Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era

Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN) is a network of Southern feminist scholars, researchers and activists working for economic and gender justice and sustainable and democratic development, through research, analyses, advocacy and training. It was established in 1984 and launched publicly at the 1985 World Conference on Women at Nairobi.

Through analysis and advocacy efforts, DAWN strives to ‘translate’ feminist political economic and political ecological analysis into ‘advocacy demands’ and to help movements use those demands to push governments to enact change. Four areas of focus make up its core analysis and advocacy efforts:

  1. Political Economy of Globalization (PEG)
  2. Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR)
  3. Political Restructuring and Social Transformation (PRST)
  4. Political Ecology and Sustainability (PEAS) [i]

Based on work stemming from these research themes, which make up a number of books and publications,[ii] DAWN has engaged in advocacy within intergovernmental processes (including for example RIO+20). Yet, its project is equally focused on ‘networking’ with movements and on ‘training.’ Such networking involves engaging extensively and dialogically with grassroots movements (through seminars and workshops), which allows for the production of bottom-up knowledge with them, as well as bringing to them interlinkage analyses that are more structural and critical and which together contest neoliberal capitalism’s dominant narrative. Training (which is accomplished though the creation of training institutes, which act as spaces for intensive participatory education) is a way to multiply this analysis and knowledge, so that young feminists can use it for change.

From its inception, DAWN’s knowledge production and mobilization strategies have been defined by its focus on women of the Global South. Yet, through a holistic, interlinkage perspective that entails political- economic and political-ecological critique, it has always stood for overcoming all forms of oppression.


DAWN Website

DAWN Wiki Article


[i] See, accessed February 17, 2015.

[ii] Many of which are available at, accessed February 17, 2015