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Not Necessarily Solidarity: Dilemmas of Transnational Advocacy Networks Addressing Violence against Women


Walsh, Shannon Drysdale. 2016. “Not Necessarily Solidarity: Dilemmas of Transnational Advocacy Networks Addressing Violence against Women.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 18 (2): 248–69. doi:10.1080/14616742.2015.1008246.

Author: Shannon Drysdale Walsh


Since the idea of “women's rights as human rights” emerged, there has been a wave of international donors, organizations and transnational feminist activists successfully delivering pressure and resources in the struggle to mitigate violence against women worldwide. Through these transnational networks, decisions regarding which local problems to address and how to manage them are often made at the international level. Most scholarship has rightly celebrated the advances for women's rights that have been made possible due to the impact of international organizations and transnational advocacy networks. However, there are many dilemmas that arise from this North-centric approach to assigning and managing priorities – especially among development aid organizations. Coordination with international donors is often necessary and has been a major source of advances. However, there are still some potentially harmful impacts of having to engage in these networks in order to address violence against women – including a disproportionate focus on short-term results while neglecting long-term goals. This article articulates these dilemmas and explains how international feminist human rights norms can be more successfully translated into a stronger sense of solidarity across borders and more sustainable advances for women. Examples are drawn from the Central American countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua.

Keywords: transnational advocacy networks, Violence against women, Central America, women's rights, human rights

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Women, Globalization, Humanitarian Assistance, International Organizations, NGOs, Political Participation, Rights, Human Rights, Women's Rights, Violence Regions: Americas, Central America Countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua

Year: 2016

Northern Crises: Women’s Relationships and Resistances to Resource Extractions


Stienstra, Deborah. 2015. “Northern Crises: Women’s Relationships and Resistances to Resource Extractions.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 17 (4): 630–51. doi:10.1080/14616742.2015.1060695.

Author: Deborah Stienstra


Using feminist disability studies and intersectionality, this article draws upon the ongoing resource extractions in Labrador, Canada to argue for examining local communities and relationships as one way to understand gender and global social, economic and environmental crises. The article explores how crises in Labrador have been constituted and maintained around global agendas of economic and resource development, historical and current colonial practices and a limited and constrained international relations with local Indigenous nations. The lives of women and their communities in Labrador illustrate one wave of a global crisis that extinguishes diversity and connection to the land in a race to extract natural resources, maintain global military power and gain profit in the global economy. The actions over the past thirty years by NATO and the Canadian federal, provincial and municipal governments, coupled with transnational mining corporations such as Vale, have “normalized” crisis in the communities and reduced the capacity of these communities and Indigenous nations to respond to the issues arising as a result of the Muskrat Falls hydroelectric development project. Yet the women and their communities illustrate their agency and reject an analysis of them exclusively as victims. Together with researchers and activists, the women in Labrador have built a community of practice in the Feminist Northern Network.

Keywords: feminist disability studies, indigenous, intersectionality, resource development, hydroelectricity

Topics: Coloniality/Post-Coloniality, Development, Economies, Environment, Extractive Industries, Gender, Women, Globalization, Political Economies, Rights, Indigenous Rights Regions: Americas, North America Countries: Canada

Year: 2015

Gender and Crisis in Global Politics: Introduction


Sjoberg, Laura, Heidi Hudson, and Cynthia Weber. 2015. “Gender and Crisis in Global Politics: Introduction.” International Feminist Journal of Politics 17 (4): 529–35. doi:10.1080/14616742.2015.1088218.

Authors: Laura Sjoberg, Heidi Hudson, Cynthia Weber

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Globalization, Governance

Year: 2015

Men and Masculinities Around the World: Transforming Men's Practices


Ruspini, Elisabetta, Jeff Hearn, Bob Pease, and Keith Pringle, eds. 2011. Men and Masculinities Around the World: Transforming Men's Practices. New York: Palgrave Macmillan US.

Authors: Elisabetta Ruspini, Jeff Hearn, Bob Pease, Keith Pringle


This collection, with contributions on seventeen countries from social scientists from Africa, the Americas, Asia-Pacific, and Europe, analyzes the characteristics and potential of diverse educational, political and related initiatives towards progressive changes in gender relations to show how men are reacting to contemporary social change.

(Palgrave Macmillan)

Topics: Civil Society, Democracy / Democratization, Development, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Globalization Regions: Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe, Oceania

Year: 2011

Shaping a Global Women’s Agenda: Women’s NGOs and Global Governance, 1925–85


Garner, Karen. 2010. Shaping a Global Women’s Agenda: Women’s NGOs and Global Governance, 1925–85. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Author: Karen Garner


Drawing on a wide range of archival sources, Karen Garner documents international women's history through the lens of the long-established Western-led international organisations that defined and dominated women's involvement in global politics from the 1925 founding of the Joint Standing Committee of Women's International Organisations up through the UN Decade for Women (1976-85).
Documenting specific global campaigns in episodes that span the twentieth century, Garner includes biographical information about lesser known international leaders as she discusses important historic debates regarding feminist goals and strategies among women from the East and West, North and South. This interdisciplinary study addresses questions of interest to historians, political scientists, international relations scholars, sociologists, and feminist scholars and activists whose work promotes women's and human rights.
(Manchester University Press)

Topics: Gender, Women, Globalization, Governance, International Organizations, NGOs, Political Participation

Year: 2010

Do Bangladeshi Factory Workers Need Saving? Sisterhood in the Post-Sweatshop Era


Siddiqi, Dina M. 2009. “Do Bangladeshi Factory Workers Need Saving? Sisterhood in the Post-Sweatshop Era.” Feminist Review 91 (1): 154–74. doi:10.1057/fr.2008.55.

Author: Dina M. Siddiqi


This article revisits the figure of the ‘third world sweatshop worker’, long iconic of the excesses of the global expansion of flexible accumulation in late twentieth-century capitalism. I am interested in how feminist activists concerned with the uneven impact of neo-liberal policies can engage in progressive political interventions without participating in the ‘culture of global moralism’ that continues to surround conventional representations of third world workers. I situate my analysis in the national space of Bangladesh, where the economy is heavily dependent on the labour of women factory workers in the garment industry and where local feminist understandings of the ‘sweatshop economy’ have not always converged with global feminist/left concerns about the exploitation inherent in the (now not so new) New International Division of Labor. The tensions or disjunctures between ‘global’ and ‘local’ feminist viewpoints animate the concerns of this article. I argue that de-contextualized critiques derived from abstract notions of individual rights, and corresponding calls for change from above – calls on the conscience of the feminist and the consumer, for instance – can entail troubling analytical simplifications. They highlight some relations of power while erasing others, thereby enacting a different kind of violence and at times undermining mobilizations on the ground. I draw attention to the multiple fields of power through which much of the activism across borders continues to be produced and reproduced discursively. This kind of framing fits all too easily into existing cultural scripts about gender and race elsewhere, and produces ethical obligations to ‘save’ women workers.

Keywords: Bangladesh, garment industry, globalization, sweat shops, transnational feminism

Topics: Economies, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Globalization, Livelihoods, Political Economies, Race, Rights, Human Rights, Violence Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Bangladesh

Year: 2009

Feminists Doing Development: A Practical Critique


Porter, Marilyn, and Ellen R. Judd. 1999. Feminists Doing Development: A Practical Critique. London: Zed Books.


Authors: Marilyn Porter, Ellen R. Judd


Has feminism transformed development studies? What happens to feminist theory and practice within the development industry? This book brings together a variety of feminist activists and academics, from both North and South, all engaged in development, to answer these questions. Including feminist projects from the "South in the North," the book explores how "global feminism" actually works in a variety of ways, through both activism and academic research.
(Zed Books)

Topics: Development, Feminisms, Gender, Women, Globalization, NGOs, Post-Conflict

Year: 1999

Gender and Development


Momsen, Janet. 2013. Gender and Development. Second. London ; New York: Routledge.


Author: Janet Momsen


Global financial problems, rising food prices, climate change, international migration – increasingly by women – conflict situations in many poor countries, the spread of tropical diseases such as malaria and dengue fever and the increased incidence of HIV/AIDS and TB, and changing patterns of trade have all added new dimensions to gender issues in developing countries. These problems are frequently being brought to public attention in the media and through long-haul tourism. Consequently students’ interest in gender and development has grown considerably in the last few years. This updated second edition provides a concise, accessible introduction to Gender and Development issues in the developing world and in the transition countries of Eastern and Central Europe. The nine chapters include discussions on changes in theoretical approaches, gender complexities and the Millennium Development Goals; social and biological reproduction including differing attitudes to family planning by states and variation in education and access to housing; differences in health and violence at major life stages for women and men and natural disasters and gender roles in rural and urban areas. The penultimate chapter considers the impact of broad economic changes such as the globalization of trade and communications on gender differences in economic activity and the final chapter addresses international progress towards gender equality as measured by the global gender gap. The text is particularly strong on environmental aspects and the new edition builds on this to consider the effects of climate change and declining natural resources illustrated by a case study of changing gender roles in fishing in India. There is also enhanced coverage of topics such as global trade, sport as a development tool, masculinities, and sustainable agriculture. Maps, statistics, references and boxed case studies have been updated throughout and their coverage widened.  Gender and Development is the only broad based introduction to the topic written specifically for a student audience. It features student friendly items such as chapter learning objectives, discussion questions, annotated guides to further reading and websites. The text is enlivened throughout with examples and case studies drawn from the author’s worldwide field research and consultancies with international development agencies over four decades and her experience of teaching the topic to undergraduates and postgraduates in many countries. It will be an essential text for a variety of courses on development, women’s studies, sociology, anthropology and geography.


Topics: Development, Economies, Environment, Gender, Women, Globalization, Health, Reproductive Health, Violence

Year: 2013

Gender, Neoliberalism and Post-Neoliberalism: Re-Assessing the Institutionalisation of Women’s Struggles for Survival in Ecuador and Venezuela


Lind, Amy. 2010. “Gender, Neoliberalism and Post-Neoliberalism: Re-Assessing the Institutionalisation of Women’s Struggles for Survival in Ecuador and Venezuela.” In The International Handbook of Gender and Poverty: Concepts, Research, Policy. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Author: Amy Lind

Topics: Development, Economies, Economic Inequality, Poverty, Gender, Women, Globalization, Political Economies, Post-Conflict Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Ecuador, Venezuela

Year: 2010

The Curious Feminist: Searching for Women in a New Age of Empire


Enloe, Cynthia H. 2004. The Curious Feminist: Searching for Women in a New Age of Empire. Berkeley: University of California Press.

Author: Cynthia H. Enloe


In this collection of lively essays, Cynthia Enloe makes better sense of globalization and international politics by taking a deep and personal look into the daily realities in a range of women's lives. She proposes a distinctively feminist curiosity that begins with taking women seriously, especially during this era of unprecedented American influence. This means listening carefully, digging deep, challenging assumptions, and welcoming surprises. Listening to women in Asian sneaker factories, Enloe reveals, enables us to bring down to earth the often abstract discussions of the global economy. Paying close attention to Iraqi women's organizing efforts under military occupation exposes the false global promises made by officials. Enloe also turns the beam of her inquiry inward. In a series of four candid interviews and a new set of autobiographical pieces, she reflects on the gradual development of her own feminist curiosity. Describing her wartime suburban girlhood and her years at Berkeley, she maps the everyday obstacles placed on the path to feminist consciousness—and suggests how those obstacles can be identified and overcome. 
The Curious Feminist shows how taking women seriously also challenges the common assumption that masculinities are trivial factors in today's international affairs. Enloe explores the workings of masculinity inside organizations as diverse as the American military, a Serbian militia, the UN, and Oxfam. A feminist curiosity finds all women worth thinking about, Enloe claims. She suggests that we pay thoughtful attention to women who appear complicit in violence or in the oppression of others, or too cozily wrapped up in their relative privilege to inspire praise or compassion. Enloe's vitality, passion, and incisive wit illuminate each essay. The Curious Feminist is an original and timely invitation to look at global politics in an entirely different way.
(University of California Press)

Topics: Development, Economies, Gender, Women, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Globalization, Post-Conflict, Violence

Year: 2004


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