Lisa-Marie found political activism in her late 30’s via Feminism which came into her life with a huge bang; making sense of everything and filling her with a desire to join the Women’s Liberation Movement. Her eureka moment was a day spent at Conway Hall in London for a Feminism in London conference. It changed everything – Women filled the stage with their stories and campaigns; Sisterhood was experienced by her for the first time and she fell in love with it completely. She wanted to be a Feminist!
Lisa-Marie is now part of a Women-led volunteer organisation called FiLiA. They exist to do three things:
1. Build Sisterhood and Solidarity (Locally, Nationally, Globally)
2. Amplify the Voices of Women (particularly those less often heard or purposefully silenced)
3. Defend Women’s Human Rights
They organise an annual Feminist conference and have started a series of blogs and podcasts too – as she write this, she can hear Sally (A FiLiA trustee) downstairs interviewing Kathomi Gatwiri of the Counting Dead Women Kenya Campaign. Recently, they connected with Lyubava Malysheva from femicid.net; an organisation which has recently created a comprehensive report on Femicide in Russia. These connections enable mutual solidarity and support for each other, playing a vital part in sustaining the Movement as they face a daily onslaught of horrific levels of violence perpetuated against women and girls.
The FiLiA conference has attracted hundreds of speakers and artists from 49 countries as well as thousands of attendees. They have no funding, so all participants including volunteers and speakers gift their time. They believe that FiLiA may be the largest annual Women’s Rights conference in Europe which shows that there is a strong desire to gather, organise and mobilise. They are in the midst of a particular moment of global Feminist consciousness raising. Lisa-Marie says if they can find ways to turn this heightened awareness into connecting and action, then they have a chance at doing what needs to be done; the dismantling of patriarchy in all its forms and the Liberation of all women. FiLiA plays a small, but significant role within the Women’s Liberation Movement.
Lisa-Marie remain in awe of the work that is done by Women for Women throughout the world. She is extraordinarily grateful to all the Women who have gifted their time and energy to FiLiA, and to those who have dedicate their lives to the cause.
Any insights from your experience of SMK training
What Lisa-Marie does remember is a room full of people eager to make change, and how the majority of projects and campaigns that people were working on had some connection to Women’s Rights!
”My advice to Women and Girls is to seek out the Women’s Liberation Movement; learn about our incredible history and build Sisterhood and Solidarity wherever and whenever you can.”