Transnational feminist network
A transnational feminist network (TFN) is a network of women’s groups who work together for women’s rights at both a national and transnational level.
TFNs are similar to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) but while NGOs work at a local and national level, TFNs create coalitions across borders. Globalization affects women worldwide in adverse ways and TFNs emerged in response to these effects.
According to Johanna Brenner in her article Transnational Feminism and the Struggle for Global Justice:
- “Economic insecurity and impoverishment, exposure to toxics, degradation of water, high infant and maternal mortality rates, forced migration, increased hours spent in paid and unpaid work are only some of the indicates (sic) of women’s burdens worldwide”
Brenner also states that
- “[t]hird world governments are male-dominated, often inefficient, plagued by cronyism, and sometimes corrupt; and the pressures of structural adjustment programs imposed on them by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank have certainly aggravated these tendencies” (Brenner 78).
Programs like Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs) are part of the package of globalization that is presented to other countries; and while such programs are portrayed as being valuable to improve the status of a country, they result in creating worse situations for the peoples of a country.
Aims of TFNs
Women’s groups form in response to the negative effects of globalization and TFNs emerge when these women’s groups come together to resolve shared issues. These groups work with one another across borders and they recognize their differences but also discover their similarities and form strong coalition’s bases on these similarities. In describing a conference held by the International Network of Women’s Studies Journals, Tahera Aftab relayed that
- “the objective of the INWSJ conference was to set up a network for interdisciplinary feminist and women’s studies journals with a focus on the development and inclusion of a transnational feminist understanding of women’s development issues…”
Just as these academics worked to reach consensus on issues, so do women’s groups who form TFNs.
Valentine Mogadam best describes TFNs in her book Globalizing Women: Transnational Feminist Networks. She states in her text:
- “TFN’s have arisen in the context of economic, political, and cultural globalization—and they are tackling both the particularistic and the hegemonic trends of globalization. They are advancing criticisms of inequalities and forms of oppression, neoliberal economic policies, unsustainable economic growth and consumption, and patriarchal controls over women. In a word, transnational feminist networks are the organizational expression of the transnational women’s movement, or global feminism” (Moghadam 104).
There are various issues that TFNs deal with in a structural and organizational context—the most prevalent being the lack of financial funding. Lack of proper funding usually results in a lack to necessary resources but many TFNs usually find a way to accomplish their goals with the minimal funding they do have available.
Types of TFNs include: -Feminism against neoliberalism; mainly about men and women's economic policy. -Feminism against fundamentalism. -Feminism against imperialism and war. -Feminism humanitarianism; feminism through kindness, sympathy, and direct aid.
A few TFN’s:
- Sisterhood is Global Institute (SIGI),
- Women Learning Partnership for Rights, Development, and Peace (WLP),
- Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML) (http://www.wluml.org), and
- Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) (http://www.awid.org).
- Aftab, Tahera; "Lobbying for Transnational Feminism: Feminist Conversations Make Connections." NWSA Journal Summer 2002. Vol.14 Iss 2, Bloomington
- Brenner, Johanna; "Transnational Feminism and the Struggle for Global Justice." New Politics. Winter 2003. VOl.IX, Iss 2, Brooklyn
- Moghadam,Valentine; Globalizing Women: Transnational Feminist Networks, Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 2005.