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Migration, Empire, and Liminality

Sex Trade in the Borderlands of Europe

Tracie L. Wilson

In this article I analyze accounts from police and women’s activist documents from the turn of the twentieth century, which present narratives of sex trafficking in and from Galicia, an eastern borderland region of the Habsburg Empire. Both police and activist accounts underscore the image of innocent women forced into prostitution, although police accounts provide more variety and nuance regarding degrees of coercion and agency demonstrated by women. I examine what such narratives reveal about the role of crossing boundaries—an act central to both sex trafficking and efforts to maintain empire. In this context, I consider how the Habsburg authorities coped with and attempted to manage populations whose mobility appeared especially problematic. Although this research draws extensively from historical archives, my analysis is guided by perspectives from folklore studies and the anthropological concept of liminality.

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Sanaz Nasirpour

Iranian women in the diaspora have a long history of representing their experience of emigration and exile and of defining their identity and the status of women inside Iran. In the early 1990s, Internet access gave them more liberty of expression and enabled collaboration around women’s issues. This article seeks to answer the following research question: How do diasporic websites assist women’s rights activists in tackling women’s issues and supporting women’s status in Iran? It aims to explore online efforts of Iranian women’s rights activists in the diaspora and more importantly to investigate the functions of the Iranian diasporic websites addressing women’s issues in Iran. Through content analysis of ten diasporic websites, as well as interviews with women’s rights activists in the Iranian diaspora, this article argues that these websites have the potential to transfer information and make connections between those inside and outside Iran, addressing diasporic concerns and controversial issues.

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Raluca Maria Popa

Source discussed: Ana Pauker’s 11 February 1946 report at the Conference of the core group of women activists (Consfătuirea activului de bază feminin) regarding the political situation, the International Congress of Women in Paris, and the founding of the Women’s Democratic Federation of Romania (nine pages), Arhivele Naţionale Centrale ale României (National Central Archives of Romania), Fond Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party, Chancellery volume I, file 13/1946, pp. 1–9.

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Ingrid Sharp

Women’s Organizations and Female Activists in the Aftermath of the First World War: Central and Eastern Europe in National, Transnational, International, and Global Context

Report on an Interdisciplinary, International Conference held at the Institute for Sociology, Centre for Social Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary, 17–19 May 2013

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Heather A. Came

Glenn Laverack (2013) Health activism: Foundations and strategies, London: Sage Publications, pp. 175, ISBN: 978-1-4462-4964-2.

As a long-time public health activist I was pleased to see Laverack’s new book focussing on health activism. To date, there have been only a handful of texts available suitable for tertiary students, the most notable being Cwikel’s (2006) substantial work. The bulk of health activist texts consist of speciality texts about women’s health, HIV/AIDS activism and the ongoing fight against big tobacco. Laverack’s text serves its purpose in addressing a gap in the market for a generic introduction to public health activism.

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Sercan Çınar and Francisca de Haan

Şirin Tekeli made a decisive contribution to the scholarly literature on women’s history in Turkey. She did so as a prominent feminist scholar in the fields of political science and history and as a leading activist of the “second-wave” feminist movement in the 1980s, a historical epoch in terms of the revival of feminism in Turkey. Tekeli’s contributions can be classifi ed under two main themes: her earlier works on women’s political participation in Turkey were the first that incorporated a gender perspective in the scholarship; second, for the Kemalist modernization project and reforms of the early republican period, she proposed to use the term “state feminism.”

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“Comrades in Battle”

Women Workers and the 1906 Finnish Suffrage Victory

Eric Blanc

This article examines how working-class women helped transform Finland in 1906 into the world’s first nation to grant full women’s suffrage. Activists organized into the League of Working Women fought for full suff rage in the context of an anti-imperial upsurge in Finland and a revolution across the tsarist empire. These women workers simultaneously allied with their male peers and took autonomous action to prevent their exclusion from the vote during the political upheaval of late 1905 and early 1906. In the process they challenged traditional gender norms and articulated a political perspective that tied together the fight against class, gender, and national domination.

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"This Is My Story"

The Reclaiming of Girls’ Education Discourses in Malala Yousafzai’s Autobiography

Rosie Walters

The cause of girls’ education in developing countries has received unprecedented attention from international organizations, politicians, transnational corporations, and the media in recent years. Much has been written about the ways in which these seemingly emancipatory campaigns reproduce historical discourses that portray women in former colonies as in need of rescue by the West. However, to date little has been written about the ways in which young women’s and girls’ education activists represent themselves. In this article I analyze I Am Malala, the autobiography of Pakistani girls’ education activist Malala Yousafzai, written for her own age group. Using a feminist, poststructuralist approach to discourse analysis, it considers the way in which Yousafzai negotiates and challenges discourses around young women, Pakistan, and Islam. I conclude that a truly emancipatory understanding of girls’ rights would look not to the words and policies of powerful organizations but, rather, to young women themselves.

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Lyn Mikel Brown

Lyn Mikel Brown gives an autobiographical account of her shift in focus from studying girls and theorizing girls and girlhood to working as an activist and advocate for and with girls. Specifically she describes the Maine-based nonprofit organization called Hardy Girls Healthy Women (www.hghw.org) that she founded in 2000. She situates her current praxis historically in the light of her groundbreaking work with Carol Gilligan at the Harvard Project on Women's Psychology and Girls' Development in the 1980s and early 1990s. This work did indeed put the "girls" into Girls' Studies.

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Paradoxes of transnational space and local activism

Iranians organizing across borders

Halleh Ghorashi and Nayereh Tavakoli

The Iranian revolution of 1979 promised to bring freedom and equality, but as soon as one group gained power, it turned out to be oppressive of both its political opposition and women. This resulted in the formation of a large Iranian diaspora bound together by its hatred for the Iranian regime. Years of suppression in the 1980s in Iran resulted in a deep gap between Iranians living inside and outside Iran. During the 1990s, however, cross-border relationships started to change as a result of two major factors: transnational activities and the influence of cyberspace. This paper focuses on the paradoxes of transnational connections in local protest with a focus on the women’s movement. We show both how transnational links have empowered women activists in Iran and how they have led to new dangers at the local level. We also reveal how support from the Iranian diaspora can be patronizing as well as supportive.