So, what are we referring to when we talk about international feminist networks?
These networks are built through the solidarity and collaboration of feminist movements scattered around the world.
From an international feminist network has emerged a feminist transnational movement that allows women’s experiences to transcend the boundaries of nation states.
For instance, nationally based actions, like the strikes of 2016 in Poland to oppose the country’s ban on abortion, and the strike in Argentina to protest against femicide, have become a transnational movement by influencing other feminists around the world to strike together.
These strikes include a new kind of politics that considers a wide range of issues like unaffordable housing, poverty wages, inadequate healthcare, border policing, and climate change. Issues that impact gender relations and experiences not only at the national level but in a geopolitical context.
It is important, as highlighted on “feminism for the 99%”, that this transnational feminism focuses on the fight with and for the many. The many include the poor, and working-class women, racialized and migrant women, queer, trans, disabled women, and women encouraged to see themselves as “middle-class” even while they are being exploited as all the above.
We are currently going through a crisis of economy, ecology, and politics which represents an opportunity not only for the ones who are currently in positions of authority and have the power to reconfigure the system for their own benefit, but it also represents an opportunity for a different movement, one that fights with and for the many, to guide the process of societal transformation.
For this movement to have a real impact, it must be transnational in order to mobilise the greatest number, and this mobilisation is best led through a collaboration among an international feminist network.
For one thing, and as outlined in “Transnational Feminist Theory and Practice: An Introduction”, international feminist networks should not aim at developing a unified theory, but rather at highlighting the interdependencies, connections, contradictions and discontinuities of gender experiences in multiple contexts, and at destabilising assumptions that women around the world share the same types of experiences, oppressions, forms of exploitation and privileges.
However, while keeping in mind our different experiences, international feminist networks can’t lose sight of the common enemy, the social-structural factors like economic realities and global capitalism, which were born from racist and colonial violence, and cultivate divisions of culture, race, ethnicity, ability, sexuality and gender.
Transnational feminism is an opportunity for feminist movements to come together and challenge past conceptions of worldviews in order to reshape them. It is an opportunity to deepen understanding of the causes of oppression, who benefits from it and how to overcome it. It can generate a reinterpretation of movement interests, it can redefine hopes and broaden the meaning of what is possible.