Research and Analyses


With the emergence of DAWN feminists at the NGO Forum at Nairobi in 1985, Third World women found a voice that was to challenge and change the discourse on women and development. By locating women’s experience of development in the colonial and neo-colonial contexts and the macro-economic policies that reflected this colonial relationship, DAWN introduced an analytical framework that was to change the terms of the debate on women’s issues worldwide. The DAWN network’s continuing analyses of the interlocking, systemic crises of debt, deteriorating social services, environmental degradation, food insecurity, religious fundamentalisms, militarisms and political conservatisms grew out of the experiences of poor women living in the countries of the economic South. It provided the global women’s movements the tools for advancing south feminist perspectives on all development issues, from environment to human rights, from population to poverty.

As a South feminist network concerned with economic justice, gender justice and democracy, the importance of moving beyond theory, or what we in DAWN prefer to call analysis, to practice or activism (what we tend to call advocacy) has always been clearly understood within DAWN. It has always described itself as a network of scholars and activists from the economic South and has always worked at the intersections of feminist scholarship/activism and of critical feminist policy analysis/policy advocacy.