Gender and Social Movements

Horn, J., Bhattacharjya, M. and Caro, P.
Bridge Cutting Edge Packs
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Social movements worldwide are a critical force for progressive social transformation, and have proven effective in generating change at levels that policy, law and development interventions alone have not achieved.

Women's rights activists and feminists globally have been active both in building women's movements and participating in other progressive social movements. However, women's active participation in social mobilisation does not guarantee that movements will take on the struggle for women's rights or embrace more just forms of gender power relations in their politics and practice.

This In Brief bulletin, part of BRIDGE's Cutting Edge Pack on gender and social movements, explains why it is so important for all progressive social movements to commit to thinking about and transforming women's rights and patriarchal power relations, both in their external-facing activism and their internal cultures and practices. It considers some of the challenges that movements face in doing this, and sets out some ‘routes to gender-just movements’ that can be tried and adapted in different mobilisation settings.

The two case studies, produced collaboratively with activists and movement leaders, illustrate some of these routes in action: in the global human rights movement, and the CLOC-Via Campesina movement in Latin America.

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