Southeast Asia Feminist Action Movement

Southeast Asia has a long history of struggles for gender equality and social justice. Despite growing conservatism and anti-democratic threats in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, the women’s movements in these countries have remained strong, with new generations becoming active in both online and offline movements.

Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines are currently facing similar challenges regarding human rights, democracy, and justice. Authoritarian elements are increasingly apparent in each of the governments, with activists and human rights defenders being criminalized, jailed, physically attacked, targeted in online slander campaigns and more. Grassroots movements are seeing their space and ability for action and advocacy greatly impinged upon, with national governments restricting their activities, disallowing international funding, complicating organisation registration processes, and denying protest permits. Youth feminist, LGBTQ and other marginal/minority group movements are particularly affected, especially as many exist as informal communities working at the local level.

Many organisations and communities are working hard to advocate for women’s rights but face challenges in capacity and resources. Existing national coalitions and regional networks have shown that a burden shared is a burden halved. Our new network, Southeast Asia Feminist Action Movement (SEAFAM), established in October 2020, is made up of grassroots feminist organisations, collectives, andcommunities from Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines. The network aims to help members learn from and support one another in the struggle for justice and equality. The long-term goal is for these young grassroots groups to become influential advocates for women’s rights in Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

SEAFAM was initiated by Jakarta Feminist with the support of KRYSS Network and Gantala Press.

SEAFAM Philippines Member Organizations:

Bahaghari is the national democratic organization of militant and anti-imperialist LGBTQ+ in the Philippines. We take inspiration from our trans woman sister, Jennifer Laude, whose death in the hands of a US marine birthed a new generation of LGBTQ+ activists who are firm in the desire to end the culture of transphobia, homophobia, and various forms of exclusion, interlinked with the goal of national democracy.

Gabriela Youth Cavite is a national democratic mass organization of young Filipino women in Region IV-A that actively participates in improving the abilities of young Filipino women in various sectors of society. Our organization aims to arouse, organize, and mobilize a solid collective unit of young Filipino women against all forms of inequality and abuse caused by imperialism, bureaucratic capitalism, and feudalism in the Philippine setup.

Founded in 2015 in Metro Manila, Gantala Press is an independent, non-profit, volunteer-run Filipina feminist press that centers women’s stories and issues in our projects (publications, small press fairs, discussions and workshops) and in our participation in people’s movements. We believe in the potential of feminist publishing as a social practice and in solidarity work with women artists and collectives as vital political action.

Girls For Peace Campaign Network is a progressive alliance of different organizations, formations and institutions, primarily women-based. It aims to involve and unite women in advancing anti-fascist campaigns towards a just and peaceful society that is free from any form of abuse.

Ka-Ilongga Organization aims to empower our fellow Ilonggas by uplifting their role in the community, encouraging them to contribute to humanity, educating them of their rights, and making a positive impact on other people.

KERI: Caring for Activists are wellness activists providing social justice-informed and LGBTQI+ affirmative mental health care and psychoeducation for human, animal, and environmental rights defenders. We commit to fostering the wellbeing of activists, supporting the resilience of social movements, and building a global infrastructure of radical community care.

Liyang is a local to global advocacy network that amplifies the calls to action of frontline environmental and human rights defenders in Mindanao, Philippines. Liyang Network envisions a future where all communities can pursue their economic, social, and cultural development free from exploitation. We believe that applying the particular knowledge developed by environmental and human rights defenders in the Philippines is essential to realizing this vision. As members of the international community, we understand that all struggles for environmental protection are interconnected and that global movements for the defense of land and self-determination can draw inspiration from grassroots struggles in Philippines, and particularly in Mindanao.

Ang Pinagkaisang Lakas ng Mamamayan o PLM ay isang people’s organization sa mga komunidad ng maralita sa iba’t ibang syudad sa Pilipinas na may layuning isulong ang karapatan sa katiyakan sa paninirahan at iba pang batayang serbisyong panlipunan ng mamamayan.

Project Inclusivity is a community working towards a society wherein differences, visible or invisible, are accepted and valued. We believe that inclusivity is everyone’s responsibility; we all work for making each one take up space in society, having each of our voices matter. Project Inclusivity was created to be an avenue to address the needs of sectors that need significant attention, particularly people with disabilities (PWD), and women and children. Launched in July 2020, Project Inclusivity has focused its first project on the needs of people with disabilities, particularly the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, through the Project Accessibility Face Masks. Following the success of the first project, Project Inclusivity pursues its second project for women and children.

Sulong! (formerly Project Sulong) is a youth-led organization that connects victim-survivors of sexual violence to pro bono legal advice, psychological aid, and other services. To do this, we partner with legal and mental health professionals so that we can refer victim-survivors to their desired service upon request, and finance these services through our donations-based Survivors’ Solidarity Fund (SSF). From June 2020-September 2021, we were able to aid a total of 207 victim-survivors.

The Graciella Collective is a youth-led, feminist-oriented organization that intends to abandon the status quo and craft a ‘new normal’ for Filipino Culture. With members based in more than 10 cities and provinces in the country, it is committed to starting and promoting discourse on salient social issues in the Philippines. By shedding light on these matters, we are able to initiate conversations that know no bounds; thus inspiring awareness, acknowledgment and action among the youth. Since its launch in October 2020, the organization delivers its cause through advocacy campaigns, speaking engagements, and policy lobbying. To borrow from Kouzes & Posner (2003), we aim to “challenge the process, inspire a common vision, model the way, enable action, and encourage the heart.”

Time’s Up Ateneo is a community engaged in survivor-centered and trauma-informed advocacy. It welcomes all survivors and advocates, centering survivors’ vision of healing and justice. Since its founding after the October 2019 protests against sexual violence in the Ateneo de Manila University, Time’s Up Ateneo has also been continuously engaging the university administration to push for urgently needed reforms in its processes and structures.