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People, power, and philanthropy on International Women’s Day

By Jennifer Lentfer, Communications Director and Verónica Moreno, Community Engagement Manager


#MeToo is part of the at once harsh and hopeful reality of this year’s International Women’s Day, as well as the international aid and philanthropy sector that celebrates it. In many parts of our lives – interpersonal, community, professional, etc. – people are “getting real” about how power impacts our day-to-day.

On this day, building a better, more gender-equitable world for all people could not be more imperative. Our Latin America partners are celebrating #IWD2018 this year by marching, organizing forums, and showing solidarity with Indigenous communities and more. Here’s a sampling of some of the work and thinking that is part of International Women’s Day this year for our partners and staff. Click images and links below to learn more.

Instituto para la Superación de la Miseria Urbana de Guatemala/ Institute for Overcoming Urban Poverty in Guatemala (ISMUGUA) will be participating in marches and activities coordinated by UN Women.

Grupo Género y Economía/ Gender and Economy Group has organized with peers a national March for Justice and Dignity against Corruption and Impunity.

Desarrollo Económico y Social de los Mexicanos Indígenas/ Social Economic Development of Indigenous Mexicans (DESMI) will be joining women from around the world at the 1st International Political, Artistic, Sport and Culture Gathering for Women Who Fight organized by Zapatisita communities in Chiapas.

Art credit: http://kehuelga.net/spip.php?article5555

Asociación de Mujeres Ixpiyakok / Ixpiyakok Women’s Association (ADEMI) will be participating in marches in Chimaltenango.

Federación Nacional de Mujeres Campesinas, Artesanas, Indígenas, Nativas y Asalariadas de Perú/ National Federation of Indigenous, Peasants, Artisans, Native and Wage-earning Women of Peru (FENMUCARINAP) has organized a march and forum in Perú.

Asociación Femenina para el Desarrollo de Sacatepéquez /Women’s Association for the Development of Sacatepéquez (AFEDES) is organizing a demonstration in front of the Guatemalan Congress to bring attention to their fight for intellectual property rights for their traditional weavings and designs. They are also marching in solidarity for the girls that have died in the fire of Hogar Virgen in Asunción on March 8th, 2017.


Asociación ANDES will be participating in a Women’s March in Cusco. Community members from the Potato Park near Cusco, an initiative supported by ANDES, will also be visiting Centro Internacional de la Papa /The International Potato Center) to share their experiences in the struggle for rights as Indigenous women. 

Comité Campesino del Altiplano / Peasant Farmers Committee of the Highlands (CCDA) is showing their solidarity by centering women’s voices in this video and will be participating in marches in Guatemala. 



U.S. philanthropy tends to homogenize gender justice, approaches, and strategies. You can see from our partners’ ongoing currents of resistance and the varied issues and activities above that “one size” philanthropy cannot fit all. Our relationships have taught us that gender liberation looks different for different kinds of people around the world. Can international grantmaking look different too?

As Thousand Currents, we carry out specific approaches and practices to ensure we “get real” within ourselves, with our team members, and most importantly, with our partners about power imbalances. A major part of our work together is seeing each other as multi-dimensional, whole human beings and how we “show up” for each other is determined by the strength and accountability of our partnerships.

On this International Women’s Day, let’s continue to get real about how we support women, youth, and Indigenous leaders around the world. There is always room for learning, un-learning, and growth in how we show up.

(And if we’re paying attention, women around the world are showing us the way.)

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