The Coalition of Feminists for Social Change (COFEM) is an advocacy collective of thought leaders, activists, practitioners and academics working globally to end violence against women and girls (VAWG—also referred to as gender-based violence, or ‘GBV’). COFEM’s key strength lies in the collective expertise and experience of our members, who have made significant contributions to advancing women’s rights and ending VAWG in humanitarian and development settings across the world.
Listen to members speak out on why they feel we need COFEM!
Particularly in the 1990s and early 2000s, there were many positive developments in national and international normative and legal frameworks regarding VAWG, as well as increased investment and growth in VAWG technical expertise, guidance and standards within humanitarian and development fields. The fact of gender discrimination as a driver of GBV and the value of gender mainstreaming work focusing on gender equality were at the forefront of programming.
In the last decade, however, many feminist practitioners, academics, and activists who make up COFEM’s membership (and beyond) have become increasingly alarmed by the shrinking space for work on VAWG and by the active undermining of work to center women and girls in GBV discourse and practice (in humanitarian and development settings).
Through its network, COFEM aims to build a community and foster collective action in which feminist-informed theory and practice on oppression, discrimination and violence are the core of efforts to address GBV. COFEM strongly believes such efforts must prioritize women-centered and women-led initiatives and be grounded in intersectional feminist analysis and approaches to transformation.