Transnational Public Spheres from 'Above' and from 'Below'

Feminist Networks across the Middle East and Europe

in Volume 5 (2010): Issue 1 (Mar 2010): Migration within, from and to the Middle East. Guest Editors: Sabine Strasser and Shahnaz R. Nadjmabadi

This article examines the emergence of transnational public spheres brought about by women activists in diasporas and countries of origin across Europe and the Middle East. Such activism can take various forms - networks, partnerships, transnational mobilisations against war or for advocacy - which, in turn, have an impact on the ability to provide women with new paths to emancipation. Although globalising states and societies are becoming more interconnected, demarcating inequalities and forms of governance still exist. Parameters based on territoriality and national citizenship reinforce the unequal access to resources that women experience around the globe and thus have a hand in shaping women's agendas. The article concludes that although women may be able to acquire empowering tools through feminist transnational networks, these tools are not always capable of dismantling boundaries or weakening old hierarchies.