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Women's Rights have No Country: Regenerating Feminist Transnationalism

Women's Rights have No Country: Regenerating Feminist Transnationalism
Speaker: Professor Anne Marie Goetz # UN Women
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Date and Time
19th Mar 2015 18:00 – 19th Mar 2015 20:00
Symposium Hall
UoE Staff; UoE Students; Public

At a time when women’s rights are under attack by opponents of democracy and human rights, treated as emblematic of the West’s resented impositions on the rest of the world, the current impasse – or simply lack of conviction – at the international level implies a serious risk that women’s rights will become a soft bargaining chip in diplomatic and military efforts to resolve current governance and security crises. Meanwhile, women’s organizations around the world, which are the engine of advances in women’s rights, are as underfunded as ever and struggle to maintain membership when women’s time is badly squeezed between work and family in an era of state withdrawal from social protection. Worse, activism is discouraged when women’s human right defenders come under deadly attack in some contexts.

This lecture will analyze recent developments in the institutionalization of gender equality concerns at the UN – particularly in relation to its security and peacebuilding institutions. In analyzing the implications of the 2012 non-decision over a Fifth World Conference on Women, it will argue that a significant regeneration of transnational feminist space is needed in order for the gender mainstreaming experiment to avoid succumbing to the seductions of power and the patriarchal dynamics of international negotiations conducted with an eye to advancing the ‘national interest’. Occupation of transnational space by feminist movements is, in this context, urgent, just as it was when Chrystal MacMillan travelled to The Hague for the International Congress of Women a hundred years ago.

ann marie goetz

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