Women’s Tribunals


Q: What is a Peoples’ Tribunal?

Tribunals of opinion or popular (peoples’) tribunals have been used to create a “public” space for people to draw attention to critical issues at local, national and global levels. At these Tribunals, persons directly affected by different situations (e.g. poverty, climate change, gender inequality) can present testimony, bring awareness and advocate for fundamental human rights. Tribunal trials are genuine moral sanctions having no official judicial verdict in regard to the State.

Q: Why “Women’s” Tribunals?

As the use of peoples’ tribunals emerged in the 1960s addressing a wide range of issues, Women’s groups also began to use tribunals and hearings as a way to make visible gender-based abuses often hidden in the “private” contexts of the home, family, personal relationships and traditional practices. Seeing a need to highlight the situation of the feminization of poverty and capture the plight of impoverished women, the Feminist Task force has identified the use of women’s tribunal as a means of:

 Raising awareness and bringing attention to a critical issue
 Providing a platform to rural and grassroots women

 Mobilizing global citizens to a cause
 Leveraging global platforms and forums
 Documenting stories and experiences of women
 Having documentation for advocacy and policy changes from under-represented communities.

FTF & Tribunals

The Feminist Task Force first started its work with Women’s Tribunals in 2007 beginning with three International Women’s Tribunals on Poverty in the three regions of Asia (India), Africa/MENA (Egypt) and Latin America (Peru). The Tribunals were based on the women’s tribunals in the early 1990’s on gender based violence. The FTF credits the pioneering work of the Center for Women’s Global Leadership for the inspiration to give voice to women to speak about “private” issues in a “public” sphere.

Q: Where have FTF Tribunals taken place?

Since 2007, the Feminist Task Force has spearheaded the organizing of over 20 Women’s Tribunals on various themes in partnership with various local, national and international organizations. In the map below, all of the orange and green icons indicate locations where Women’s Tribunals have taken place. Click on the various icons for more information about each tribunal.

Q: What happens after the Tribunal is over?

Tribunals aim to put political pressure on governments at the national, regional and international level. To do so, the jurists’ recommendations and information from tribunals are collected, documented and presented to decision makers to be used for public policy purposes. To explore some examples of these resources, check out FTF’s resource page. Just as local tribunal organizers have used the testimony and recommendations presented at  tribunals for local and national advocacy, the Feminist Task Force has also facilitated opportunities for these voices to be heard at the international level at United Nations Commissions and Conferences. The video on the right shares the story of Janet Keating, Executive Director of the Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition and tribunal organizer for the Central Appalachia Women’s Tribunal on Climate Justice in the United States. Janet traveled to Rio de Janeiro with the Feminist Task Force in June 2012 for the UN’s Rio + 20 Conference on Sustainable Development and shared her experience planning a Tribunal along with the testimonies of fellow Appalachian women and how they have been impacted by climate degradation. View the video below to learn more how Janet spent her time in Rio.

Q: This sounds great! How can I get involved?

There are many ways to get involved with the Women’s Tribunals. One easy way is to learn about and share the testimonies of women that have already been shared in past Tribunals around the world. Along with the reports and videos on this website, the Feminist Task Force also has a blog sharing further information about each of the 2011 -2012 Gender and Climate Justice Tribunals. Passing on the testimony of these women, found in reports, articles and even video, can help create economic, climate, and gender justice by spreading awareness and mobilizing for policy change.

You can also explore the opportunity of organizing a Women’s Tribunal in your community. If your organization is interested in hosting a Tribunal, we invite you to explore the Tribunals Guide below which explains in more detail the background of people’s tribunals and what goes into the planning, execution and follow up for these events.

Q.Who has partnered with FTF to host Tribunals?

International:
Africa:
  • African Women’s Economic Policy Network (AWEPON). www.awepon.net
  • Niger Delta Women’s Movement for Peace and Development, Nigeria
Asia and the Middle East:
  • Humanitarian Organization for Poverty Eradication and Environment (Hope-Pk), Pakistan
  • Jagaran Nepal, Nepal. http://www.jagarannepal.org/
Latin America:
Europe:
North America:

Tribunal Photos

tribunal photos

Women’s Tribunal Resources

   Tribunal Guide-PPT PDF created by the Feminist Task Force.

Tribunal Videos

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Climate Justice Tribunal Resources

For more information on the Women’s Tribunals on Climate Justice, visit our blog at http://climatejusticetribunals.blogspot.com

Rio+20 Tribunal Presentation

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  • “Strengthening Voices, Search for Solutions: Gender and Climate Justice Tribunals” 2011 Series of 15 Tribunals in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Pamphlet on 2011 Gender and Climate Justice Tribunals

“FTF in the U.S.” Series of Gender and Climate Justice Tribunals

  • Central Appalachia Women and Climate Justice Tribunal. Charleston, West Virginia. May 2012.

Central Appalachia Tribunal Report

  • Chicago Metro Area Women and Climate Justice Tribunal. Joliet, Illinois. June 2012

Chicago Tribunal Report

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