In 2016, a group of young activists from Israel and Palestine came together to learn and share the struggles faced by women working in a variety of political settings as part of Creativity for Peace’s “Women Building Politics of Peace (WBPP)” program, which was funded by USAID. The goal of WBPP is to plant the seeds of feminist political action in places where conflicts – the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in particular – increase divisions and exclude certain individuals, groups and perspectives.
More than a dialogue or leadership development experience, this program allows participants to discuss identity, complexity, diversity and the current political systems within which they operate. In uni-national and bi-national meetings, they think creatively about ways to bring other voices into the sociopolitical conversation in order to advance tangible change from hierarchy to inclusivity. The result of the first year of work is this Inclusivity Code. FIPA stands for Feminist Inclusive Political Action. This code will guide and set a standard for WBPP participants and others in their work as agents of social change.
In 2016, a group of young Israeli and Palestinian women came together to learn and share the struggles faced by peers working in a variety of social and political settings. The goal of Women Building Politics of Peace is to plant the seeds of feminist political action in order to address the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis, and other political conflicts, which increases the divisions and excludes certain individuals, groups and points-of-views. By promoting inclusive discourse, many voices can be heard and shared so that multiple needs are identified and addressed. Expanding the discourse also allows identification of a broader group of goals and solutions that can be embraced by many.
More than a dialogue or leadership-development experience, this program allows participants to discuss identity, complexity, diversity and the current political systems within which they operate. In uni-national and bi-national meetings, they think creatively about ways to bring other voices into the socio-political conversation in order to advance tangible change, particularly from hierarchy to inclusivity. This program has encouraged participants to commit to both their individual and shared responsibilities to work for peace as part of a community of diverse people. This is a crucial grassroots method for achieving peace.
This Inclusivity Code is the main result of the first year of work; the code will guide and set a standard for these women and hopefully for others in their efforts to promote social change.
We, Women Building Politics of Peace, believe that personal and collective awareness of all forms of injustice can be stimulated through an inclusive, feminist approach to the issues affecting our societies.
It is our responsibility to improve the quality of life for our people regardless of borders or other obstacles. We are committed to initiating partnerships that build on an understanding of the importance of diversity and to develop new programs and perspectives that value justice and peace.
We demand of ourselves and of others a quality of leadership that is steeped in the principles of inclusion and creativity.
Diversity is a foundational principle of our movement, not bounded by or defined in terms of gender, political opinion, cultural or national identity, physical location, representation in a population or location of activity. We are actively initiating new paradigms that replace those that limit participation. We do this with a keen appreciation of the complexity of our various realities and the need to listen to many voices. As an inclusive movement, we recognize that we operate within hierarchical systems that govern nearly all aspects of our lives. Despite this challenge to our principle of inclusivity, we are dedicated to the construction of alternative, non- hierarchical systems of relationships, knowledge-sharing and decision-making.
We adhere to the words of Audre Lorde, who wrote, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and it is an act of political warfare.” We vow to take care of ourselves and to remember that we are the most valuable asset we have in this world. Our Code of Ethics derives from this sense of personal and mutual value and leads us to acknowledge the dignity and worth of all people. We believe that actively promoting solidarity that respects all points of view will lead, in turn, to greater equality and a just and sustainable society. By promoting these values, our goal is to bring hope of liberation despite the barriers that prevent people from exercising their rights in a free society.
Each of us takes personal responsibility to be forthright, transparent and to act with integrity. We believe that by replacing negative behavior, such as shaming and blaming, with constructive feedback and appreciation we can support and amplify the voices of those who want to be heard.
We wholeheartedly believe that imagination is limitless and that problems can be solved through flexibility and innovative thinking. We value creativity in thought and action, both when addressing people and systems of power and when opening channels for those whose voices have not previously been heard. We are committed to a shift from a culture of victimhood and revenge to one of empathy and compassion. Such a culture can only be achieved when people’s ‘moral imagination’ has been kindled and transformed.
To gain legitimacy in the field of feminist inclusive activism we must embody the principles we believe in. “Walking the talk” is what makes this movement non-hierarchal, broad, diverse and authentic. We are committed to making this FIPA code accessible to all social and political activists and especially, to women’s and feminist groups. We strive to integrate the ideas and principles of this code into activism at all levels.
We call all women and men to take action and to adopt this Inclusivity Code in planning and executing social and political change. By joining forces, we can make these principles a reality to our people and societies and make a better future for ourselves and succeeding generations.