COFEM is predominantly a volunteer-run network – and yet, this doesn’t stop us from collectively identifying, convening and organizing key initiatives and actions linked to COFEM’s core objectives. Watch this page for updates on upcoming initiatives and events!
Initiatives & Events
Upcoming COFEM Initiatives and Events
COFEM will host a series of campaigns for 16 Days of Activism. Come back in a couple of weeks for more information!
Here is a spotlight on a couple of recent events by COFEM members who are out in the world doing inspirational advocacy:
- Pre-conference Workshop, Statement of Solidarity with South African Women, Four Minute Presentation and Side Event at the Sexual Violence Research Initiative in Cape Town from
Date: October 21 – October 25, 2019
COFEM participated in a number of activities at the SVRI Conference in Cape Town, and had an exhibition booth in the main hall, where visitors were able to find COFEM resources, such as our informational brochure and translated versions of the Feminist Pocketbook.
Our pre-conference workshop on Feminist Approaches to Building Evidence and Knowledge on VAWG: Experiences and Reflections, was co-facilitated with the Global Women’s Institute.
COFEM was invited to read our statement of solidarity with South African feminist activists at the SVRI Opening Ceremony. In light of the ongoing protests across Cape Town and beyond, COFEM members from South Africa and others come together to write this statement, which recognizes all of the brave women seeking gender equality and an end to femicide and other forms of violence against women and girls across South Africa. This statement was co-signed by our friends and partners at the Global Women’s Institute, Raising Voices, and VOICE, and you can find the statement on our blog.
Our “Four Minute Presentation”, “Promoting a feminist analysis to ensure appropriate attention to specific dynamics of violence against women and girls”, gave a concise overview of how we promote a feminist analysis to ensure appropriate attention to specific dynamics of VAWG, while acknowledging the importance of thoughtful collaboration with actors working to address different forms of violence.
On the final day, along with representatives from MenEngage Alliance, the Equality Institute, Raising Voices and SVRI, we co-facilitated a dialogue with participants to discuss accountable practices in engaging men and boys for gender equality.
- Interactive Discussion at the Women Deliver Conference
“Beyond the #hashtag: Power and women’s movements in the era of #MeToo.”
June 4, 2019
Moufeeda Haidar participated on behalf of COFEM to discuss how the #MeToo movement can create lasting change and an end to violence against girls and women. Thinking beyond the hashtag, this session explored the roles of INGOs, donors, and the UN system, together with survivors, in leveraging the power of the movement to transform national systems and get to a world where no one needs to say #MeToo anymore.
- Panel and Pre-conference Workshop at the ‘Ending Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Donor Conference’ Oslo
Date: May 23, 2019
Pre-conference Workshop: Technical Session for Women Leaders from Local Partner Organisations – providing advocacy and networking support.
Panel presentation: Good in Theory, Harder in Practice: Are Efforts to Engage Men as Allies Helping or Harming Women? COFEM member, Zainab Sulaiman participated on panel using tips from the Feminist Pocketbook and distributed copies of the FPB. Co-organized with Raising Voices, UNFPA and ABAAD Mena.
- Side Event to the 63rd UN Commission on the Status of Women:
“Feminist Perspectives: Challenging Gender-Based Violence and Structural Inequality in the Arab Region and Beyond”
Date: March 15, 2019
COFEM co-hosted this event alongside the Arab Institute for Women at the Lebanese American University, the Global Women’s Institute, the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, and VOICE, at the LAU New York Academic Center. Mendy Marsh, co-founder and Executive Director of VOICE: Amplifying Women and Girls in Crises, and women’s rights activist Kaneez Fatima Saeed, led a powerful panel discussion about violence against women and girls and how to implement feminist-informed approaches that can help establish change. Examples from the Feminist Pocketbook and the Arab region illustrated the challenges, resistance, and entry points to achieving meaningful change for women and girls, and resulted in an engaging conversation among panelists and attendees alike.The event was moderated by Dr. Lina Abirafeh, Executive Director of the Arab Institute for Women at the Lebanese American University.
- Panel at the ‘Stockholm Gender Equal Forum’
“Applying feminist approaches in humanitarian response”
Date: April 16, 2018
Using examples from the Syrian refugee crisis in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, and Europe, the Rohingya humanitarian emergency in Myanmar and Bangladesh, humanitarian emergencies in South Sudan, Somalia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and other places, this panel looked at the problem with a “gender neutral” approach, the need for more programming centering on the women and girls in humanitarian emergencies, why “competing victimhood” is undermining years of best practice, and how the international community can support GBV survivors in humanitarian emergencies.
To read a summary of key takeaways and discussion from the panel session, please click here
- MenEngage on the spot: An Accountability Dialogue on the work of the Alliance, past, present and future, after 10 years of existence
Date: March 16, 2018
For more information on COFEM’s involvement and the event, please click here.
Past COFEM Initiatives and Events
As part of the global 16 Days of Activism against GBV campaign in 2018, we hosted a series of online learning events known as the COFEM Knowledge Summit. This was an exciting opportunity for anyone interested in engaging with leading GBV experts to share ideas about how we can better meet the many challenges we face in our work. For more information about the Knowledge Summit and watch recordings of online sessions, please click here.