World March of Women

In “Globalization and Political Change in the Women’s Movement: The Politics of Scale and Political Empowerment in the World March of Women” (my stress) by Dufour and Giraud in the Social Science Quarterly for Dec2007, we are told

The WMW is a transnational collective action that integrates women from grassroots organizations, labor unions, and leftist political parties in over 150 countries (approximately 6,000 groups) into a process of transnationalization of solidarities.

The article is about the European presence and tactics of the WMW.

Going on my own lack of knowledge, I could be worried that a very great deal of news about women’s important political actions world-wide are left unmentioned in the US and English press. In this particular case, the web presence of the WMW is also not much, a fairly quick look on google indicates. Still less is there much recent.

The WMW movement appears to have originated in  Quebec and there is a big Canadian site.   I did find a WMW blog from Pakistan, which also mentioned WMW protests in India over the action in Pakistan; a blog from Ecuador has a letter from the International Secretariat of the WMW, and so on. 

What I am wondering is whether it is right to suspect a general lack of knowledge among some groups of feminists about such international movements.  If so, are these  largely English-speaking feminists?  Is the language or the press creating an insularity?  Is there a kind of passive censorship, with international feminists movements being of so little interest to the media that we never read about them?

Another possibility, I suppose, given the seeming lack of web presence, is that the movement lacks some of the resources to create a more formal media presence.

 If the insularity is largely mine alone, I’m be happier about the situation!

3 thoughts on “World March of Women

  1. As a feminist activist here in Quebec, Canada, particularly with the Fédération des femmes du Québec (the Quebec Federation of Women, which initiated the World March of Women in 2000), I am well aware of these actions. The World March of Women became an independent non-profit organization in 2002 and recently moved its international secretariat from here in Quebec to Brasil.

    It is a huge world-wide grassroots activist movement of women, and I think at least two things explain why you hadn’t heard much about it: the fact that the US and UK (the huge English-speaking countries) are not so much involved in it, as compared with developing countries, and the fact that the media in general these days, avoids reporting on feminist initiatives. Why the US and UK are not very involved is up for debate, but I think around the world we can see that conservative forces (including governments and media) are making sure that feminist actions are not reported on, which is terrible…

    The World March of Women is a peaceful movement which mobilizes hundreds of thousands of women in I-forget-how-many dozens of countries around the world. In 2000, 5 million people signed a petition delivered to the United Nations, concerning women’s poverty and violence against women – 5 million people!! How many petitions have we ever heard of signed by that many people, ever? Yet the World March of Women was not talked about much in the media… feminist issues, concerns and actions are too often ignored. And sadly, with the increase in anti-feminism world-wide, I don’t see this improving!

    Thanks for sharing what you know about the World March of Women! The Website (http://www.worldmarchofwomen.org/) seems temporarily down, but when it’s back up, you can find out where the nearest regional coalition of women’s organizations is, and get involved! :-)

    — Katherine, Montreal, Québec, Canada

  2. Katherine, thanks so much for your comments. So perhaps we are seeing something like censorship by neglect (not necessarily the right phrase)? The assumption that women are clueless and without power leads to a near black out on the news, thereby making it more likely that women are without power.

    This fall I came across the World Social Forum, and was disturbed that it seemed to have little impact on the press we/I see. One site is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Social_Forum

    It seems pretty clear that the issues of women in the developing world are treated by the press as very distant from those of women in the developed world. There are tons of reason why that’s a bad thing. It’s less clear what we can do.

    Any suggestions?

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