We began as a small collective of women in the 1970s; working out of our homes in Rome, Italy, and Geneva, Switzerland; gathering information from local groups and feminist organisations across the globe and sharing as widely as we could to other women’s activists. We strongly believed in the adage that Information is Power, and that women needed greater access to information to be able to influence the policy decisions that were affecting their lives. We also believed that women needed to be able to network with each other, know and mutually support what the others were doing to advance women’s rights around the world. This founding group also supported the organising of some of the first international feminist meetings held in Europe, all of these on a shoestring budget, powered by the energy of women and feminist activists around the world.
By the early 1980s, the organization evolved into three dynamic sister organisations based in Rome (Italy), Geneva (Switzerland), and Santiago (Chile). In the early 1990s, Isis International in Rome moved to Manila in the Philippines, while Isis-WiCCE moved from Geneva to Kampala, Uganda. The Manila-based organisation continued to build upon the initial 20 years of solid movement building initiatives in Rome and continued the organisation’s commitment to supporting feminist advocacy from a Southern perspective, creating critical communications, and strengthening social movements.
Io continues Isis International’s mission of supporting and strengthening feminist movement building, seeking at this juncture to enhance the facilitative leadership capacities of a new generation feminist activists. We believe that one of the best ways to enliven our organizations and strengthen our movements is to build the confidence of young leaders to open and facilitate spaces for some of the critical conversations that feminists need to have today.