The Interplay Between CEDAW, the Brazilian Women's Movements, and Global Feminisms Agendas

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 10:30 AM
Room: 303
Oral Presentation
Marlise MATOS , Departamento de Ciencia Politica - UFMG, Brazil
Solange SIMOES , Sociology and Women's and Gender Studies, Eastern Michigan University
In this paper we investigate how Brazilian women’s participation in transnational feminist networks and the UN Conferences on Women and Brazil’s ratification of CEDAW have profoundly shaped the two more recent waves of the Brazilian feminist movements: third wave of the 1980’s and the ongoing fourth wave. Our paper presents a case study of the interplay of the national and transnational dimensions in shaping women’s movements. The third wave of the Brazilian feminist and women’s movements encompasses the civic participation of Brazilian women in the transition from a military dictatorship to a democratic regime as well as participation in the transnational women’s movement and Brazil’s ratification of CEDAW in 1982, during the military dictatorship. The ongoing fourth wave of the Brazilian feminist movements has focused on the institutionalization of feminist demands through public policies for women; the creation of executive managerial organs for such policies at the national (the national Special Secretariat for Policies for Women), state and city levels etc. We argue that the reciprocal impact or feedback mechanism between transnational feminism and the Brazilian feminist movements can not be overstated. Brazilian women played a key role in building a broader and inclusive agenda for transnational feminism –currently reflected in the intersectionality of gender, race, class, and sexual orientation. CEDAW also was utilized by Brazilian feminists as a crucial tool to legitimize a very broad intersectional agenda. Based on our case study of the Brazilian feminist movement and CEDAW, we would like to argue that the feedback mechanism operating between local, national and international agendas have proved crucial to the growing intersectionality of gender, race, class and sexuality of the feminist movement worldwide. In sum, we would like to suggest that globalizing the local and localizing the global should be at the center of both feminist activism and scholarship.