Feminist Wisdom and Reflections

Tuti Scott
4 min readNov 29, 2023

What an honor to be amongst global leaders who are driving change with feminist principles!

At the Feminist Funding gathering (Women’s Funding Network (WFN) gathering) in Washington DC this past September I was grateful to be changed by every feminist global majority voice I got to meet or hear. As a long time member and former Board member of WFN, I was proud to be part of the majority non white audience and speaker presence. What a gift to hear the wisdom and stories of our sisters, and yes, be reminded again that there is so much more room for co-conspirators to Engage and Resource Feminist Movements!

If you haven’t been aware of the work of Social Movements or Feminist Funding as a concept, welcome! We have been waiting for you and are so thrilled you are here! My writings and facilitation work is always intendedI to ignite whatever inspiration will motivate you to get engaged and fund in this arena — minimally, follow the leaders and their organizations mentioned below.

The following is a summary of my reflections and some quotes from leaders I heard at the conference. From multiple speakers we heard these bold questions…all worthy of examining at any organization or foundation.

  • What does women’s equality in political, social, and economic sectors look like?
  • What does it look like to compound our power and work together (across identity)?
  • Movement leaders refuse to be in silos challenging single issue efforts. How do we get philanthropy to break down the silos?
  • Who is going to make women’s leadership a priority?

We also heard emphatic stances that feel even more powerful with the suffering and violence in the Israel-Palestine conflict and validate the opportunity to invest in feminist policy and leadership.

  • The push back is real… 5 steps forward, 8 steps back.
  • “We need to move towards a feminist policy with a focus on people, peace, planet versus power over elements (race, land, religion, etc).” — Lyric Thompson, Feminist Foreign Policy Collaborative
  • “We need to uncomplicate this. We don’t have time for silos!” -Tarana Burke, Just Be Inc., #MeToo
  • “We are functioning in a society where structures (and sectors) weren’t built for us (or with our input). “ — Jocelyn Frye, National Partnership for Women and Families

Jeanette Pai-Espinoza from the Justice and Joy National Collaborative shared three things to move society forward that resonated;

  • Own the intersection of race and gender and focus energy and resources there,
  • (In all settings) we need to talk about gender based violence, and
  • Let’s bond together intergenerationally to address the weight of internalized oppression.

Abby Maxman, CEO of Oxfam America, shared that rights, resources, and representation build resilient communities.

  • Resources — flexible resourcing to take proactive and reactive action,
  • Representation — create the enabling environment to exert (women’s) voice, and
  • Rights — ensure that women, and people who identify as women, are at the table and the issues include people who have the solutions.

As a white woman of privilege many statements around addressing systemic oppression and patriarchy are worthy of repeating for everyone in the back!

I and many others believe that we won’t reach our goals until we get political power. Domestically, Represent Women has a new ‘table’ called The Women’s Power Collaborative, focusing on both systems change work and networking resources and more for electing and supporting women running for office. Globally, I love the focus of Shake the Table a campaign to fund feminist movements in the Global South.

I know we all are engaged in the fight for our democracy but as Pamela Shifman of Democracy Alliance reminded us; we need to ‘operate at the scale of the problem.’ Knowing there is more than $1.5 billion funding the anti-gender movements and conservative dark money has moved more than $1.5 billion (Donors Trust c3) and the liberal side (1630 c4 Fund) just barely half of that, we need to be much bolder with our dollars.

The bottom line can be summarized best in both a statement and a question;

  • “Fund boldly and for a long time…movements (that are) challenging authoritarian rights and collective action. Be creative, bold and come together in new formations.” — Pamela Shifman, Democracy Alliance
  • How do feminist funders show up now that transforms not only how they give, what they give to but who they are?

--

--

Tuti Scott

Strategic philanthropy & investing consultant. Convening conversations on women, money, justice, and power. Lifelong athlete, feminist, and gender avenger.