Initiatives & Events

COFEM Initiatives and Events

COFEM is predominantly a volunteer-run network – and yet, this doesn’t stop us from collectively identifying, convening and organising key initiatives and actions linked to COFEM’s core objectives.

COFEM members and allies are encouraged to use COFEM tools and resources in trainings, course curricula, advocacy and other activities. (If you do use our resources, please tell us here!)

Watch this space for updates on upcoming initiatives and events!

Invite COFEM
to Speak
at an Upcoming

COFEM’s key strength lies in the collective expertise and experience of its members who have made significant contributions to advancing women’s rights and scaling up efforts to prevent and respond to GBV in humanitarian and development settings.

COFEM is happy to share tools and resources! If you would like a COFEM member to speak at your next event or would like to collaborate on projects to advance feminist strategies to end GBV, please get in touch with us by completing this contact form.

in Action 2021: Virtual & Physically Distanced

Recent events with COFEM members out in the world doing inspirational advocacy:

  • Operational Contexts: Rationale, Accountability, and Social Change
    April 27, 2021
    COFEM was invited to participate in this session at the MenEngage Ubuntu Symposium session to share reflections on systems change and how to work on men and masculinities can remain accountable to women and girls. The recording of this event is available here.
  • Unpacking the layers in intergenerational and intersectional feminist activism.
    March 25th, 2021

    During CSW65, COFEM members shared experiences of feminist activism in different regions and their experiences of addressing identity politics, advocating for emerging forms of GBV, intergenerational tensions, and demanding an intersectional feminist approach to ending structural inequality.  Watch the recording here.
  • The need for a feminist perspective in work to End Violence Against Women and Girls in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria
    March 25th, 2021
    The workshop in Port Harcourt centered around defining what accountability is, how girls’ and women-led CSOs and researchers can focus on women and girls in the work they do, and how they can make good use of research output in their advocacy efforts. 
  • Empowerment through Virtual Collaborations
    March 17th, 2021
    COFEM was invited by the Society of Gender Professionals to a CSW65 Parallel Event to share reflections on experiences of facilitating feminist action and exchange through virtual collaborations.

  • By the way… Did you ask women? Ethical considerations for engaging men and boys to end VAWG
    January 12, 2021
    This roundtable led by the SVRI was part of the MenEngage Ubuntu Symposium – a global program of events exploring various topics on masculinities, gender equality, and a range of critical social justice issues. Read more and watch a recording of the session here

in Action 2020: Virtual & Physically Distanced

Recent events with COFEM members out in the world doing inspirational advocacy:

  • Applying Feminist Principles to GBV Data Collection: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic
    December 7, 2020
    COFEM collaborated with the Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) to hold this roundtable discussion with feminist researchers on their experiences of adhering to feminist principles while conducting research during COVID-19 lockdowns and lessons for a post-COVID world. Watch a recording of the session here
  • Power, Accountability, and Women’s Rights: Roundtable Discussion
    November 30, 2020
    This session focused on power, accountability, and how to center women and girls as decision makers in order to advance women’s rights, answering questions like how do we continue to be accountable to women and girls, shift power, and create the transformative change necessary to secure sexual and reproductive health and rights? 
  • The Urgency of Reclaiming and Redefining our Self and Collective Care Spaces
    October 19, 2020
    This event provided a platform to reflect on self care and collective care concepts from Pan African and feminist perspectives, unpack these in the current global context of political volatility and pandemic upheaval, and work on how to reclaim and redefine the concepts away from capitalistic sensationalism.
  • Staying Accountable to Women and Girls in Addressing Gender-Based Violence in Nigeria
    October 12, 2020
  • Asserting a Feminist Perspective in Efforts to Address VAWG in the Asia Pacific Region
    September 18, 2020

    COFEM held a webinar with three members from the Asia Pacific Region on the topic of Asserting a Feminist Perspective in Efforts to Address Violence Against Women and Girls in the Pacific Region. Watch a recording of the session here
  • Feminist Movement Building: Rewriting the Rules in the Arab Region and Beyond
    May 28, 2020
    Co-hosted and organised by the Arab Institute for Women, Global Women’s Institute, and VOICE, this session focused on the lived experiences of women activists who have been playing an active role in the fight for women’s equality and inclusion in their respective regions. Watch a recording of the main session here.
  • The Other Pandemic: Adapting GBV Work During COVID-19
    May 19th, 2020 
    Hosted by the Society of Gender Professionals, COFEM was invited to participate and lead discussions in a virtual Gender Cafe, where speakers shared their experiences adapting GBV tools and mechanisms to assure accountability to women and girls during COVID-19. Watch a recording of the main session here
  • Regional Learning Feminist Pocketbook Workshop in Nigeria
    February 12, 2020
    The first of COFEM’s member-led events in 2020 to enhance and promote connections, discuss challenges, accountability to women and girls in programming, research and activism, this workshop unpacked the Feminist Pocketbook in order to foster learning on implementing a feminist perspective in work to end VAWG, and was attended by researchers, activists and practitioners working on VAWG in Nigeria.

in Action

  • Pre-conference Workshop, Statement of Solidarity with South African Women, Four Minute Presentation and Side Event at the Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI) Conference in Cape Town, South Africa
    October 21 – October 25, 2019

    COFEM participated in a number of activities at the SVRI Conference including an exhibition booth with our resources, a pre-conference workshop on Feminist Approaches to Building Evidence and Knowledge on VAWG: Experiences and Reflections co-facilitated with the Global Women’s Institute, and a statement of solidarity with South African feminist activists an end to femicide and other forms of violence against women and girls across South Africa, read at the SVRI Opening Ceremony. 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. 
    COFEM’s 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. Finally, along with representatives from MenEngage Alliance, the Equality Institute, Raising Voices and SVRI, COFEM also 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’ in Oslo
    May 23, 2019
    COFEM led a Pre-conference Workshop Technical Session for Women Leaders from Local Partner Organisations, providing advocacy and networking support. The highlight of the conference was COFEM Communications Manager Zainab Sulaiman’s participation on the Panel presentation: “Good in Theory, Harder in Practice: Are Efforts to Engage Men as Allies Helping or Harming Women?” using tips from the Feminist Pocketbook. Co-organised with Raising Voices, UNFPA and ABAAD Mena.
  • Side Event to the 63rd UN Commission on the Status of WomenFeminist Perspectives: Challenging Gender-Based Violence and Structural Inequality in the Arab Region and Beyond
    March 15, 2019
    Co-hosted by COFEM 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, this panel discussed 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 challenges, resistance, and entry points to achieving meaningful change for women and girls, and resulted in an engaging conversation among panelists and attendees.

in Action

  • Panel at the Stockholm Gender Equal Forum: “Applying feminist approaches in humanitarian response”
    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, this panel looked at the problem with a “gender neutral” approach, the need for more programming that enters 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, click here
  • MenEngage on the Spot: An Accountability Dialogue on the Work of the Alliance, Past, Present and Future, After 10 Years of Existence
    March 16, 2018
    For more information on COFEM’s involvement and the event, click here

Past COFEM Series, Initiatives, and Events

During the Sexual Violence Research Initiative Forum in October 2019, COFEM members recorded their personal experiences applying the knowledge found in their favorite Tip Sheets. We launched the video series in July 2020 to spotlight member reflections on how the guidance shared in the Feminist Pocketbook has helped members effectively articulate and implement feminist-informed approaches to addressing violence against women and girls (VAWG) in their work. You can watch all of the member reflections on individual Tip Sheets here

To honor the theme of the 2019 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, we asked members to share any brief stories or reflections on the ways in which women are affected by everyday sexism and sexual harassment in their professional lives. Read their reflections and suggestions on how to raise awareness on all forms of sexual harassment and gender inequality in the workplace here

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