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Empowerment: the history and goals of our action

Surt is an association for social action that works to make the economic, social and cultural rights of women effective and to eradicate all forms of discrimination on the basis of gender, with a view to achieving a society with effective gender equality.

Since the beginning, in 1993, we have been a women’s organization committed to the values of gender equality, inclusion, solidarity and social change, run on a transparent, professional and socially efficient basis.

Acting within the diverse fabric of feminism and in the framework of social economy businesses, Surt aims to be a socially transformative project.

Our project is committed to women in their efforts to construct a society with gender equality, free of male violence, in which all work, paid or unpaid, is done regardless of gender identity, and in which the job of sustaining life (caring) is visible, valued and understood as a collective responsibility.

Surt received an honourable mention by the Generalitat on Justice in Catalonia Day (2016), for its work in defence of women’s rights and its commitment to the values of equality, inclusion, solidarity and social change.

Our work was also acknowledged by the Catalan Institute of Human Rights with the Solidarity Prize (2009), and the Josep Irla Foundation awarded us the Lluís Companys memorial for collectives (2017).

We work

for women’s

empowerment

We do so by promoting women’s empowerment, autonomy and leadership, with a comprehensive view that takes into account the different dimensions of empowerment.

Mission

Personal empowerment

Facilitating the processes of raising awareness of the conditions of gender subordination and discrimination, to identify their interests and to transform the relationships and structures that perpetuate them.

Generating spaces to reinforce women’s skills as subjects, protagonists and managers of their lives (agency), through strengthening their autonomy, skills and leadership.

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Economic empowerment

Working for economic autonomy, by improving their professional profile and opening up pathways to insertion in the formal and/or protected jobs market.

Rolling out support for the creation of social and business entrepreneurship initiatives.

Promoting proposals for the social, supportive and caring economy, incorporating a feminist economic perspective.

Socio-political empowerment

Generating collective thinking to facilitate our understanding and critical knowledge of the socio-political environment in which we act.

Generating ideas, both political and for social action, to identity the causes and the conditions of gender discrimination and exclusion, through affirmation of the rights, the interests, the points of view and the opinions of women and other social groups that are discriminated against.

Communal empowerment

Empowering communities and territories as a strategy for contributing to the exercise of inclusive and participative citizenship, constructed from the perspective of gender equality, and in which people are the agents of their own development.

Promoting the acknowledgement of diversity as the right of everyone to be different, and, from this perspective, facilitating processes of intercultural acceptance and coexistence.

Strengthening the networks of cooperation, collaboration and support rooted in communities.

Vision

To be an organization committed to the efforts of women to construct a society with gender equality, free of all forms of male violence, in which paid or unpaid work is done regardless of gender identity, and in which the job of sustaining life (caring) is a collective responsibility, socially visible and valued.

To be a leading association in the transformative action aimed at eradicating discrimination and the economic, political, social and cultural differences that condition the lives of women for the mere fact of being one.

With active, cooperative and supportive participation and feminist stances, to influence the political, social and cultural processes of change

Values

Gender equality

Our most important value, based on an idea of gender justice as a radically democratic perspective, which, from the acknowledgment of the existence of situations of inequality generated by the social structure, lead us to place the empowerment of women, their autonomy and their leadership at the heart of our action.

Diversity

The recognition and appreciation of the forms of diversity (gender, origins, sexual orientation, functional, beliefs) as a right of people to be different, which, consequently, is one of the essential and enriching values of society. It should guarantee their existence and experience without discrimination or prejudices and construct common spaces of dialogue, recognition and interdependence that do not involve the renunciation of being who we are and our values.

Solidarity and social change

The desire to subvert a social system constructed on unsustainable foundations of exploitation and inequality, to move towards an alternative society that, while acknowledging the central role that human needs, emotions and caring must have in any truly transformative project, guarantees for all people a dignified, full and happy life, in which social justice, solidarity and gender equality prevail.

Collaboration

The commitment to generate and share knowledge and to maintain relationships based on ethical principles of mutual respect and recognition, aimed at developing people’s potential and promoting collaborative communities that learn from shared experiences, maintaining a practice of continual learning, proactive and flexible, to seek innovative solutions to the social challenges and needs to which we wish to respond.

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Ethical management

The application of a consistent and rigorous use of knowledge and resources to ensure ethical and supportive social action, which contributes to both improving the people that shape the association, and the people on the receiving end of our programmes and activities, as well as the common good of society.

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