Tuesday, March 8, 2016
The global feminist movement is the story of the 21st century. It’s time for the feminist organization dearest to my heart, the National Organization for Women, to strengthen its ties to the international feminist movement.
Historically, NOW has been a national organization with a domestic agenda. When NOW was founded in 1966 there was no visible global feminist movement. Much has changed in 50 years, including the capacity to connect with feminist organizations around the world. NOW’s programming at national conferences reflects this; however, NOW has no on-going organizational connections with the global feminist movement.
It’s not at all clear how such connections could be forged. It’s not as though there is one over-arching global feminist organization with which NOW could affiliate. But if we were to figure out how to do this I think NOW would be a lot more attractive to a diverse group of women. Many recent immigrants—-from Africa and the Caribbean, Latin America and Asia—have a global perspective and a reconfigured NOW with an international dimension might be more attractive to such women.
Also younger women whose education is increasingly international in orientation—-e.g., all those study abroad programs—-might be more receptive to a feminist organization directly involved in the global feminist movement.
I’m looking forward to discussing this at NOW’s 50th anniversary conference, June 24-26, 2016!