Volume 42 Number 5
Published: September 1, 2011
Grassroots women's organisations have, in their communities, long been organising livelihoods, assets, community space and agricultural knowledge. Their work demonstrates an ‘imagining’ of development different from mainstream development discourse, because it is bottom‐up, self‐help work. The women's ongoing strategies and new coping mechanisms serve as a foundation for community empowerment and resilience as they face the impacts of current crises. Leaders of grassroots women's community groups and NGOs that are connected through the global network of the Huairou Commission reviewed the impacts of the recent financial and food crises and of climate change on their communities. They revealed clear hardships as a result of the crises, but also questioned the emphasis on the crises, noting that donors and governments used the crises to cut funding and services. Participants instead emphasised a crisis in values and consumption patterns, where multinational corporations are tightening their grip on their lives.