guide the work that we do within equality-seeking organizations, as well
as the way that we do it. Taking the time to examine or revisit our feminist
principles can assist in deepening our understanding of feminist practices
and processes, and reconnecting with our feminist basis of unity.
On the following pages
you will find a discussion of thirteen feminist principles, practices
and processes that have been identified and informed by a diversity of
womens backgrounds and experiences in feminist organizing that can
help us build active, healthy, participatory equality seeking organization.
You will find a scenario exercise for each of the feminist principles,
as well as a set of workshop questions. These may be used separately during
shorter meetings, or together during a longer workshop. (A sample workshop
on feminist principles, practices and processes is included in section
These are the feminist principles of:
This may be the first
time you have considered these principles. You may also be very familiar
with them, or have others of your own. Whether we are emerging organizations
or new members of an established group, reflecting on our principles,
practices and processes can assist in connecting the meaning of feminism
to our equality-seeking mandate.
The following discussion
of each principle begins with a working definition and a feminist quote,
and concludes with a scenario exercise and a set of workshop questions.
These may be helpful in sparking discussions, facilitating workshops,
and talking with other women and groups about the meaning of feminism
to equality-seeking work.
principle of accountability means we hold ourselves responsible to the
women we work for and with in our pursuit of equality and inclusion.
We are accountable through our practice of feminist principles and our
commitment to feminism as our basis of unity.
principle of advocacy means supporting or recommending a position or
course of action that has been informed by womens experiences
in our efforts to bring about equality and inclusion. Advocacy may take
place through a variety of actions and strategies, ranging from demonstrations
and protests to meetings and dialogue.
Challenge and Conflict
principle of challenge and conflict means that we accept conflict as
inevitable while embracing challenge as the practice of calling into
account, questioning, provoking thought, and reflecting. When we are
committed to respectful ways of challenging and healthy conflict resolution
processes, we deepen our individual and collective understanding.
of choice means that we respect, support and advocate for womens
individual and collective right to make our own decisions about our
bodies, our families, our jobs and our lives. The right to choose is
integral to the feminist pursuit of social, legal, political, economic
and cultural equality for women.
principle of consultation means working collaboratively, seeking guidance
and sharing information to develop strategies and actions to advance
principle of diversity means that we respect, accept and celebrate our
individual and collective differences as women, including those based
on age, race, culture, ability, sexuality, geography, religion, politics,
class, education and image, among others.
principle of education and mentoring means creating opportunities to
guide, counsel, coach, tutor and teach each other. Constantly sharing
our skills, knowledge, history and understanding makes our organizations
healthier and more effective in our pursuit of equality and inclusion.
principle of equality and inclusion means, as feminist organizations,
we apply a feminist analysis to policies, programs, practices, services
and legislation to ensure they are inclusive of women and other marginalized
groups. We advocate for equity practices to eliminate the barriers to
inclusion, recognizing that inclusion leads to equality.
principle of evaluation means taking the time to reflect upon whether
we are achieving what we set out to do as well as how we are going about
it. Evaluation presents an opportunity to examine the work that we do
and the feminist principles, practices and processes that guide and
inform this work.
principle of joy and celebration means that we honour each other and
our work through sharing joy and celebrating our commitment to woman-centred,
feminist principles, practices and processes.
principle of leadership means embracing and sharing the skills and knowledge
of individual women, and providing opportunities for all women to develop
their leadership potential. As feminist organizations, we invest power
and trust in our leaders with the expectation they will draw upon feminist
practices and processes in our efforts toward equality and inclusion.
principle of power sharing means we are committed to creating balanced
power relationships through democratic practices of shared leadership,
decision-making, authority, and responsibility.
principle of safety means we are committed, as women and organizations,
to creating environments where all women feel comfortable and safe to
participate in our work toward equality. We build safety through healthy
practices of inclusion, respect, self-care and confidentiality.
PACSW Publication - Feminism: Our Basis of Unity
(PDF document requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)
The writing of the
guidebook was completed by the Provincial Advisory
Council on the Status of Women of Newfoundland and Labrador
in partnership with the Masters in Womens
Studies program of Memorial University of Newfoundland.