With great sadness as SPW we mark the departure of Gigi Francisco – activist, scholar, teacher and for a long time a working partner and wonderful friend of many of us. As clearly reflected in the various tributes that circulated worldwide since last week, Gigi departure means a major loss for global feminisms and social justice movements.
Farewell beloved Gigi
It is with immense sadness that we in DAWN mark the passing of our beloved Gigi Francisco – activist, scholar, teacher and friend to so many of us over many, many years. Gigi was with DAWN in many capacities almost from the very beginning. She worked especially hard to consolidate and advance DAWN’s analysis and advocacy during the period when she was General Coordinator, from 2008 until October 2014.
Although Gigi had been ill for the last couple of years, she had remained active for as long as she possibly could, including being on the official Philippines delegation to the CPD last year, and joining the DAWN Board and Executive Committee in a celebration of her 60th birthday in Antipolo, Manila. And so while we are deeply sorrowful, we celebrate her wonderful, rich life – filled with a burning passion for justice – her unflinching feminist courage, her abiding love for her wonderful family, her fierce loyalty to her friends …. And we remember with fondness her savvy political analysis and encyclopedic knowledge of social movements, her laughter, her quirky and often raunchy sense of humour, her generosity, her warmth ….. We will miss you dearly, Gigi… Go in peace and with all our love, dear friend, beloved companera
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From Latin America
Gigi has departed, leaving behind so many memories and a deep and wide feeling of emptiness. Being a feminist from the Philippines, she multiplied herself across the most diverse places around the world: South and North of the Equator, in particular Asia, Africa and Latin America. She moved from the UN to the World Social Forum, from the Gender and Trade Network to the Feminist Dialogues and the Reflection Group of GEO. She has belonged to so many places and has constructed so many connections that it is almost impossible to list them all.
Everywhere Gigi fought for social and gender justice, either as an academic or as an activist, either as an educator and or as a trainer. Everywhere — and almost always — she had a smile on her face. She was wise and fun. She was an amazing hostess and a marvelous friend … in particular in the rare moments when he was not working as a crazy.
She was full of solidarity, but she was also tough when she had to be so. Always a fighter. Gigi was one of those wise and tireless feminists who travel across the planet sharing herself with enormous generosity. She is now within many of us and will continue to be irrigated by the world, this fierce world that needs so many warriors as brave as herself.
In this crazy life of us, she has had many positions. In the last few years she was DAWN’s General Coordinator of DAWN. But for us what matters mostly today was her inexhaustible friendship and all that we have learned from her, the seeds she has thrown around and that will continue sprouting in all continents.
Our dear and beloved Gigi: A Luta Continua!
Alejandra Scampini, Alex Garita, Angela Collet, Angela Freitas, Ana Paula Portela, Átila Roque, Cecilia Fernandez, Celia Eccher, Flora Partenio, Gloria Careaga, Iara Pietricovosky, Lilián Abracinskas, Lydia Alpizar, Magaly Pazello, Marcela Mazzei, Marcela Hernandez, Maria Graciela Cuervo, Nicole Bidegain, Roberto Bissio, Sonia Corrêa.
From Rosalind Petchesky –SPW Steering Committee
To all of Gigi’s children and grandchildren and siblings, to all her beloved friends and comrades in DAWN, I send you deep condolences and the warmest, most inspiring memories of Gigi. I first met her in 1990 at a big national women’s conference in Manila and thought she was the most radical, brilliant, strategically savvy and at the same time loving and passionate feminist I’d ever met – so beyond anyone from our movements in the U.S. The thing that sticks with me from that time is her incredibly sharp analysis of how activists should deal with the global financial institutions and her uncompromising spirit, and also how she brought all the issues of social and gender justice together. In that way, she was the essence of DAWN – an organization that has shaped my thinking in countless ways. Gigi was also great fun – never taking herself too seriously but always taking the world’s pains and struggles, and love for her amazing kids, very seriously.
We will all miss her greatly, her intensity, her passion, her great wisdom, and her wit.