CARE’s vision of promoting social justice can only be achieved by working with others, and social movement actors and activists are critical partners to engage as we seek global impact. This Social Movement Toolkit was created to support CARE to have supportive, productive, and non-harmful relationships with social movement actors and activists based on CARE’s experience around the world.
As we continue to work to promote social justice, including gender equality, and reduce poverty, it is important for CARE to consider social movement actors and activists as essential partnerships and key agents of change. Research across 70 countries found that the most important and consistent factor driving government action on GBV is feminist activism. While these actors are the foundation of change, they are also increasingly at risk. An April 2017 report by CIVICUS revealed that 97% of people face “serious threats when organizing, speaking out or taking peaceful action to improve their society”.
As an international organization, CARE can play a crucial role in supporting and amplifying the work of these actors, their agenda, and social justice more generally. Given the power dynamics between CARE and activists, it is important to recognize the need to approach engagement carefully and intentionally as we can disrupt/disempower activists unintentionally. Building our own capacity for working with movements is essential for strengthening CARE’s organizational and social justice commitments, this page provides tools and resources to help us do this. It is neither perfect nor complete because we continue to learn and adapt as we work with movements.