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Year: 2008 Type: Report Language: English

A panel from the the AWID Forum held in Cape Town from 14-17 November 2008. Dzodzi Tsikata discussed how women’s NGOs in Ghana have responded to some of the challenges they face because of NGOization. She recounted the history of NGOization in Ghana and the lessons that women’s NGOs learned from it, and concluded that “while NGOization still remains a huge issue for the women’s movement in Ghana, I think that women’s organisations in Ghana have come to recognize by their work that NGOs are not synonymous with civil society nor with the women’s movement.” Saba Khatak placed the women’s movement in Pakistan in the larger context of Pakistani politics. She traced the NGOization of feminist activism and its effect on feminism, and the challenges faced by feminists from the ultra-right and actors in the West who are confused about who to support in Pakistan. She concluded that secular feminist progressive movements are therefore questioned for their ability to represent women of Pakistan. Aida Touma traced the evolution of NGOs in Palestine, from the beginnings after the Oslo agreements to their development into elite, academic organisations which led to a gap between NGOs and on-the-ground activism. She concluded that the biggest challenge in Palestine was ultra-right fundamentalist men forming grassroots movements of women of their own with their own agendas. Sonia Alvarez provided a brief overview of what’s called the Latin American NGO movement of the 1990s, and then offered reflections about why she thinks Latin America may be moving beyond the movement, and perhaps even beyond NGOization. She stated that NGOs may be on the decline, at least in Latin America, but that they can be vital to movement-building.

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