Global Feminist Counter-Hegemonic Politics and Transformative Perspectives

Tuesday, July 15, 2014: 12:00 PM
Room: 301
Distributed Paper
Angela MILES , Adult Education and Cty Development Program, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
Global Feminist Counter-Hegemonic Politics and Transformative Perspectives

            In this presentation the term ‘global feminism’ refers to 1) local women's/ feminist groups and struggles with an awareness of the global relations and forces which are shaping their lives and the links of their own struggles with those of women elsewhere and 2) global feminist networks, campaigns, meetings and organizations.

            International dialogue among women activists from different regions first received wide attention in1975 at the time of the first United Nation’s World Women’s Congress in Mexico City. But it was not until the 1980s that feminists began to conceive of themselves as part of a diverse and multi-faceted global movement and to speak and write of ‘global feminism.’    

            In response to the ravages of triumphant neo-liberalism and punitive religious fundamentalisms indigenous and non-indigenous feminists in all regions organized in the 1980s across the full range of social issues including health, environment, energy, food security; democracy, human rights, indigenous rights, land rights, migrant and worker rights; poverty, structural adjustment, international debt, and international trade; violence, militarism, and peace. Unprecedented international networking, co-operation and organizing based on this local activism has, since those years, built a uniquely broad, diverse, and sustained multi-sectoral global movement grounded in specifically feminist anti-colonial, anti-capitalist, anti-patriarchal analyses and visions of ‘alternative development.’ Subsequent years have seen a deepening critique of globalization and a richer articulation of feminist alternatives.

            Although feminists have, from the beginning, had a significant presence in ‘anti-globalization conferences and protests their ideas and their movement have been little recognized and engaged by other movements. This paper will explore the nature and broad significance of current transforamtive feminist conceptualizations of and practice around:

1)  local to global  organizing and relations;

2) economic transformation;

3) women’s human rights, and

4) peace.