Globalization And Feminism Research Paper

Length: 10 pages Sources: 10 Subject: Sports - Women Type: Research Paper Paper: #36211408 Related Topics: Female Genital Mutilation, Feminists, Female Circumcision, Women Suffrage
Excerpt from Research Paper :

Feminist Movement or Organization Challenging Globalization

What are the circumstances / background that gave rise to the movement or organization?

UN Women (UNW) was created in 2010 by the United Nations General Assembly, which also created the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UNEGEEW). Creation of these two bodies was intended to increase the rate at which the UN and its Member States were working towards empowerment of women and addressing gender equality, making this an historic step. The UN itself was undergoing change, with a reform agenda directed to unify mandates and resources in order to achieve a greater impact. The overall UN organization combined four separate older organizations to create UN Women. These were the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the Division for the Advancement of Women (DAW), the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women (OSAGI), and (INSTRAW) International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (About UN Women, n.d.).

Feminism in the United States of America can be traced back to 1848, and the Seneca Falls Convention (New York). This was the nation's initial convention on women's rights, and had over 300 attendees. Elizabeth Cady Stanton outlined the natural equality of women that became The Seneca Falls Declaration, which has been called the origin of the suffrage movement (Krolokke, 2006). Many dedicated women worked very hard to win the vote for women, including Anna Howard Shaw, Alice Paul, and Carrie Chapman Catt, but this did not occur in the United States until 1920. In the United States, Feminism's first wave utilized a variety of approaches to resistance and societal intervention, providing inspiration to the present date.

Ideas concerning gender equality, and the means to achieve it, also known as Feminism, belong to a broad social and political movement that was first emergent in Western society. The foundation of this movement was the growing recognition that economic, cultural, political, and social contexts in many (if not all) countries devalued women relative to men and placed them in a secondary category, at best. Huang (2005) states that western feminist societies worked through at least three of the thresholds, described below, in their efforts to transform society and bring about gender equality.

Political Movements

A political movement can be relatively placid or extreme, varying from sit-in protest and conventional petitioning to violent blockade and revolutionary activities. Organizations often develop in stages through several 'thresholds': (1) signing petitions (conventional politics) becomes unconventional politics; (2) level of action shifts towards action such as boycotts or marches ('direct action'); (3) unofficial (not legally authorized) strikes are an example of the 3rd threshold, in which political action shifts to non-violent yet illegal activity; (4) once political activity shifts to direct and violent actions, against property or persons, it is said to have reached the fourth threshold. When social movements are focused towards political system change, they may use confrontation or negotiation, perhaps even in a form that is more extreme and counter-cultural. In contrast when social movements are focused towards value system change, the strategy is more likely to be expressed in a more moderate sub-cultural form (Huang, 2005).

What kinds of strategies of resistance has the movement or organization developed?

The United Nations has developed a 'system-wide common understanding', which has as its foundation the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, drafted in 1948, as well as other documents addressing human rights on a global basis. This approach focuses so as to direct technical assistance, policies, and developmental cooperation work towards human rights. One statement stipulates that developmental efforts should assist 'rights holders' to achieve these rights, and 'duty bearers' to achieve their full capacity (UNW, 2011).

A gender perspective in the affairs of all its member states is a part of the efforts of UN Women, to assure that national evaluation, planning, monitoring, and budgeting focus on, and include women's access to services. The Gender Budget programs of the UN Women organization are presently working towards practices that address and increase gender equality accountability as well as improvement of service access for women. These programs, working at the country, regional, cross-regional, and local levels address gender equality through development of capacity and resources for technical growth as well as political support. The Gender Budget programs garner increasing support through their work with development partners and UN agencies. The OECD, European Commission, Commonwealth Secretariat, and UN agencies are just some of the Gender Budget stakeholders with whom the UN Women organization has built supporting relationships; as well, the organization is now recognized at top-level forums for global policy (UNW, 2012).

Budgetary processes in Member Nations and UN programs have been the focus of sustainable and strategic changes in operations by the Gender Budget Committee of UN Women. The budgeting process has been strengthened through inclusion of parliamentarians, advocates for gender equality and key individuals who are invested in gender equality (UN Women, 2012). The Gender Budget committee has been able to work with Member Nations to educate...


Achievement of priorities in the UN Women programs requires coordination at a fundamental level in order to achieve full participation and leadership of women in global sectors such as the humanitarian, as well as security and peace. While many of the UN Women programs are ongoing, others are likely to require a longer-term commitment, and groundwork for these is in progress. Example of proposed and significant future goals include: (a) The highest priority task for UN Women is to examine, upgrade, and restructure its local, regional, and national availability and effectiveness. (b) Information concerning gender equality in crucial areas, gained through analysis, data, evidence, and statistics collection and generation must be gleaned through work with partner countries and Member States. (c) Addressing gender stereotypes, often entrenched, will be accomplished through mobilization and enhancement of partnerships with faith-based organizations, boys and men, community and religious leaders. As well, this task must enlist the cooperation of communications partners, including social and conventional media, to direct, encourage, and support behaviors and attitudes that may awaken an understanding of gender equality. UN Women is presently making considerable forward progress in each of these areas, but further effort is required, particularly in terms of addressing the needs of the United Nations Member States, regional organizations and UN teams in-country (UNW, 2013)

Two key frameworks for the direction of UN Women efforts to address major issues such as those described above include the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), established in 1979, and the Beijing Platform for Action, established in 1995. The CEDAW Convention, which includes 186 countries (but unfortunately not the United States) provides an action plan by which countries may work towards guarantees of gender equality (Elmendorf, 2010). Global recognition of the necessity to work towards gender equality and improvement of societal roles, capabilities, and potentials for action by women has been increasing gradually. Indeed, developments along these lines were cited in the Winter 2007-2008 issue of PEACE in Action, which published an article by the UN Commission, on the topic of Status of Women (Elmendorf, 2010)

The founding principles of the United Nations and its development system have become fundamental motivating principles for UN Women. The principles are: (1) Affirmation of justice and equality. (2) Inclusiveness - dedication of appropriate efforts towards women who are excluded and/or in poverty, marginalized groups, women with HIV / AIDS, rural women, women from ethnic and racial minorities, women with disabilities, and indigenous women. Such inclusiveness includes addressing male partnership roles in assisting the development of gender equality and women's rights. (3) United Nations system coherence: measurable outcomes and results for Member Nations in terms of performance, accountability, transparency, and effectiveness, that contribute and promote the core advantages and…

Sources Used in Documents:


Elmendorf, Edward. "UN Women." PEACE In Action. 25 Nov. 2010. Web. <>.

"Executive Board of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women." (2011): 2-25. Web. .

Huang. "Forms of Feminist Movement in Europe and China." Comparative Study in Cross-cultural and Political Perspective 2005, 1-6. Web.
Krolokke, Charlotte. "The Three Waves of Feminism." (2005): 1-24. Web. < / upmdata/6236_Chapter_1_Krolokke_2nd_Rev_Final_Pdf.pdf >.
Motta, Sara, Cristina Flesher Fominaya, Catherine Eschle, and Laurence Cox. "Feminism, Women's Movements and Women in Movement." A Journal for and about Social Movements 3.2 (2011): 1-32. Web. <> Nov.-Dec. 2014.
"About UN Women." UN Women. UN Women, n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2014. <>.
"UNW Annual Report ," (2011): 1-33. Web. <" target="_blank" REL="NOFOLLOW">>.
"UNW Annual Report ," (2012): 1-33. Web. < / publications/2012/un-women-ar-2012%20pdf.pdf >.
"UNW Annual Report ," (2013): 1-33. Web. <>.
"Women's Suffrage Obstacles to Overcome." N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2014. .

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