12. The role(s) of women in diasporic mobilization

The role(s) of women in diasporic mobilization: a feminist peace research perspective

Convenors: Caecilie Svop Jensen, Zahra Edalati & Dr. Élise Féron, Tampere University

Contact: caecilie.svopjensen (at) tuni.fi

Format: Hybrid

Gendered perspectives in research on diaspora mobilization are scarce and few studies focus on women’s perspectives in diaspora mobilization and activism. Contrary to migration studies, incorporating gender perspectives in diaspora studies is a rather recent trend (Féron 2021). In this context we propose a panel focusing on how women participate in political mobilization for 'homeland' issues and how they express agency in diasporic settings. Incorporating women’s perspectives and feminist approaches into studying how, why and when diasporas mobilize, helps deconstruct essentialist and homogenizing views of ‘diaspora’ and highlights the inherent complexities of such a category. Women’s experiences are often silenced and overlooked in favor of gendered understandings of diasporas as ‘male’ and in the process of patriarchal structures' reproduction from the home country.

Feminist peace research (FPR) is useful for precisely its focus on systems of knowledge and power, and for its concern with the differentiated experiences of men and women. We invite scholars who work on diasporic mobilization and women to share their research and in particular to discuss the relevance of intersectional and FPR-approaches to generate more nuanced views on diasporas and mobilization. By drawing attention to mobilization, we seek to explore the ways women in diasporas express agency and participate in political activism and mobilization as agents of change.

We propose a panel to explore different cases dealing with women diasporic participation in political mobilization and to discuss the different uses of FPR in this context. After each case has been presented (10-minute presentations) we will discuss, based on the cases presented, the uses of Feminist peace research in the nexus of women and diasporas. We welcome any papers highlighting women’s diasporic mobilization using intersectional or feminist perspectives. We are particularly interested in diasporic mobilization related to ‘homeland’ issues or conflict areas. Critical contributions can depart from these questions/ themes but do not need to be bound by them. The discussion will be chaired by Dr. Élise Féron, co-editor of the Routledge Feminist Peace Research Handbook (2021).