In this article, I join a conversation about the definition and value of the term transnational girlhood. After surveying the fields of transnationalism, transnational feminism, and girlhood studies, I reflect on the representation of girls who act or are discussed as transnational figures. I critique the use of the term, analyze movements that connect girls across borders, and close by identifying four features of transnational girlhood: cross-border connections based on girls’ localized lived experiences; intersectional analysis that prioritizes the voices of girls from the Global South who, traditionally, have had fewer opportunities to speak than their Global North counterparts; recognition of girls’ agency and the structural constraints, including global structures such as colonialism, international development, and transnational capitalism, in which they operate; and a global agenda for change.
Activist Networks by, for, and with Girls and Young Women
Catherine Vanner and Anuradha Dugal
“Today I met my role model,” tweeted climate change activist Greta Thunberg on 25 February 2020, captioning a picture of herself with girls’ education activist Malala Yousafzai, who also tweeted the picture, proclaiming that Greta was “the only friend I would skip school for.” The proclamations of mutual admiration illustrate a form of solidarity between the two most famous girl activists, who are often pointed to as examples of the power of the individual girl activist in spite of their intentionally collective approaches that connect young activists and civil society organizations around the world. These girl activists have garnered worldwide attention for their causes but have also been subject to problematic media representations that elevate voices of privilege and/or focus on girl activists as exceptional individuals (Gordon and Taft 2010; Hesford 2014), often obscuring the movements behind them. For this reason, this special issue explores activism networks by, for, and with girls and young women, examining and emphasizing girls’ activism in collective and collaborative spaces.