Supporting feminist leaders through investing in collective care: Lessons from Bin-Alin Hakbi’it Malu (Sisters Empowering Each Other) Phase 1
BAHM (Bin-Alin Hakbiit Malu – Sisters Empowering Each Other) is a leadership development program developed jointly with The Equality Institute and directly funded by Nabilan, a program addressing violence against women in Timor Leste. It takes an intersectional perspective and supports Timorese feminists to continue their transformational work of trying to change power structures and inequalities while building their strengths as activists and feminists.
Initial scoping research found overall fatigue regarding the formal donor-driven capacity-development workshop approach of most previous feminist leadership initiatives in Timor-Leste. BAHM is the antithesis of this—participants themselves are supported to create a welcoming space together as individuals, not as representatives of organizations, to reflect, connect, and reenergize. Structured learning is provided through a curriculum developed with the participants based on their interests and brings national and international speakers to share their experiences. The pilot covered 19 topics over six months with two face-to-face retreats, with early indications of very positive outcomes.