GROOTS (Grassroots Organisations Operating Together in Sisterhood), USA (International)


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In March 1989, twenty grassroots women leaders from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, the Pacific, Europe, and North America met in Kingston, Jamaica and created a network of grassroots organisations. The impetus for GROOTS, an international grassroots women's leadership development and networking project, came out of strategy sessions that were held during Forum '85 of the UN Decade for Women Conferences in Nairobi, Kenya. The core group of women who created GROOTS realised that most low-income women were either unorganised, or if organised, not connected to a broader network. Out of their vision, GROOTS has become a vital resource for grassroots women and organizations that share its vision and goals.

Because GROOTS began during the 1985 Women's Conference in Nairobi it decided to link its current activities with the UN process towards the Beijing Conference. GROOTS meetings, which brought together representatives of grassroots women's organizations, were planned around each of the Regional Governmental Conferences and NGO Forums leading up to the recent 1995 "Fourth World Conference on Women: Action for Equality, Development, and Peace". By providing grassroots perspectives on the agenda items, GROOTS will be achieving the first of its four goals. These goals are:

1. To focus international attention on the needs and capabilities of low-income grassroots women.
2. To strengthen low-income women's participation in the development of their communities and their approaches to solving their problems.
3. To identify and share on a global basis the development approaches and methods of urban and rural grassroots women's groups.
4. To increase the opportunities for grassroots women to directly network across national boundaries.

GROOTS shares a common vision based on values like love and respect for diversity as a source of richness and a wealth of resources. Their objectives aim to recognise and fulfil women's leadership and power to lead their lives to their full potential.