Stories of Girls’ Resistance

Resisting without resources:

The role of money in girls’ work and worlds

Resisting without resources:

The role of money in girls’ work and worlds

As the charitable industrial complex benefits from the bodies of girls, so too are girls distanced from the resources – and explicitly the money – needed to define and move their own agendas.

Indeed, the deeply uneven distribution of resources, even within movement spaces, means that girls are organising without even the minimum of financial backing. Many, if not most, fund their activism through other forms of work, including multiple forms of care work. For some, there is a complex interplay between day jobs at NGOs, INGOs and within State institutions – and the more radical, revolutionary work they do at night.

It is also very difficult for me to secure grants and funding to help us continue our work. Grants are often short-term and that makes it disruptive, we can’t plan for longer periods of time or even develop our efforts to go beyond what we’ve done so far. I would like to learn and attend training or conferences abroad or join youth organisations and gain more connections with young people my age around the world. I would like to be able to travel more freely and not have to always rely on organisations to sponsor me in order for me to leave or get a visa. If I want a visa, I need to be sponsored by an organisation or have a business reason to get a visa and then I have to apply months in advance.


I would like to take a break in my studies, for example, to spend more time on activism, create something, now comics about feminism are very popular, I would like to do something like that, but unfortunately, to do so, I need to have financial support; I cannot leave my studies, which is expected to help me to make a career.


Today I run an organisation that I’m still funding by myself. All the little bit of money that I get from public speaking and other personal things, I’m constantly investing it in the organisation… We showed that through consistency, somebody— a young woman with a sea of young people—can do all this work without donor funding.


I want to connect both my job and activism, because it is sometimes hard with a day job, but at the same time, the day job is what makes me feel safe because I can separate myself. So it goes back to money, because activism is not recognized as a job, so you don’t usually get paid; so it means you have to do numerous other things to support yourself and then on top of that, your activism, which leaves you quite tired. So I think it is both about the possibility to still have the support and still be able to support yourself while you also have the time to do activism.


I would say money only because I would have been able to, I guess give back through that. You don’t exactly need money to give back, but it would have also helped. Because there’s some physical things I would have wanted to… things that require money that I would wanted to do. Money and maybe more time. If I had more time to offer sometimes, I wish. But the time I was given I still think I used well. But if I had more time that would have also been great. And then money, lack of access to it or lack of knowledge of ways to access money because now I’m more aware of the fact that there’s plenty of money out there to do things that you want to do. You just need to know how to access those resources.

Antigua and Barbuda

Monetary is the biggest lack. Also technical knowledge and tools. Like a projector. I make a lot of videos, if you look for my name on the Video Volunteers website you’ll see I’ve made short films on the environment, mining, women… That was all on borrowed equipment. Also, if I had a car I’d be able to visit a lot more villages, communicate with a lot more people. Network is a huge issue here. So I often have to stay in the office so that I’m connected. Can’t work on the road so much. We often need to work with a youth team. The biggest problem is that the people that we’re fighting – the corporations – have many resources.