APWLD is the region’s leading network of feminist organisations and advocates. Our 211 members represent groups of diverse women from 27 countries in Asia Pacific. We have been actively working for women’s human rights for 30 years. We foster feminist movements in Asia Pacific to influence policies and practices at the local, national, regional and international levels. We develop capacities, produce and disseminate feminist analyses, conduct advocacy and foster networks and spaces for movement building to claim and strengthen women’s human rights. APWLD empowers women in the region to use law as an instrument of change for equality, justice, peace and development. We are an independent, non-governmental, non-profit organisation with a consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council.
APWLD traces its founding to a series of dialogues among Asia Pacific women lawyers, social scientists and activists, which began at the 1985 Third World Forum on Women, held in Nairobi, Kenya. Participants in these dialogues recognised that mobilising movements to understand the social, economic and political dimensions of women’s oppression and to take collective action for change required a clear focus and strong organisation. In December 1986, APWLD was formally launched and a secretariat was set up in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Secretariat relocated to Chiang Mai, Thailand in October 1997.