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- Introduction: Rethinking Knowledge, Power, and Social Change
- Rethinking Empowerment: Seeking Justice, Not Just Sustainability
- Millennium Development Goals
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Introduction: Rethinking Knowledge, Power, and Social Change
The first section describes the genesis of and background to the making of the Handbook. The second section situates transnational feminist movements, discussing definitions and genealogies, feminist theory and praxis, and the current context in which the Handbook is positioned.
The fourth section reveals some of the diverse standpoints, tensions and fragmentations within transnational feminist movements that are explored in the Handbook. The fifth section considers whether and how transnational feminist movements have transformed patriarchy, looking at the role of men and moving beyond gender binaries. The concluding section synthesizes the strategies proposed by the contributors and editors for the future.
Keywords: advocacy , alliancebuilding , feminist norm entrepreneur , feminist theory and praxis , femocrat , genealogy , global , glocal , institution , knowledge creation , patriarchy , social transformation , transnational feminist movements , United Nations.
We observed that the profound contribution transnational feminist movements have made to the international development discourse is often not recognized. We began to discuss the idea of putting together a publication that would record the wealth of histories and narratives of transnational feminist movements and reflect critically on their global contribution to development knowledge, policy and social change.
As we put our plan into action, we recognized that our individual networks were both overlapping and different, reflecting our Southern and Northern origins and moorings and our personal histories of involvement in feminist movements, knowledge production, policy and praxis since the mids.
We have worked in national feminist organizations, regional and global feminist networks, academia and the secretariats of international development policy institutions. Looking back, it p. These global conferences enabled transnational feminist movements to emerge as a force, both within and outside the UN global governance institutions, in ways that continue to inform feminist organizing forty years later.
We hoped that the Handbook could provide a vehicle for critical reflection on both how much has been achieved and what more needs to be done. The collection is an exercise in feminist epistemology and ontology—analysis by doing—tracing and mapping the contributions of transnational feminist movements in specific contexts.
The analysis comes from the ground up, reflecting the feminist commitment to self-awareness and reflexivity, generating new knowledge, building organizations and movements, and transforming society and the world, with all the individual and collective emotion and passion this implies. The contributors elaborate a complex array of feminist theories and practices, critically analyzing both the successes achieved and challenges faced by transnational feminist movements in different contexts.
It is important to underline that the Handbook aims not to close but to open up questions about different experiences and types of knowledge. We pose a number of questions and reflect candidly on what we have learned about transnational feminist movements. What do we understand about their contribution to knowledge, power and social change globally over the past half century? What are p. To what extent have they destabilized or transformed the global hegemonic systems that constitute patriarchy?
We also explore the tensions with which these movements grapple, politically and organizationally, and synthesize some ideas for the way forward. Like the contributors, we are acutely conscious that while transnational feminist movements have contributed to transforming inequalities between men and women, there are continuing and increasing gender differentials within and across countries in both the global South and North.
Women still have unequal access to fundamental human rights, such as food and shelter. Their bodily integrity and sexual and reproductive rights are deeply contested. They have unequal access to and control over economic resources, such as land, property and credit. Gender gaps are evident in such areas as health, education, employment, poverty, entrepreneurship, decision-making, and the impact of environmental degradation.
Violence against women in its many manifestations continues in epidemic proportions in the global South and North. Specific chapters explore the contributions of transnational feminist movements to the unraveling of old political orders, during conflicts and crises, and to new forms of organizing in the continuing search for just, equitable, inclusive, democratic and peaceful societies.
The strength of the Handbook is that while it chronicles what has been achieved, it also provides a framework for analyzing what has happened and what still needs to be changed. This introduction can only offer a partial sense of the richness of the collection.
It has frankly been difficult for us to summarize all that these remarkable narratives say about the contribution of transnational feminist movements to knowledge, power, and social change. In what follows, we synthesize several major aspects of the Handbook. These include definitions and genealogies, theory and praxis, and the current context in which transnational feminist movements are situated; their different levels of engagement at the global, institutional and glocal levels, including in knowledge creation, advocacy, networking and alliancebuilding; the tensions, fragmentations and diverse standpoints within transnational feminist movements; and whether and how they have transformed patriarchy, looking at the role of men and moving beyond gender binaries.
We conclude by looking forward, synthesizing the strategies for the future proposed by contributors. The contributors to this volume explore their own understandings of transnational feminist movements, presenting the complexities and nuances of the historical, political, economic and social contexts in which transnational feminist movements have emerged and evolved.
Given the diverse locations, interests and perspectives of the contributors, several understandings of transnational feminist movements are discussed.
The Handbook critically explores the historical, political, economic and social contexts in which transnational feminist movements have emerged and evolved. Several definitions of transnational feminist movements are considered and debated. Transnational feminist movements operate on many levels: the intergovernmental policy level that is linked to the UN world conferences on women — and the global conferences of the s and their follow-up processes; networking within and across national, regional and international borders in support of specific grassroots struggles to achieve feminist goals; and intersectional networking and movement building with other global movements that are organizing for human rights and political and economic transformation.
These movements are made up of actors working across local and global contexts who are generally committed to shared values and solidarity across differences, developing a common discourse through dialogue and action, and changing the structural inequalities and the deepening impact of globalization on gender, class, race and ethnic relations.
The Handbook highlights the contributions transnational feminist movements are making in a multiplicity of spaces: intergovernmental and governmental agencies, nongovernmental organizations, communities, and academe, and in change processes in such areas as human rights, sexual and reproductive health and rights, citizenship struggles, social justice, religious fundamentalisms, gender-based violence, land and environmental struggles, peace and antimilitarism, and feminist economics.
Fluid and nonhierarchical structures that span local and global spaces, such networks are connected to globalization processes and engage extensively in cyberactivism. The chapters draw on a long tradition of theorizing on transnational feminist movements.
Moghadam refers to other key writers who contribute to the genealogy of transnational feminist movements. Other chapters in the Handbook offer short histories of transnational feminist movements with a specific focus on advocacy. The first half of the twentieth century saw feminist movements in Europe and North America focusing on postwar, antimilitarist, and postimperialist issues. Their actions…. Manisha Desai see chapter 4 offers a postcolonial perspective on transnational feminist theorizing.
She reviews three sets of writing: the first, from the US academy; the second, a reworking of the Cold War metageography of the First World—Third World; and the third, the literature questioning the self-determination of the liberal nation-state.
Finally, Desai discusses how transnational feminism has called into question the boundaries of the nation-state under the conditions of late capitalism Alexander and Mohanty ; Fernandes ; Masson ; highlighted the intersectional nature of gender Alexander and Mohanty ; Chan-Tiberghien ; Grewal and Kaplan ; and affirmed differences among women based on their racial and other locations Chowdhury ; Desai ; Fernandes ; Lawrence ; Salime Tinker also points to a little-known dimension of transnational feminist movement building: the link between the Cold War and the capitalist and communist models promoted by the United States and Soviet bloc countries.
In addition to concerns about economic and social justice, violence against women and gender-based violence has an important genealogy within transnational feminist movements. Rebecca J. She argues that African American women, indigenous women, and women of color challenged the singular focus on patriarchy, and re-examined the public-private dichotomy that informs radical and liberal feminist theory on violence against women.
This critique is borne out by the testimonies of women of color in the chapter by Linda E. Carty and Chandra T.
Mohanty see chapter 3 and in the experiences of state intervention into Aboriginal communities and communities of color discussed by Hall, and Carty and Mohanty. Given the complexity of these histories, it is important to locate the Handbook in the current context. Several chapters highlight that ongoing hegemonic power threatens to hinder the more progressive work being undertaken by global governance institutions where transnational feminist movements have had some influence.
The Handbook is therefore written at a time when transnational feminist movements recognize and question unequal power relations based on gender, race and class among others , and challenge essentialism, Eurocentrism, and the cultural dimensions of power. It illustrates that, despite differences, transnational feminisms organize through a sense of shared struggle against all forms of patriarchal power and control, violence, and exploitation as they are manifested in neoliberalism, militarism, and religious fundamentalisms across North—South divides and state borders.
Lastly, we discuss feminist theory and praxis. It is vital to underline that transnational feminist movements have produced a wealth of knowledge and an understanding of how power operates in complex ways on many levels and through social change processes.
As all the chapters in this volume show—and indeed, the Handbook is itself part of this process—feminist theory on knowledge, power, and social change has evolved out of p. Feminist perspectives and reflections on fundamental issues such as peace, development, politics, economics, health, the environment, and communications, are at the core of feminist praxis.
We offer a few examples here, but there are many more to be found throughout the Handbook. The chapter by Carty and Mohanty is based on fascinating in-depth interviews with feminists located in the South and North. Carty and Mohanty play close attention to understanding how transnational feminist collaborations in relation to place and time bring out the political, racial and cultural diversity and complexity of alliances and solidarities across activist, academic, and institutional North—South divides.
They underline the importance of intersectional gendered perspectives in feminist struggles, not only in communities but also in the human rights, environment, population, and sustainable-development discourses in and around the UN. Dairiam points out that neither the Universal Declaration on Human Rights nor the legally binding treaties adopted prior to CEDAW 4 had advanced the human rights of women. The framing of the convention drew on contemporary feminist scholarship, knowledge, and theory from the global North and South in the areas of political and public life, education, employment, health, rural women, law, marriage and family life, etc.
As mentioned earlier, the chapters explore various complementary levels at which transnational feminist movements engage in social change processes often intersecting with one another. Some transnational feminist networks engage with powerful hegemonic institutions such as the UN, within a global development policy framework.
Others operate in national or regional activist movement settings using postcolonial, political economy, poststructuralist, and decolonial 5 analytical frameworks, and participating in wider social justice movements. Still others work within institutions at the international, regional, national, and local levels. Alliance building is discussed here as a key aspect of transnational feminst praxis. It is also an expression of historical sedimentation and of factors and processes beyond place.
Maitrayee Mukhopadhyay see chapter 23 interrogates these different framings in her profound critique of the current trajectories of transnational feminist movements.
Transnational feminist movements have coalesced around strategic global policy change arenas. As we can personally attest, the engagement of transnational feminist movements was significantly wider than in the conferences on women, and feminists were active in all the UN global conferences held in the s including the environment, Rio de Janeiro, ; human rights, Vienna, ; population, Cairo, ; social summit, Copenhagen, ; habitat, Istanbul, ; and food summit, Rome, The visibility and strength of transnational feminist organizing in the s was also a reflection of feminist activism within intergovernmental and governmental institutions.
UN peacekeeping and political missions in conflict situations have shown measurable change as a result of UN security council p. As mentioned earlier, Dairiam demonstrates the success of transnational feminist movements in the functioning of CEDAW as a global peer review mechanism and its relevance to all the member state signatories.
Key to the success of transnational feminist movements has been the strategy of working simultaneously inside and outside institutions. On the other hand, as the critical reflections in the Handbook reveal, there are difficult and awkward contradictions, collusions, and co-optations in working with and within UN global institutions and governments. Jennifer F. Many gender experts are not feminists, and many feminists are not employed as gender experts. The statistics she cites provide a telling picture of the relative success of transnational feminist organizing.
By , women accounted for The global average rose to Asia Continuing institutional barriers include electoral systems, parliaments, and political parties. She compares the different experiences of three Asia-Pacific states currently engaged in postconflict reconstruction: Timor-Leste, Bougainville, and Solomon Islands.
Whittington discusses the presence of such support in Timor-Leste to the achievement of a critical mass of women parliamentarians and their impact on constitution-building, legislative reform, political and socioeconomic development, gender-responsive budgeting, and other postconflict state-building processes.
And she envisions how to advance gender and social justice in the process of state-building and rebuilding in conflict and crisis contexts through, for example, writing or amending constitutions, law reform, and political participation, among other possibilities.
In reflecting on the key strategies of transnational feminist movements, the contributors repeatedly discuss the importance of alliance building in feminist advocacy and in political engagement at all levels.
Many of the chapters describe in detail how transnational feminist movements have been building networks and alliances across borders of activism, academe, state and policy, making them significant actors in advocating for change.
It must be borne in mind that less than a decade earlier, DAWN had challenged Northern feminisms in its South-based critical p.
Rethinking Empowerment: Seeking Justice, Not Just Sustainability
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Rethinking Empowerment looks at the changing role of women in developing Rethinking Empowerment: Gender and Development in a Global/Local World book the eBook will be available in PDF (PBK) format, which cannot be reflowed. the challenges of an increasingly unequal, and often sexist, global/local world.
Millennium Development Goals
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The Millennium Development Goals MDGs were eight international development goals for the year that had been established following the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in , following the adoption of the United Nations Millennium Declaration. All United Nations member states , and at least 22 international organizations , committed to help achieve the following Millennium Development Goals by Each goal had specific targets, and dates for achieving those targets. The 8 goals were measured by 21 targets. Interventions evaluated include 1 improvements required to meet the millennium development goals MDG for water supply by halving by the proportion of those without access to safe drinking water , 2 meet the water MDG plus halving by the proportion of those without access to adequate sanitation, 3 increasing access to improved water and sanitation for everyone, 4 providing disinfection at point-of-use over and above increasing access to improved water supply and sanitation 5 providing regulated piped water supply in house and sewage connection with partial sewerage for everyone Hutton, G.
This article is part of the EY Megatrends and beyond report.
The first section describes the genesis of and background to the making of the Handbook. The second section situates transnational feminist movements, discussing definitions and genealogies, feminist theory and praxis, and the current context in which the Handbook is positioned. The fourth section reveals some of the diverse standpoints, tensions and fragmentations within transnational feminist movements that are explored in the Handbook. The fifth section considers whether and how transnational feminist movements have transformed patriarchy, looking at the role of men and moving beyond gender binaries. The concluding section synthesizes the strategies proposed by the contributors and editors for the future. Keywords: advocacy , alliancebuilding , feminist norm entrepreneur , feminist theory and praxis , femocrat , genealogy , global , glocal , institution , knowledge creation , patriarchy , social transformation , transnational feminist movements , United Nations. We observed that the profound contribution transnational feminist movements have made to the international development discourse is often not recognized.