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Global Feminism is a feminist theory closely aligned with postcolonial theory and postcolonial feminism. It concerns itself primarily with the forward movement of women's rights on a global scale. Using different historical lenses from the legacy of colonialism, Global Feminists adopt global causes and start movements which seek to dismantle what they argue are the currently predominant structures of global patriarchy. Global Feminism is also known as Transnational Feminism, World Feminism, and International Feminism.

Two historical examples Global Feminists might use to expose patriarchal structures at work in colonized groups or societies are medieval Spain (late eleventh to thirteenth centuries) and nineteenth-century Cuba. The former example concerns women of the Mudejar communities of Islamic Spain and the strict sexual codes through which their social activity was regulated. Mudejar women could be sold into slavery as a result of sexual activity with Christian man; this was to escape the deemed punishment accorded by the Sunna, or Islamic law. Because of their simultaneous roles as upholding one’s family honor and one of “conquered status and gender,” “Mudejar women suffered double jeopardy in their sexual contact with Christians [in Spain].” [1 ]

Nineteenth-century Cuba can be looked at as an example of colonialism and neocolonialism working together in a slave-based society to affect women’s lives under patriarchy, where Cuba “remained a Spanish colony while enduring a neocolonial relationship with the United States.” [1 ] Havana, a city noted for its “absence of the female form,” had, “of all the major cities in the West…the most strict social restrictions on the female portion of its population.” [1 ] Upper-class Cuban women were “a constant visual reminder of the separation between elite white society and the people of color they ruled." [1 ]


See also


  1. ^ a b c d [1], Tamara L. Hunt and Micheline R. Lessard, eds. Women and the Colonial Gaze.

Further reading

  • Feldman, Shelley. "Exploring Theories of Patriarchy: A Perspective from Contemporary Bangladesh," Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society. 25.4 (Summer 2001), p. 1108.
  • Fonow, Mary Margret. "Human Rights, Feminism, and Transnational Labor Solidarity." Just Advocacy? Women's Human Rights,Transnational Feminisms, and the Politics of Representation. Ed. Wendy S. Hasford and Wendy Kozol. New Brunswick: Rutgers UP, 2005. 221-43.
  • Mendez, Jennifer Bickham. "Creating Alternatives from a Gender Perspective: Transnational Organizing for Maquila Workers' Rights in Central America". Women's Activism and Globalization: Linking Local Struggles and Transnational Politics. Ed. Nancy A. Naples and Manisha Desai. New York: Routledge Press, 2002. 121-41.

External links


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