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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Exploring the route from Nairobi to Beijing plus twenty : feminist activist reflections on rights advocacy Bazilli, Susan Margaret

Abstract

This dissertation consists of five written chapters and a film chapter. The thesis explores how a selected sample of feminist activists used certain international human rights mechanisms and processes within the United Nations (UN) over a thirty-year period, from 1985 to 2015, to achieve women’s equality and human rights. The findings document the opinions and perceptions of forty-five feminist activists working in the transnational feminist movement. The written chapters situate the historical context of that thirty-year time frame within UN world conferences, outline the methodology of the research process and the making of the film, and share the research findings. A review of feminist scholarship is provided on feminist movement theory, violence against women, and international human rights law and policy. The research shows that these feminists believe that engaging with the UN system has strengthened some women’s organizations and coalitions through networking and sharing of strategies. They think that their work has resulted in changes to the UN system itself and to international law and policy on issues of women’s rights, especially violence against women. They believe that global and local perspectives work together as part of a dynamic, intersectional paradigm, wherein different actions and objectives call for different strategies, both globally and domestically. The conclusion reviews current debates about whether and how the transnational women’s movement should continue to engage with the UN system. Supplementary materials available at: http://hdl.handle.net/2429/70230

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