nia is for all women. nia is a women-led, women-only, secular, rights-based registered charity and has been delivering services to women, girls and children in East London who have been subjected to sexual and domestic violence and abuse, including prostitution, since 1975.
As women of nia, there are many differences between us. Some of these differences reflect structural inequalities. It is central to our work that we identify, interrogate and dismantle those differences that become inequalities, outside and inside our organisation, on an ongoing and continual basis. Equally, that we value the differences that each of us bring. The one thing that unites us is our sex – we are women.
nia is not a white women’s organisation. There are Black, minoritised, women of colour at all levels of the organisation, accessing and informing services, volunteering in services or as board members, working as frontline staff or managers. nia is all of us.
We stand in solidarity with our sisters in specialist organisations led by and for minoritised women. We recognise that you bring something that we do not to service provision and strategic development. We recognise that your expertise and input over decades has led to changes for women that otherwise would not have happened. Your work and expertise has made and continues to make our services better. The need for your work, your specialist services and expertise remains.
At nia we prioritise women, women as a sex class. We recognise that race and class inequality intersect with sex inequality. nia rejects accusations that a feminism that prioritises women is white feminism. This disrespects the many Black, Asian and minoritised women working in the organisation who support women from minoritised communities through a racial/intersectional lens alongside their white sisters. This accusation places those of us who are not white outside the sex class of woman. This is as absurd as it is insulting. It silences us: it fails to recognise the additional barriers that some of us face when speaking out and disregards our contributions to feminism. Those who call feminism that prioritises women as a sex class, white feminism, do not speak for us.
Our work to protect single-sex services and spaces for women, particularly but not only women who have been subjected to men’s violence and abuse; and naming men as the agents or perpetrators of sexual and domestic violence and abuse, including prostitution, is not defining women through victimisation, it is not weaponising the violence perpetrated by men upon us and using it against marginalised groups. It is standing against male domination and abuse of women.
Feminism is a movement of all women for the liberation of women from subjugation and male domination under patriarchy. Women are not free until all women are free. nia is for all women.