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Report on the coordination of Feminist struggles delivered at the World Assembly of the CADTM network held in Dakar 2021
by Fatima Zahra El Beghiti
15 February 2022

Brief summary of the coordination of Feminist struggles in the CADTM network

The reflection on the CADTM network’s feminist commitment began in 2008 and resulted in the creation, in 2010, of the International Coordination of Feminist Struggles, which was soon involved in the organization of several high profile activities, such as the forum of feminist struggles in 2011 in Kaolak, Échos du Forum des luttes féministes africaines (Notes from African feminist struggles) just before the World Social Forum (WSF) in Dakar; the organization of two seminars on issues specific to African women, the first in Benin in 2012 CADTM Afrique : Séminaire de renforcement des capacités des femmes (CADTM Africa: seminar on women’s improved capacities), the second in Ouarzazate (Morocco) in 2014 Séminaire du CADTM Afrique « Femmes, dette et microcrédit », (Women, debt and microcredit) just before the caravan of International solidarity with the women of South-east Morocco. In 2015 during the World Social Forum in Tunisia, a session was devoted to analyzing how microcredit works and how MFIs (Microfinance Institutions) further impoverish women, DEGAGE MICROCREDIT DEGAGE ! Les femmes unissent leurs luttes, résistances et alternatives (OUT MICROCREDIT OUT! Women unite their struggles and alternatives).

Missions and Objectives of the Coordination of Feminist Struggles

  • to work and exchange on the relationship between debt and feminism;
  • to set up specific activities and actions on this theme;
  • to increase the speaking skills and therefore the weight of the expression of women within the international CADTM network through training, activities and collective writing;
  • ensure gender parity within the network;
  • evaluate the effectiveness of gender equality practices within the network as well as the integration of the feminist theme in the CADTM’s reflections and actions;
  • develop proposals to enhance the CADTM’s feminist commitment in its analyses and activities.

In addition to meetings, the Coordination works through a specific mailing list, and another list for African women was created after the seminar in Bamako. It is managed by the activists of Attac-Cadtm Morocco.

The Coordination is a women-only space and ensures the implementation of the feminist commitment within the CADTM network, through the evaluations carried out by the women members of different network organizations. The coordination meets during CADTM reunions such as the World Assembly (WA) of the network, the “women” seminars and public activities such as the World Social Forums (WSF). It should also be remembered that at the 2016 WA in Tunisia, the CADTM network adopted an amendment on gender parity which was integrated into the operating charter as paragraph 11. See: Operating Charter

The activities of the Coordination between the WAs of 2016 and 2021

During the WA of 2016, we committed ourselves to continue our analytical work on microfinance institutions and to carry out actions against this form of indebtedness and impoverishment which is primarily aimed at women.

A study of the micro-credit system was published by Attac-Cadtm Morocco in 2016.
From 15 to19 November 2017, a third seminar was organised in Bamako, see: Final declaration of the Bamako “Women, Debt and Microcredit” seminar one of whose recommendations was to conduct a joint African campaign demanding the liberation of women from debt and micro-credit. The women of CADTM Senegal organised, on 10 October 2019, a day of awareness on the evils of microcredit among working-class women. Members of the International Coordination of Feminist Struggles, Emilie from CADD Benin and Samia from Attac-Cadtm Morocco participated via Skype. DAC Mali also organized activities on the same theme.

Recently, we met in Rufisque, Senegal, for a fourth seminar on “women’s debts and micro-credits in the context of covid”.

Actions of the Feminist struggles’ coordination during the covid crisis

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Coordination of Feminist Struggles has held Skype meetings to continue its work despite the difficulties. Many of the meetings have been dedicated to the preparation of the Dakar seminar, initially planned for 2020 and finally postponed to November 2021. Meetings were organized with Womin to exchange on our work themes, on how to work at the African level on the link between women, debt/micro-credits and extractivism.

A webinar with Womin was organized on African Women’s Day.

Perspectives of the Coordination

  • strengthen the Coordination’s bases through training on feminism and a feminist approach to the debt system;
  • inform about the inseparable links between private and public debt;
  • carry out common and real actions that give visibility to our feminist commitment;
  • it is planned to organise an international campaign on 8 March 2022 on the theme of “feminism and debt” to put the struggle against debt at the heart of the feminist struggle.

*All references with French titled hyperlink are in French only.

Fatima Zahra El Beghiti

Attac/CADTM Maroc