Inclusion, Solidarity, and Social Movements: The Global Movement Against Gender Violence

Citation:

Weldon, S. Laurel. 2006. “Inclusion, Solidarity, and Social Movements: The Global Movement Against Gender Violence.” Perspectives on Politics 4 (1): 55–74.

Author: S. Laurel Weldon

Abstract:

How do transnational social movements overcome divisions to build the trust and solidarity necessary for effective cooperation?

I examine this question in the context of the global movement against gender violence. Although this movement was initially severely hobbled by internal division, over two decades activists have united, successfully cooperating to push for a number of international agreements. I argue that the movement against gender violence has achieved cooperation through the development of norms of inclusivity. Such norms include a commitment to descriptive representation, the facilitation of separate organizations for disadvantaged social groups, and a commitment to building consensus with institutionalized dissent. Existing scholarship on social movements accounts for the emergence of cooperation in social movements as a product of shared interests, identities or opportunities. But these accounts are incomplete because they do not confront the problem of relations of domination among activists. In contexts where some social groups dominate others, additional challenges for mobilization are present. I suggest that attending to the context of structural inequality in which social movements operate improves our understanding of social mobilization and illuminates overlooked paths to cooperation. I conclude by suggesting some concrete steps for overcoming divisions and building cooperation in the context of social relations of domination. Given the importance of achieving cooperation in the context of deep social cleavages, scholars should seek to understand and define every possible mechanism for developing such cooperation.

Topics: Gender, Gender-Based Violence

Year: 2006

© 2017 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at info@genderandsecurity.org.