Dear friends and supporters,
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Central America Women’s Network. It also marks the final point of CAWN as an active organisation.
In 1991, during an intense period of civil war and revolution in Central America, a group of enthusiastic women active in different solidarity and human rights campaigns in the UK decided to join forces, to raise awareness more widely about the gender specific struggles of Central American women. The Central America Women’s Network was born as a loose network of women activists working on a voluntary basis and over the years grew into a registered charity managing large-scale projects focused on campaigning, advocacy and other forms of support and solidarity for the gender equality struggles of women in the region. Reflecting on the last 25 years of activism and solidarity, it has been an honor to work with so many inspirational women, both in Central America and in Europe, and with amazing partners in the region to support their fight for a better, more equal and just society, where everyone is treated with dignity.
Sadly, this 25th anniversary will also be the last one that we will celebrate. After several years of uncertainty we have come to accept that the funding environment in the UK and in Europe no longer allows a small network like ours to exist on a financially sustainable basis, covering core office costs and with sufficient funds to carry out effective projects. However, although many gains have been made, there have also been many setbacks and the need to defend women’s rights in Central America is as great today as it was over two decades ago. The emergence of new technologies that have eased and speeded up communications has given rise to new ways of maintaining solidarity with women’s groups in the region. We hope that CAWN supporters will keep up the struggle and continue the work of CAWN using both new and traditional forms of solidarity to make links and build bridges between feminist women’s groups in Central America and others who share their values and interests.
In order to commemorate these 25 years of solidarity, we are organising the CAWN’s 25th Anniversary and Closing event, to be held at the Amnesty International Human Rights Action Centre, 25 New Inn Yard, London EC2A 3EA on Friday 25th November from 3.30pm – 9pm. This will be a two part event – invited speakers will join us to reflect on CAWN’s work and discuss the current situation for women’s rights in the region, followed by a Latin-American themed celebration with music, poetry and food. If you wish to attend, please RSVP early to firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your place (21st November at the very latest), and let us know if you are attending the afternoon sessions, the evening or both.
Finally, we want to thank you, our friends, supporters, volunteers and colleagues, for – even if briefly – walking this path with us. It would not have been possible without your support.