Does it work? Feminist analysis and practice at Inter Pares

resources : Occasional papers


As an organization engaged in the pursuit of social justice and equality around the world and in Canada, Inter Pares has also considered itself a feminist organization throughout the majority of its thirty-five-year existence. Feminist analysis and principles have played a central, if not defining, role in the development of the organization’s internal practices, program priorities and long-term collaborations. But this rich history had never been documented or explored until now. With an interest in unearthing the links between a feminist analysis and methodology, and the results yielded by our work, Inter Pares embarked on a two-year participatory research project supported by the International Development Research Centre. We sought to answer the following questions through this research:

• How does Inter Pares integrate its feminist analysis into its practice?

• What is the relationship between Inter Pares’ internal daily feminist practice and the ways in which it works externally with counterparts?

• How does the way Inter Pares works relate to the results that have been noted by counterparts and documented in evaluations?

Inter Pares staff developed a participatory research methodology that involved former colleagues, collaborators from around the world, funders and Board members. Through participatory workshops, interviews, an extensive review of organizational documents, and a thorough validation process, Inter Pares staff documented and critically analyzed the views and experiences of those with whom we have collaborated over many years. This paper is the result of this research and was prepared using a collective editorial process among Inter Pares staff. The principal writers are Karen Cocq, Rachel Gouin, and Samantha McGavin. The authors thank Eric Chaurette, Peter Gillespie, Rebecca Wolsak, Rita Morbia and Jean Symes for their editorial comments, and all Inter Pares staff members for their support.

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