I am a feminist social justice consultant with close to two decades experience across regions, movements and sectors. My work supports organizations, big and small, to develop strategies, conduct research, facilitate processes and convenings, and to advocate for, and distribute, greater and better resources for our movements. Promoting human rights and justice from a movement building perspective is at the core of every project I undertake. My approach is simple: above all, I listen to, work with and elevate the voices of those in the centre of struggles and responses.
My social justice work began as a youth activist in my home-town of Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Almost two decades later, I have developed a professional career promoting women's rights, LGBTIQ rights, social justice organizing and philanthropy. I have worked for the world’s largest women’s rights foundation, the Global Fund for Women, and the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID), one of today’s flagship feminist organizing institutions. I have conceptualized, developed and co-authored groundbreaking research on funding trends as part of AWID’s “Where is the Money" initiative. My research has contributed to powerful, successful, advocacy that improved and increased funding for women’s rights organizations. I was part of organizing many convenings, the largest being AWID’s 13th International Feminist Forum in Bahia, Brazil, where I served as a program director. I was, also, part of the co-founding team of FRIDA; the only feminist youth-led fund in the world. FRIDA is now a thriving fund, providing close to USD1 million of grants per year.
Over the years, I’ve developed multiple strategies and programs alone and with teams. It’s always been crucial to me that programs and strategies are developed in consultation with the communities and activists most affected by them.
I have extensive experience facilitating complex processes that, often, had convenings as part of them. I believe that convenings are a powerful strategy for movement building, solidarity building, and bridge building across sectors; if done well, and with participants' interests at heart.
In all of my roles I’ve centered on political feminist resource mobilization as a core component for success, resilience, and sustainability in feminist, and other, social justice movements. Through direct grantmaking, action-research, donor advocacy, convenings, and activist capacity building, I’ve contributed to increased and improved funding for feminist organizations.
Research and knowledge production are crucial to feminist agendas and have been a key strategy I’ve used in my work. My work has identified and filled knowledge gaps that previously existed. Rights-based, evidence driven, and narrated from the perspectives and voices of those most affected, and edited and consulted with the wider community: these are the key ingredients of my research philosophy.
From aid to investment: funding women's rights groups, Open Democracy, 2013
‘Investing’ in Women’s Rights: Challenges and new trends, Development, 55(3), 2012
Women’s empowerment in Central Asia and movement building, Open Democracy, 2010
Women and children last: The true asymmetry of the Georgian conflict is that suffering was shared unequally, with women and children worst off, published in The Guardian, South China Morning Post, Bahrain Times, Beirut Times, 2008
The Balkans and the Caucasus—Lessons Learned for Women Peacemakers and Civil Society Actors: The Global Fund for Women’s Experience in the Balkans and Caucasus Regions: the Women Peacemakers Program within the International Fellowship of Reconciliation in The Netherlands, 2009
Writing Our Own Narratives: Angelika Arutyunova’s Story as part of Nurturing Our Roots, Flourishing Movements Memory Project of FRIDA | The Young Feminist Fund
How not to do feminist open government – and one big idea that can help, by Alfonsina Peñaloza for William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Women and Girls Rising: Progress and resistance around the world, by Ellen Chesler, Terry McGovern, 2015
Women's Movements in the Global Era: The Power of Local Feminisms, by Amrita Basu, 2018
The Gender Effect: Capitalism, Feminism, and the Corporate Politics of Development, by Kathryn Moeller, 2018
"Angelika is a thoughtful facilitator and fierce advocate. As a facilitator, she is able to engage and draw out diverse knowledges in a room, to navigate and redress power differences so that people can contribute fully and is able to steer a group to achieve the goals of the gathering. Angelika brings her humor and care into every space. As an influencer, she is passionate about ensuring that feminist, women's rights and LGBTIQ activism can be sustained. She is a persuasive and effective advocate and changemaker."- Hakima Abbas, Co-Executive Director of AWID
"I've had the good fortune to work with Angelika in several roles over the past decade +. She brings a sharp analytical mind, warm sense of humor, and dedicated commitment to gender justice and human rights work the world over. Most recently, our team worked with Angelika on a convening in Kyrgyzstan - she was a superb facilitator and wise counsel for our team during their outreach in this region."- Caitlin Stanton, Director, Learning & Partnerships at Urgent Action Fund
"Angelika has great skills in research, strategic planning, organizational development and feminist management. She is an expert in the Eurasia region and global feminist movement. She has a unique expertise in grassroots feminist movement, research and advocacy."- Gohar Shahnazaryan, Director of the Center for Gender and Leadership Studies, Yerevan State University
"Angelika has a rare combination of political analysis, research acumen, and knowledge of social movements globally. She brings this together in every aspect of her work, including within feminist funding research, grantmaking, and policy analysis. She has an unflinching commitment to amplifying the priorities of the movements with which she partners and understanding the specific contexts in which activists, organizations, and funders operate."- Kellea Shay Miller, Manager, Resourcing Feminist Movements at Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID)
"Angelika is an impressive, committed and extremely knowledgeable women´s rights advocate. Her on-the-ground experience supporting grassroots organizations combined with her global experience and sharp understanding of social movements and world political trends are unique assets for any organization and project. She is analytical, strategic and passionate, all reasons why I would jump at the opportunity to work with her again."- Macarena Aguilar, Advocacy, communications and partnerships
"Angelika is as great at organizing large-scale global events (making it seem easy and un-rushed) as she is at facilitating workshop sessions, moderating panels or simply in intensive conversations in small circles. I appreciate her research work on funding trends for its new, unconventional angles, for creating entire new fields for exploration, analysis and policy. Angelika's reports are never technocratic or cluttered with acronyms. They are readable and tell powerful stories that go on to become the drive behind change, as I have witnessed several times myself."- Almut Rochowanski, Works on civil society development, women's empowerment, human rights with grass-roots and international organizations
"Angelika is a passionate and committed feminist activist who brings enormous positive energy, good humour, intelligence and experience to her work. She is able to effectively facilitate complex meetings and processes of collaboration among very different people and organizations. She has in-depth knowledge of the women's rights and gender justice actors and priorities of her region as well as globally and has made significant contributions to expanding the quantity and quality of resources for feminist organizing at both the global and regional level."- Anna Turley, Strategic Communications Consultant