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Feminism And Global Gender Equality: Challenges And Progress – IMPRI Impact And Policy Research Institute

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Feminism and Global Gender Equality: Challenges and Progress

Session Report Anubhuti Mahanta

#IMPRI Gender Impact Studies IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi organized “YWLPPF Young Women Leaders in Public Policy Fellowship- Winter’24”, a two-month online immersive introductory leadership certificate training fellowship program to empower young women to become effective leaders in the field of public policy through a comprehensive learning experience delivered by leading women experts in the field. On Day 2, the distinguished panel of experts included Professor Roxanna Marina, and our program chair, Professor Vibhuti Patel.

Professor Roxanna Marina delivered a comprehensive presentation on the global feminist movement, covering theoretical foundations, challenges, and potential solutions related to gender equality. The presentation was structured into three parts: theoretical trends in contemporary feminism, challenges associated with these trends, and proposed solutions and ways forward.

Theoretical Trends in Contemporary Feminism

Professor Roxanna commenced the presentation by introducing the “fourth wave” of feminism, characterized by inclusivity and leveraging the internet and social media for activism. She discussed the concept of intersectionality, as coined by Kimberlé Crenshaw, and its relevance in addressing multiple forms of discrimination experienced by women. Notable events, such as the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., were cited as examples of significant mobilization in response to political events.

The presentation delved into feminist movements in India and Latin America, addressing specific issues like gender inequality, sexual violence, and regional movements such as “Ni Una Menos.” She explored the notion of post-feminism, touching on cultural products that reflect the perception of achieving feminist goals in the West. Furthermore, the speaker discussed various forms of feminism, including black feminism, womanism, decolonial and postcolonial feminisms, post-communist feminism, and transnational feminism.

Each form was examined in terms of its unique focus, contributions, and challenges, emphasizing the need for inclusive dialogues and solidarity among women worldwide.The presentation addressed issues such as gender mainstreaming, representation in politics, and violence against women. Professor Roxanne proposed solutions, including fostering inclusive dialogues, emphasizing feminist care ethics, creating safe transnational spaces, and building non-colonizing feminist solidarity.

Exploring Dimensions of Gender Discrimination

The session delved into various forms of discrimination, including sexism, racism, the glass ceiling, the glass cliff, the sticky floor, and the leaky pipeline phenomenon. The discussion emphasized the broader impact of discrimination on transgender individuals and minority religious groups. The speaker underscored the importance of empowerment for women, emphasizing agency, control over resources, and decision-making abilities. Various routes to achieve empowerment were discussed, including legislative reforms, judicial interventions, political participation, social movements, and mainstreaming gender concerns in all sectors of society. Gender equality was highlighted as a key factor in achieving empowerment for all individuals, regardless of their gender identity.

The big takeaway was that gender equality is crucial for everyone, no matter their gender identity. The speaker stressed the need for equal opportunities, easy access to education, and getting rid of gender stereotypes as the essential steps to creating a fair and inclusive society

It was also noted that, while these interventions are necessary, they alone will not bring about meaningful change. The responsibility falls on all of us to see and challenge discrimination in all its forms if we’re serious about making a society that’s truly fair and just. It’s on us to recognize and confront these issues together, creating a place that celebrates diversity, inclusion, and equal chances for everyone.

In essence, Professor Roxanna Marina’s presentation not only demystified the intricate layers of the global feminist movement but also equipped the audience with a comprehensive understanding of its theoretical underpinnings, the hurdles it confronts, and the actionable steps required to propel it forward. The session was a call to action, urging individuals to engage with the complexities of gender equality and actively contribute to the ongoing narrative of the global feminist movement.

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