s issues were likely to fall behind in the agenda. Men’s realisation that patriarchy affected them too opened up deeper issues for them that also needed addressing. At the political and policy level, guess whose issues where likely to get more attention and priority? So while we recognised their need to address those issues and welcomed the fact that they were at that stage of political awareness and disposition to work things out, we made a conscious desicion to be a ‘women only space’ so that we could continue focusing on women’s perspectives and experiences, the realisation of women’s rights and their empowerment witout endangering our issues from falling off the table and preserve the small political space there was to work them out.

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