Article by Andrea Rodríguez Valdés, RIPESS Europe

RIPESS Europe announces a new project on how to make our workspaces more feminist and put care at the centre of our activity. This project, which begins now and will last until November, aims, from an intersectional gender perspective, to develop tools, reflect and debate on how to build safer spaces for all.

In recent years, and especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to reconvert our workspaces has increased to turn them into true feminist places where care is put at the center of all our activities and the needs of people are prioritized. As socially oriented organizations -cooperatives, NGOs, etc-, we not only have to promote changes to the outside from a perspective of Social and Solidarity Economy, but we understand that the real change is in our day to day, and for this, we need on the one hand to develop an individual and collective response to all the oppressions of heteropatriarchy, and on the other hand, create the necessary tools to face it.

This project proposes to organize a first face-to-face meeting of trainers that will establish how the seminars will be oriented to other organizations and will begin to develop an action protocol on how to face sexist discrimination, as well as a gender balance tool for organizations to apply. This work will continue throughout the project and will end with a phase of dissemination of the materials that will be distributed through open source tools to social entities and, especially to the members of  Fundaction.

In addition, non-mixed self-care assemblies will also be structured for women and non-binary identities who work in this type of organization and who want to have a safe space and an intimate moment in which to share their life experiences, concerns, exchange good practices etc. All this with the aim of taking care of each other and promoting Feminism as something transversal in our work.

This project will be carried out jointly with REDPES, the Portuguese network of Social and Solidarity Economy, and at the same time, one of the members of RIPESS Europe.

REDPES and RIPESS are two networks that have been collaborating for a long time and that share the same principles and values. In addition, the people who work in these networks have also reflected together on the need for values such as Feminism or LGTBIQ+ rights to be not only a transversal part of SSE, but a central part of it, since without effective gender equality, we will not be able to build the desired economic alternatives.