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Jutta Joachim

Much has been written about the transnational women’s movement to date. Adding anything new therefore seems no easy task. This is why this chapter offers instead some critical reflections on the relationship between the structural context through which quite a bit of the organizing at the international level took and still takes place—non-governmental organizations (NGOs)—and a central movement goal, gender equality. Looking historically and at different periods in time, I argue that this relationship has not always been an easy one. While NGOs have offered spaces for women’s activists to work together across geographical boundaries and to place gender equality on the international agenda, their role was ambivalent and also contested. As much as they were perceived as important vehicles for coordination, these organizations were also seen as reinforcing existing power structures, as platforms for only the privileged, and as being responsible for a growing disconnect between movement leadership and constituents.

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Jutta Joachim and Natalia Dalmer