In a context of new global challenges, closing civil society space and increasing backlash against women’s human rights and feminist agendas, advocacy for gender equality and women’s rights is more critical than ever. Womankind Worldwide and the International Women’s Development Agency have responded to these challenges with the creation of Plan Your Power: A Toolkit for Women’s Rights Advocacy Planning.
This toolkit adapts mainstream advocacy planning processes to incorporate a deeper understanding of gendered, and other intersecting, power relations to strengthen our movements for gender equality and ensure that allies incorporate the priorities of diverse women in their future advocacy. Anyone can use this toolkit to progress the most important advances in women’s rights and ensure they are not scaled back or eliminated altogether.
This toolkit is based on a women’s rights approach to advocacy which recognises the need for longer term structural change if women’s rights are to be fulfilled.
- It is intended to support the advocacy planning of women’s rights organisations, and coalitions, alliances and networks who want to advocate for change.
- It is also intended for broader advocacy organisations who want to prioritise women’s rights and gender equality in their advocacy work, and to do so in ways that strengthen the work of women’s rights organisations and movements.
How to use this toolkit?
- Part 1 of the toolkit explains each stage of the advocacy planning process, suggesting additional resources and indicating which of the exercises in Part 2 will support each step. There is also a glossary of terms at the end of Part 1.
- The exercises in Part 2 are designed to form a complete planning process when used in conjunction with the information in Part 1, with some optional exercises depending on time. This could be done in a two or three day workshop either for your organisation or with your coalition, alliance or network partners. Part 3 provides templates for the tables used in the exercises in Part 2.
- However, the exercises in Part 2 can also work as standalone exercises and you can pick and choose what works for you and integrate them into your existing planning process.
- There are many cross-references within the toolkit – numbered sections can be found in Part 1; exercises are in Part 2 and templates are in Part 3. The numbering in Part 2 corresponds to Part 1 so that it is clear which exercises relate to each section in Part 1.
This toolkit builds on Womankind Worldwide’s Women’s Rights Advocacy Toolkit (2011) and you will find references to this earlier toolkit for further reading and additional tools within each section. This toolkit incorporates new approaches, analysis and tools which have been developed through advocacy planning practice and learning by the International Women’s Development Agency (IWDA), Womankind Worldwide and partner organisations and the contributions of other coalitions and alliances over the past nine years.