Women’s Movements in the Global Era

The Power of Local Feminisms

Edited by Amrita Basu

Second Edition • December 6, 2016 • 512 pages

Print ISBN: 9780813350127 • $49.00 USD$63.50 CAN

Ebook ISBN: 9780813350639 • $33.99 USD$43.99 CAN

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Includes a transition guide, classroom activities, discussion questions, suggestions for further research, and chapter summaries

“In this fine collection, Basu and her contributors provide sweeping analyses of diverse feminist and women’s movements and organizations in major world regions. Highly recommended.” —Choice

This book provides a path-breaking study of the genesis, growth, gains, and dilemmas of women’s movements in countries throughout the world. Its focus is on the global South, where women’s movements have engaged in complex negotiations with national and international forces. It challenges widely held assumptions about the Western origins and character of local feminisms. The authors locate women’s movements within the terrain from which they emerge by exploring their relationships with the state, civil society, and other social movements.

This fully revised second edition contains six new chapters by leading scholars of women’s and gender studies, on both individual countries and on several major regions of the world—Europe, Africa, Latin America, and the Maghreb. This balanced coverage enables readers to identify regional patterns and also learn from in-depth case studies. Women’s Movements in the Global Era is essential reading for anyone interested in the global scope and implications of feminism.

Amrita Basu is the Paino Professor of Political Science and Sexuality, Women’s and Gender Studies at Amherst College. She is the author of Two Faces of Protest and Violent Conjunctures in Democratic India. She has received research awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Social Science Research Council, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and American Institute of Indian Studies.

Abbreviations and Glossary

Amrita Basu

1 Women’s Movements in Africa
Aili Mari Tripp

2 A History of Feminist Moments: The South African Women’s Movement, 1950–2014
Elaine Salo

3 Pakistan’s Women’s Movement: Protests, Programming, and Revitalization
Farida Shaheed

4 The Indian Women’s Movement Today: The Challenges of Addressing Gender-based Violence
Poulomi Pal

5 Feminist Struggles in a Changing China
WANG Zheng

6 Varieties of European Women’s Movements
Silke Roth

7 Russian Women’s Activism: Grassroots Persistence in the Face of Challenges
Lisa McIntosh Sundstrom

8 Women’s and Feminist Movements in the United States: The Contradictory Effects of Class-based Success
Benita Roth

9 Seeking Rights from the Left: Gender and Sexuality in Latin America
Elisabeth Jay Friedman

10 State Feminism and Women’s Movements in Brazil: Achievements, Shortcomings, and Challenges
Cecilia M. B. Sardenberg and Ana Alice Alcantara Costa

11 Feminist Movements in the Maghreb
Valentine M. Moghadam

12 The Palestinian Women’s Movement
Islah Jad

13 The Women’s Movement and Feminism in Iran: Revisiting a “Glocal” Perspective
Nayereh Tohidi

Appendix: Country and Region Information
Selected Bibliography
About the Contributors

“In this fine collection, Basu and her contributors provide sweeping analyses of diverse feminist and women’s movements and organizations in major world regions. Highly recommended.”

“Women’s movements have been critical actors in spearheading social change and shaping policy. They have been ubiquitous and diverse, progressive and reactionary, liberal and illiberal, yet scholarship has remained relatively sparse, with great gaps in our understanding of these political phenomena. Amrita Basu’s Women’s Movements in the Global Era follows the success of her first edition with this exciting new collection. She has brought together a fine set of case studies from around the world to bring new insights to this important field of study. This book will be essential reading across a wide range of disciplines.”
—Maxine Molyneux, University College London Institute of the Americas

“In the fifteen years since the first edition of this book commemorated the Fourth World Conference on Women, held in Beijing in 1995, the panorama of gender politics and women’s movements across the globe has been dramatically reconfigured. Bringing together a broad array of richly detailed, analytically exacting, and often provocative case studies, this new edition offers fresh insights into how changing global and local forces have impacted women’s lives and feminist activism. Written by scholars from all major world regions deeply immersed in the processes they analyze, this volume exhaustively documents how the global gender policy agenda consolidated since Beijing has been translated and transformed by activists and policy makers on the ground. It will surely be a vital resource for feminist rights advocates and scholars alike.”
—Sonia E. Alvarez, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

“Amrita Basu has done it again. She has created, with her fine contributors, a book that is accessible, worldly, nuanced and analytically smart. Every country study here and all of them read together reminds me why we have to be grittily specific when we talk about women’s activism and why we always need to watch how feminist thinking and activist strategizing constantly inform each other. This book should be assigned to students at all levels.”
—Cynthia Enloe, author of Nimo’s War, Emma’s War: Making Feminist Sense of the Iraq War

“In our increasingly interconnected world, women’s movements, which for many years have played a key role in the struggle for gender justice, are evolving—retaining their local roots, but also joining transnational networks and responding dynamically to new alliances. This outstanding set of thirteen nation-based studies provides a rich resource for anyone trying to understand this evolution. Amrita Basu, one of the foremost scholars in this area, provides a superb Introduction: analytically sophisticated, lucid, and bold.”
—Martha Nussbaum, the University of Chicago

“Spanning the decade and a half since the Beijing conference, Women’s Movements in the Global Era astutely captures a world in which global flows of ideas, people and resources, the exigencies of nation states, and the workings of geopolitics increasingly complicate the circumstances within which feminist movements must exist. The book, which covers women’s movements in thirteen countries, makes clear that given that women’s movements continue to operate within national boundaries with the ultimate goal of seeking concessions from their own nation states, they are vulnerable to both national and global economies and politics. The chapters in the book insightfully illustrate the pitfalls of such a double-edgedness as well as the creativity of movements which are able to successfully work within and across national/global lines. It is a wonderful and much needed assessment of the state of global feminism today which provides readers with the tools with which to grasp the possibilities of these movements in the future.”
—Raka Ray, University of California, Berkeley

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