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Joining forces for an equal world 

In our societies, women* and young girls* face systemic inequality of opportunities, unequal access to power and decision-making, and are more exposed to gender-based violence. Gender inequality stems from patriarchal and harmful narratives about gender roles, among other factors. Shaping minds as early as childhood, these narratives have become entrenched in society, creating a lens with which to view—or more aptly put, limit—the role of women* and girls*.

Many organizations have worked to create fair playing systems for women* and girls* but even these models have their limits: any single organization will struggle to counteract complex and deeply ingrained problems like gender inequality. To make lasting progress against this intractable issue, society needs to foster and cultivate changes that are both systemic and adopted by a collective.

Collaborative changemaking (i.e., a collaboration between individuals and organizations who are committed to bringing about positive social change and shifting a system together) is a key enabling process to tackle root causes of gender inequality and advance the path of a gender-equal world.

 

No single initiative can deliver systemic solutions alone, this needs to be done collectively. We need a movement of social change leaders that connect their strengths and bundle their impact. ​

In the COVID-19 context, Ashoka facilitated collaboration across social entrepreneurs’ organizations. Specifically, we interviewed and convened social entrepreneurs to allow them to exchange ideas and to better understand the steps society needs to take to advance gender equity and thus enable gender equality.

Phase 1: Understanding the field's needs through social entrepreneurs' work and learning from one another (January- June 2022)

We mapped Ashoka Fellows working on gender in Europe and other key stakeholders from the ecosystem (policy-makers, NGOs, media). We conducted 30 interviews to identify recurring challenges and key learnings/solutions for gender equality. We engaged 11 Europe-based social entrepreneurs in five collective sessions and one in-person meeting in Warsaw, Poland, to share our systemic approaches to gender equality and to develop a collective vision.

Phase 2: Preparing and igniting a collective vision and action plan (September 2022- June 2023)

Together with the 11 Europe-based social entrepreneurs, we released a knowledge report built from our collective analysis and highlighting 5 key recommendations changemakers can take to advance gender equity and thus enable gender equality.

We also wrote a Manifesto for a new Gender Narrative revealing the new needed narratives for women* and girls* to be recognized as half of humanity and thus to acknowledge gender equality as the ultimate goal for a peaceful, fair and healthy world, where everybody is provided with the same rights, opportunities, and resources in all areas of their lives. The Manifesto is built from case studies and data of each social entrepreneur part of this collective work. We presented it for the first time at the Ashoka Changemaker Summit in Brussels in 2022. 

Further actions and projects to bring this Manifesto to life are currently being designed and going to be launched in 2023.

How social entrepreneurs tackle gender inequality following COVID-19. Insights from Ashoka’s collective impact initiative.

Read and download here the full knowledge report built from social entrepreneurs' analysis and key recommendations that changemakers can take to advance gender equity and thus enable gender equality.

  1. Help society understand the roots of gender inequality
  2. Dismantle patriarchal narratives
  3. Use an intersectional lens to address gender inequality
  4. Frame gender inequality as a cross-cutting issue
  5. Collaborate across sectors to advance gender equality

 

Read the Report

Manifesto to Change the Gender Narrative!

This manifesto claims that women constitute half of humanity and recognizes Gender Equality as the ultimate goal for a peaceful, fair, and healthy world, where everybody is provided with the same rights, opportunities, and resources in all areas of their lives. Gender Equality holds the notion of justice and recognizes specificities, differences, and privileges to bridge the gaps, to eliminate gender bias and discrimination against women and gender-diverse people.  

A new narrative is needed to challenge the underlying systems of power that sexism, racism, ableism, heterosexism, and so many social categorization schemes are each and all designed to sustain. Only gender equality and feminist values can achieve systemic change. 

 

Read the Manifesto & Take Action

Meet the Initiative Leads