Multilateralism is at a dangerous crossroads. What we have clearly witnessed in 2019 is the cautious efforts to blur the roles and responsibilities of the governments as duty bearers while shaping systems for large corporations to hold and exercise unlimited power to make decisions and interrupt participatory democracy. It was evident when formal pathways for businesses were strengthened by promoting private financing for sustainable development; when the Asia Pacific Ministerial Conference on the Beijing+25 Review decided to have a parallel closed session for the outcome document, and when environmental and women human rights defenders are criminalised by governments instead of getting justice for their legitimate work.
We decided to title our 2019’s annual report as “We are unstoppable” as that is what we truly are. The powerful waves of feminist movements — from grassroots organising to not only challenge patriarchy but of its all forms that are tactically fused into neoliberal capitalism, militarism and fundamentalisms to leading global people’s solidarity movements — is what we saw and have been a part of. The waves of movements that work with diverse social justice and peoples’ movements that support women’s voices and feminist alternative visions. Our members and partners have been at the forefront in challenging political narratives through our Womanifesto initiative and our work with woman journalists, charting new pathways for Development Justice through our trade justice work, fostering democratic spaces through our work with regional and global advocacy grounded on feminist realities and solutions, and mobilising solidarity actions that will lead up to Women’s Global Strike in 2020.
The systems are forging to take away sovereign power from the peoples. However, our work will continue with stronger determination to bring that power back to women, our sisters and brothers. In 2020 we look forward to what seems to be ever more difficult but valuable journeys to bring women’s human rights and Development Justice in the near future.