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Fighting for Feminist Futures in 2018

Dear Friend,

It’s been one year since the start of the Trump administration. In that time, and in that spirit of determination that we both share, we’ve advanced the crucial work at hand: to protect those under attack by Trump’s hateful agenda and to keep on with the vital work to realize our vision of rights and justice.

I won’t sugarcoat it — it was a hard and often terrible year. We saw some of the most toxic and bigoted of Trump’s campaign promises come to life. From his Islamophobic Muslim ban to the assault on DACA, from attacks on people’s right to health to threats to destroy an entire country, the dangers were clear to see.

But last year, we also saw the best in our progressive movements surge forward, and not only to resist these right-wing attacks. We did more than say “no” to sexism, racism and discrimination. Here at MADRE, we said yes to amplifying women’s voices to demand progressive change. We said yes to building stronger communities and yes to safeguarding a clean and healthy environment.

In the year ahead, you’ll keep going beyond resistance, through MADRE. Here’s a snapshot of what we’ll accomplish together:

  • Confront war and militarism. As Trump’s warmongering fans the flames of violence worldwide, you’ll help women peacebuilders end bloodshed and heal their communities:
    • In Colombia, we’ll support local activists to make sure that the most marginalized, like Afro-descendent and Indigenous Peoples, get the resources they need to restore their communities from war. 
    • International headlines have moved on from the war in Syria, but we haven’t. We’ll support our local partners to make sure that women have a say in rebuilding their country. 
    • As Iraqi communities struggle in the wake of ISIS occupation, we’ll join with our partners to confront the root causes of violent extremism, including poverty and sectarianism.
  • Defend people and the planet. As Trump trashes environmental regulations and abandons international climate agreements, you’ll sustain women’s work to confront climate change and environmental injustice:
    • We’ll partner with Indigenous women leaders who are innovating in their communities, harvesting rainwater, planting sustainable farms, and more. 
    • Together with our grassroots partners, we’ll demand economic and environmental policies in balance with the planet and with people’s needs.
  • Out-organize the right. Right-wing authoritarianism is growing worldwide, and the Trump agenda feeds it. But through MADRE, you’ll counter this threat, weaving transnational feminist networks and stronger global movements: 
    • When women step up to meet the needs of their communities, they become trusted leaders. That’s why, when MADRE partners in Kenya and Nicaragua ran for office last year, they won! By supporting their policy agenda and encouraging other women and girls to follow their lead, we’ll make local communities the frontline of defense for women’s rights and social justice. 
    • And at the global level, we’ll face down anti-feminists and racists seeking to dismantle the rights that we’ve fought for. We’ll create new legal precedents to advance justice for women and LGBTIQ people — like our groundbreaking petition to the International Criminal Court.
    • We’ll convene networks of activists, both here in the US and around the world, to trade strategies to promote women’s human rights and secure the future we want.
    • And because this is the work of generations, to sustain this fight into the future, we will uplift girls’ organizing and activism. Stay tuned for more on our new global girls’ program!
  • Respond to emergencies. This year, when a drought worsened by climate change seizes a community… or when a woman faces death threats in retaliation for speaking out… or when refugees and migrants risk their lives to seek safety… we’ll be ready. We’ll partner with women community leaders worldwide because they can get help where it’s needed most. Whatever 2018 might bring, we know we can rely on our partners — and on you.

And this is just a glimpse of what lies ahead. We’re celebrating 35 years of MADRE this year — a powerful reminder of the victories we’ve won and the work still to come. I know that you feel as charged up as I do to tackle it. Thank you for standing with us.

The struggle continues,


Yifat Susskind

Executive Director, MADRE

January 19, 2018