Location: Global and Warsaw, Poland
Grant Work: Eastern Europe
Channel Focus Areas: Securing Sexual and Reproductive Rights/Justice; Ending Violence Against Women and Protecting Women Human Rights Defenders
Websites: fosfeminista.org; astra.org.pl; en.federa.org.pl; and feminoteka.pl
Watch: Fòs Feminista YouTube; Astra Network YouTube; Feminoteka YouTube
Fòs Feminista is an international alliance for sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice, formerly known as International Planned Parenthood Federation Western Hemisphere Region (IPPFWHR).
Fòs Feminista is an intersectional feminist organization centered around the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women, girls, and gender-diverse people. Together with local partners across the globe, we engage in healthcare, education, and advocacy to advance our agenda.
Fòs Feminista carries forward the work and partnerships of three organizations – IPPFWHR, International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC), and Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE) – that formed a feminist alliance in June 2021 with a vision to advance sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice through an intersectional feminist lens and a commitment to the leadership from the Global South.
Fòs means “strength” in Haitian Creole and stands for the positive energy of resilience, dynamism, and drive to challenge all forms of oppression. Feminista means “feminist” in several languages and underscores our focus on women, girls, and gender-diverse people and our commitment to gender and reproductive justice.
Fòs Feminista News:
2023: Channel made an additional grant to Fòs Feminista, who will continue to work with its partners ASTRA and FEDERA (both are described below). They will also work with their partner Feminoteka, a feminist organization based in Warsaw, Poland. Feminoteka works on gender discrimination, gender-based violence, and sexual violence and prioritizes the eradication of violence against women. They have been providing support to Ukrainian refugees in Poland by, for example, hosting a secure place where Ukrainian women and other refugees can stay. They are opening a Rape Crisis Center – the first of its kind in the country – to provide comprehensive assistance for women and girls, who are survivors of rape.
2022: Channel made a grant to Fòs Feminista which fights for sexual and reproductive rights around the world, in order to support to their partners in Eastern Europe, the Central and Eastern European Network for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (ASTRA), which has been working for more than 20 years with organizations in 21 countries in the region, including two in Ukraine where they provide health services, promote sexuality education, and implement harm reduction projects to prevent HIV.
In light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 which has led to a tidal wave of refugees into neighboring countries as well as millions displaced within Ukraine, Fòs Feminista has been collaborating closely with their longtime partners ASTRA Network as well as the Federation for Women and Family Planning (FEDERA), Astra’s member in Poland to provide support to thousands of women and girls seeking sexual and reproductive health care.
ASTRA, which advocates for the full implementation of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) with special focus on specific reality of SRHR of women in Central and Eastern Europe, put out a statement that “members of the Network are working relentlessly to provide help and support to as many Ukrainian refugees as possible. Our colleagues in Moldova, Poland, and Romania are in touch with charities and international organizations working on the ground and facilitating the biggest humanitarian crisis Europe has seen in decades.” They further specified that “our current activities are focused on creating and upholding a support network for Ukrainian refugees fleeing the country, especially in countries neighboring with Ukraine and others being the main regional destinations for Ukrainians (mostly Moldova, Slovakia, Romania, and Poland).”
In addition, the Foundation for Women and Family Planning (FEDERA) launched the first sexual and reproductive rights hotline for Ukrainians – a Ukrainian OBGYN with knowledge of Polish law and possibilities of the Polish healthcare system is answering questions regarding SRHR from Ukrainians in need three times a week. FEDERA is currently working with ASTRA members in other countries of the region to launch similar initiatives in Moldova, Romania, and Georgia.
ASTRA member organizations are also providing Ukrainian refugees with “leaflets and brochures covering their basic rights in the country of their arrival – including child support, medical care, anti-human trafficking legislation, and more, all publications being available in several languages, Ukrainian and Russian included.” ASTRA is also helping local networks to “stay in touch about matters like need for financing, housing, food and medicine shortages, etc.”
The Ukraine crisis landed in a region which was already experiencing serious backlash in the areas of sexual and reproductive health and rights. In view of this context, Fòs Feminista is an important voice collaborating closely with their regional partners. On International Women’s Day March 8, 2022, put out a statement that “governments must guarantee the sexual and reproductive health of all women, adolescents and girls, as well as gender diverse people, in the context of the refugee crisis in Ukraine and its neighboring countries.”