How to decide if you want to run a local women group or a formal women association
This module will be used by women organizations at defining some of the topics regarding how to use a tool kit for building a local feminist campaign.
This toolkit is designed to be used by women individuals or groups who want to campaign locally. It takes the form of questions that you need to consider when campaigning – the answers you come up with will depend on the issues you want to campaign on, how you want to campaign and the people you need to influence.
You Will Learn...
In completing this Module of ‘How to build a feminist campaign’ the learner will be able to:
- Learn how to use this module as a toolkit to run a local women campaign.
- Learn to define the goal of a campaign and the problem.
- Learn how to find the target of the campaign and best strategies to advocate.
- Learn how to find allies, networks and work with the media and press.
//Units within the Module//
//Now let’s find out what you have learned in this module//
What do you want to achieve? This is your goal
The first step on any campaign is to know exactly what you want to achieve. What policy or practice do you want to change? Some campaigns may seek to keep an existing service that is about to be closed; in this case you may want to keep things the same, but in order to do
that you need to change the policy to close the service.
On a piece of paper - Write down clearly what is your goal of your campaign.
Why is it a problem?
For examples of this, you might think about what will happen if the women’s center closes? Or maybe in your rural area you don’t have any place where women can meet and talk in a safe place and do any planning.
On a piece of paper - Write down clearly what your problem is.
What do you think should happen?
For example you might want to keep the center open, or provide similar services elsewhere, or close only part of the
service. You might want a women club to be opened in a certain area, or a club that is already open to be open at
different hours, or offer different activities, or publicize itself better.
On a piece of paper - Write down clearly what you think should happen.
When should the change happen?
If there is a threat to stop funding to a women’s center, your campaign may be urgent – to stop the closure before it happens. If you are trying to get a new women's club opened this is likely to take longer, so your campaign may have to continue for several months or even years.
On a piece of paper - Write down clearly what you want into a few short sentences so that you can explain the campaign to people quickly and easily.
Who is your target in the campaign
In order to bring about change you need to know who makes the decision you are trying to change. Some decisions go through several stages. For example if you wanted to influence a council policy, the official decision might be made by the whole council, but they will generally act on the recommendation of the responsible committee or cabinet member. That committee may rely on information from the council staff members responsible for the policy. You will have the best chance of success if you can persuade all of these people to support you.
Exercise: Depending on the problem you have identified, go on the internet and find the institution you need to target in your community. Write it down.
Your campaign may have several targets – the person who makes the decision, the people who influence him or her, and high profile people who may be able to help your campaign.
Exercise: Go on the internet and find out the name of your local council (or councils in areas where there are both County and district councils) You can search on your council website to find out who is responsible for the decision you want to change. Some council websites are easier to search than others. If you cannot find the information you want on the website, you may find it quicker to telephone the Council and ask who is responsible. As well as the main Council address, the Council website should also give individual contact details for local councilors. Write it down.
What does your target want / care about?
In order to convince your target it helps to know what he or she cares about. You will be more likely to succeed if you can show your target how your campaign will help meet her or his priorities, rather than simply saying why it is important to you.If you can create public pressure locally through a popular campaign or stories in the media, then your target is more likely to have to listen to you. All public bodies will be concerned about their budget and avoiding potential legal challenges.
Exercise - look online for official priorities, such as areas of policy your target works on, or particular targets that the Council has set. Look also after un-official priorities, such as winning votes, getting good media coverage, avoiding bad media coverage or being associated with a popular cause. Write them down.