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Why a Feminist Collective Intelligence Training?

An analysis of the weaknesses of women’s associations and, in consequence, of the women’s movement, convinced us that there was a need to reflect on how to reinforce the capacities of the activists themselves. As feminist activists, we realized that numerous trainings were offered to women’s associations. However, the activities conducted by the associations, and particularly collective actions such as campaigns, often run into the same stumbling blocks after these trainings as they did before.
We believe the reason for this is that these trainings only cover practical (setting up projects, seeking funding) or intellectual issues (women’s rights, Cedaw, etc), but do not address psycho/philosophical issues.
A pilot feminist training programme was developed by the founders of the Fund for 20 young women under the age of 30 that incorporated all three elements mentioned above (practical, intellectual, and psycho/philosophical). The experience clearly demonstrated that what the participants needed most was to acquire tools to reinforce self‐confidence, meet each other and develop a capacity to debate, and benefit from the lessons and experiences of seasoned activists.
Working from these lessons, the MWF designed a training (or a workshop/event, etc.) aiming to reinforce individual capabilities and bring out collective intelligence. This involves concentrating on the psychological and philosophical aspects of building a social movement, such as the analysis of power relations, building self-confidence, the issue of commitment and the capacity to work together. The training thus mixes intellectual transmission and exchange with theatre forum games which open the door to awareness and deepened understanding. The training is designed for young women who are already individually or collectively active in the fight for the rights and freedom of women in the Mediterranean region. The decision not to invite young male feminists to the training for the time being was based on the fact that it is very important for young women, to whom society accords little space, to benefit from a "free space" in which they can feel respected and free to dare.
The training takes place in three, five‐day sessions over the course of one year.

The first session, “Meet each other and recognize oneself ” is scheduled for 14‐19 March. It will cover the relations of women with the world at an individual and collective level: know one’s self and understand the mechanisms of the social system to which one belongs as well as mounting movements for change such as the feminist movement.

Session 1 Program

The second session, “Affirm and defend oneself in public" will focus more on learning how to communicate within a group, including conflict management and communication with the general public.

Session 2 Program

The third session, “Create and build together” will be the moment to implement the collective intelligence gradually formed over the preceding sessions.

Session 3 Program