Global Feminism: Transnational Women's Activism, Organizing, and Human Rights

Global Feminism: Transnational Women's Activism, Organizing, and Human Rights

Global Feminism: Transnational Women's Activism, Organizing, and Human Rights

Global Feminism: Transnational Women's Activism, Organizing, and Human Rights

Excerpt

Feminism in the twenty-first century has unmistakably global dimensions but is also ever less obviously one, single movement. Diversity and differences, not only by race and class but also in national culture and policy, shape the interests that women define as their own. The demands that feminists raise are increasingly being articulated in transnational forums and with the support of international organizations.

In this book we define “feminism” as the broad goal of challenging and changing gender relations that subordinate women to men and that thereby also differentially advantage some women and men relative to others. We assume that there are many different strategies and practices that are consistent with this goal. We do not assume that feminism can be or ever should be the only or primary goal of feminists, but instead gather under this banner all who include a commitment to more equal and fair gender relations as one of their goals. We know that the historic connotations of the term “feminism” in specific locales may make some people who are struggling to change women's subordination unwilling to use this label, but we also believe that, whether or not individuals or groups choose to call themselves feminists, their goal of empowering women should be considered feminist.

We also recognize that women (and some men) practice feminism in a variety of institutional contexts, from grassroots social movements to international organizations, both governmental and nongovernmental, and with a variety of specific strategies. Transnational contexts are increasingly important venues for feminist work. The transnational arena is the intersection of the international and the local. Transnational activism brings feminists out of their local contexts to work across national bor-

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