2nd Asia Pacific Feminist Forum (APFF 2014)

Creating Waves, Fostering Movements

The 2nd Asia Pacific Feminist Forum, organised by the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD) kick started in Chiang Mai, Thailand on 29th May, 2014. It has brought together nearly 300 feminists from 30 countries of the five sub-regions of Asia and the Pacific as well as global allies. Activists, lawyers, academics and women human rights defenders working on the multiple struggles of women in this region have gathered to collectively share and strategise to shape movements, and to imagine different social, political and economic structures.


DAY 1   29 MAY 2014    (THURSDAY)
15:00 – 18:00 Registration at the Convention Centre, Empress Hotel
18:00 – 21:00 Welcome Mocktails and Opening Ceremony
18:00 – 18:45 Dinner
18:45 – 19:00 Welcome & Introduction
Welcome Speech from APWLD
19:00 – 19:10 Performance by Indigenous Women’s Network of Thailand
19:10 – 20:40 Art Meets Feminism – 2 Minute Performances
20:40 – 21:00 Closing
DAY 2 30 MAY 2014 (FRIDAY)
08:00 – 08:45 Registration at the Imperial Ballroom, 2nd Floor, Empress Hotel
09:00 – 10:20 Plenary 1: FEMINIST VISIONS – Framing strategies, analysis and resistances in the current
political, economic and social moment
10:20 – 10:45 Open Forum
10:45 – 11:00 Tea Break
11:00 – 12:30 WORKSHOP SESSION A

  • Wellness Space Opening Panel Discussion: Well-being and Self-care for the Sustainability
  • of Ourselves, our Organisations and Movements.
  • Digital Storytelling: Our Stories. Our Words.
  • Women, Peace and Security in Asia and the Pacific: Sharing Insights & Building Networks
  • Advocacy Strategies for Eliminating Violence against Women and Girls in Fiji and the
  • Pacific Region
  • Reclaiming and Redefining Rights in the Post 2015 Era for SRHR
  • Why Good Girls Go Bad
  • New Resources, Sources, Discourses: The Future of Resource Mobilization for Feminist
  • Movements in Asia and the Pacific
  • The Many Faces of Contemporary Slavery: The Example of Domestic Work
  • Challenging Asian Development Bank is Possible

12:30 – 4:30 Lunch
13:30 – 14:30 SIDE EVENTS (Free Time)

  • Wellness Space Session 1
  • Feminist Bazaar
  • Media Hub
  • Open Space
  • APWLD Feminist Learning Institute: Drawing Lessons and Moving Forward
  • Donor – Women’s Rights Organisation Dialogue
  • Young Feminist Caucus
  • Feminist Movie: And You Thought You Knew Me

14:30 – 18:00 WORKSHOP SESSION B

  • Wellness Space
  • Feminist Participatory Action Research for Change – Showcasing FPAR Methodology,
  • Practice and the Changes that are Taking Place
  • Pacific Women – Modelling Collaborative Forms of Transformative Leadership
  • Workshop on CESCR and Women’s Human Rights
  • Changing the World One Meeting at a Time: Facilitation as Feminist Praxis
  • Environmental Justice and Security Protection for Women Human Rights Defenders
  • (WHRDs)
  • Inclusion of Women with Disabilities in Development
  • Forging Solidarity for Living Wages
  • Movements for Human Rights: Using International Mechanisms as a Tool for Campaigns
  • The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a Feminist Issue

DAY 3   30 MAY 2014   (SATURDAY)
08:00 – 9:00 Meditative Opening of the Day
09:00 – 10:15 Plenary 2: FEMINIST RESISTANCES
10:15 – 10:45 Open Forum
10:45 – 11:00 Tea Break
11:00 – 12:30 WORKSHOP SESSION C

  • Wellness Space
  • Engendering Poverty Measurement: Making the Relationship between Gender and Poverty
  • Visible
  • Films for Change
  • Law: to Protect or to Control?
  • Promoting Accountability: Using International Mechanisms for the Realisation of Women’s
  • Rights and Gender Equality
  • Feminist Development Justice: Different Strategies and Tools for Structural Changes – Central
  • Asian Perspectives
  • Multi-Generational Feminist Dialogue on the Contextual Challenges of Women’s Movement
  • in Asia Pacific
  • Current Funding Trends and their Impact on the Future of Feminist Movement Building
  • 12:30 – 14:30 Lunch

13:30 – 14:30 SIDE EVENTS (Free time)

  • Wellness Space Session 3b: Animal Qi Gong
  • Feminist Bazaar
  • Media Hub
  • Open Space
  • Donor – Women’s Rights Organisation Dialogue
  • Feminist Movie: And You Thought You Knew Me

14:30 – 18:00 WORKSHOP SESSION D

  • Wellness Space
  • Adopting a Movement-Building Frame to Evaluation
  • Women Surge! Building Women’s Movement and Solidarity amidst Disaster
  • Women in Trade Unions: Discussion on Women’s Voice and Transformative Leadership
  • Mobilising for Development Justice
  • Making Universal Access to SRHR a Reality
  • Challenging Shadow Power with Our Movements
  • Tackling Key Structural Factors for Feminist Movement Building across Regions
  • When the State Cherry Picks its Gender Justice Agenda: Conflicts and Challenges of
  • Our Times
  • Forum Theatre for Advancing Women’s Human Rights

18:30 – 21:00 SOLIDARITY Dinner
DAY 4 1 JUNE 2014 (SUNDAY)
08.00 – 10.00 Last meditative / reflective session
10.00 – 12.00 On-going treatments (by appointment, and availability of space)
10:15 – 10:45 REFLECTIONS
10:45 – 12:00 CLOSING

Media Coverage

The Nigerian Voice – Building Feminist Movements To Stimulate Change

Citizen News – Connecting the dots: Women, climate change and natural resources

Mangalorean.com – Gender Justice to be at the heart of development justice

NewsBlaze – Feminists Speak on Bolstering Developments

Asian Tribune.com – 2nd APFF 2014: Creating Waves, Fostering Movements

Scoop.co.nz – 2nd APFF 2014: Creating Waves, Fostering Movements

Irrawady.org – Asia Feminist Forum to Discuss Burma’s Interfaith Marriage Bill

OpEdNews.com – Despite progress, long way remains for gender justice

Photo Gallery

Performances, camaraderie, mocktails. Welcome to #APFF2014 !

Posted by Asia Pacific Women's Constituency on Thursday, 29 May 2014

Plenary and workshops on day 2 of the #APFF2014

Posted by Asia Pacific Women's Constituency on Saturday, 31 May 2014

The morning plenary session was on FEMINIST RESISTANCES: Grassroots women of the Asia Pacific region have shouldered the…

Posted by Asia Pacific Women's Constituency on Monday, 2 June 2014

After two full days of learning from one another and forging new movements, participants came together to celebrate…

Posted by Asia Pacific Women's Constituency on Sunday, 1 June 2014

PLENARY 3: FEMINIST FUTURES With the collective wisdom of almost 300 feminists we have the capacity to invigorate…

Posted by Asia Pacific Women's Constituency on Tuesday, 3 June 2014


Day 1 Opening Night – 29 May 2014

A recap of opening night of #APFF2014, filled with anti-patriarchy punch, feminism & art, and almost 300 feminist coming from 30+ countries!

Posted by Asia Pacific Women's Constituency on Saturday, 31 May 2014

Day 2 – 30th May 2014

Day 2 plenary and workshops

Posted by Asia Pacific Women's Constituency on Saturday, 31 May 2014

Day 3 – 31st May 2014

#APFF2014 Day 3 recap video: FEMINIST RESISTANCES, critical workshops and performances at the Solidarity Dinner

Posted by Asia Pacific Women's Constituency on Sunday, 1 June 2014

Day 4 – 1 June 2014

Our final day video recap PLENARY 3: FEMINIST FUTURES With the collective wisdom of almost 300 feminists we have the…

Posted by Asia Pacific Women's Constituency on Monday, 2 June 2014


May 30 to June 1, 2014
Chiang Mai, Thailand

APWLD will host the Second Asia-Pacific Feminist Forum (APFF) in Chiang Mai, Thailand from May 30 – June 1, 2014.
The Asia Pacific Feminist Forum will gather feminists from the region to consider the current political, economic and cultural space for women’s rights activism and strengthen our strategies, our collaboration and our will to shape more equitable, just and feminist futures.

Our world is currently at a crossroad. Facing multiple and interconnected crises of environment, finance, food, energy, democracy and most of all a crisis of deep and growing inequalities, we are confronted with a challenge and an opportunity.
Policy making over the past 3 decades has led to wealth, power and resources accruing to a tiny minority of the world´s richest and most powerful people and corporations. Our world is now a plutocracy. This model of wealth accrual is directly responsible for the crises we now confront. Policies of increasing consumption, financial speculation, unregulated exploitation of the world´s resources, privatisation of essential human services, resources and infrastructure, deregulation of labour and economies have made the world unsustainable, insecure and grossly unequal. Women account for approximately two thirds of the one and a half billion people in extreme poverty, and they make up 60 percent of the close to 575 million working poor globally . Austerity measures, adopted to respond to the financial crisis, have reiterated neo-neoliberal approaches that fuel wealth inequalities between countries, between rich and poor and between men and women.

The burden of this policy making and the crises it has caused lie on the shoulders of those least responsible: the poorest women living in the global south, including:

  • women producing the world´s garments at increasingly lower prices who work for below subsistence wages in insufferable conditions, separated from their children and denied rights to organise and bargain;
  • women working as domestic workers, Asia Pacific´s most common occupation for women, working 18 hour days, without a day off, without a guaranteed wage, without occupational health and safety protection, separated from family and routinely abused at home and abroad;
  • women living in the most precarious environments, rendered homeless from climate disasters and from increasing corporate and government land-grabbing, forced evictions and land degradation;
  • women suffering the tyranny of violence at home and internationally where might is normalised as the source of power;
  • women denied autonomy over their bodies, reproductive and sexual choices and life decisions.

There is growing recognition that existing development models have failed to address inequalities. With the expiration of the Millenium Development Goals and with governments agreeing in the Rio Summit to develop Sustainable Development Goals, the years 2014 – 2015 provides an opportunity to chart a new course and formulate a new development agenda.

At the same time, several internationally agreed foundational documents are being reviewed. The Beijing Platform for Action will be 20 years old in 2015 and will require a movement wide review, the International Conference on Populations and Development control (ICPD) is also being reviewed in 2014 and the UNFCCC is due to finalise a new binding climate agreement in 2015.

These moments provide an opportunity to chart a course that the vast majority of this world wants, a course of global equity, of sustainability of justice, human rights enjoyment and dignity for all; the opportunity to develop a transformative and redistributive framework that aims to reduce inequalities of wealth, power and resources between countries, between rich and poor and between men and women.
The moment requires bravery, imagination and invigorated feminist movements.

We know that the only way to achieve real and lasting change is through the power of peoples movements. Big or small, local or global, feminist movements are powerful strategies that can and have shaken political, economic and cultural perspectives and played a powerful part in stimulating change. We need to be building movements to shift and take power, to challenge dominant structures and systems – particularly patriarchy, globalisation, militarism and fundamentalisms. We are facing a global moment where decisions about the future of this planet are being made – we need a fully equipped and powerful movement to shape that future!

The forum is planned to be engaging, participatory and fun– so besides plenary sessions and small concurrent workshops there will be innovative ways of sharing and exchanging ideas. Workshops will utilise a range of participatory methods for skills building as well as knowledge exchange. There will be wifi facilities to allow participants to share memorable moments from the forum and utilise social media.


  • To strengthen the capacity and skills of activists and allies to foster political, economic and cultural change for women’s rights enjoyment
  • Deepen analysis and knowledge around the structural, persistent and emerging barriers to women’s rights enjoyment
  • To strengthen and share advocacy strategies to address the political challenges and opportunities facing feminist movements
  • Deepen solidarity, alliances and foster movement building amongst womens’ rights advocates and allies regionally and globally

Profile of Participants:
Participants will consist of 150-200 women, primarily from the five sub-regions of the Asia-Pacific Region. We hope to include the diversity of our movements with activists from grassroots constituencies, rural, Indigenous, migrants, workers, urban poor, sexual orientation and gender identifiy advocates, young women as well as lawyers, academics and political leaders.

Workshops will come under four broad categories that reflects feminist theory of change:

  1. 1. Knowledge building: to share new scholarship, analysis, and understandings in key areas of challenges confronting the women’s movement in the region;
  2. Skills building: to build practical skills in areas essential for feminist movements;
  3.  Advocacy and Strategising: Space to develop campaigning and advocacy strategies or share existing strategies;
  4. Movement building: to share successful efforts at building our movement across nations or regions. Discussions on what has worked for the movement.

Each workshop will address the following key questions:

  • How can we embolden and empower progressive feminist leadership in political spaces
  • How can we challenge and shape the political agenda to make it more equitable
  • What new accountability mechanisms do we need
  • What partnerships or alliances do we need to build
  • What new skills are needed and what existing skills need to be broadened
  • What do we need to add to our body of knowledge