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The Impact of Contemporary Women's Movements in Multicultural Europe Beatrice Halsaa Senter for tverrfaglig kjønnsforskning Universitetet i Oslo Foredrag på Kvinnekonferanse 2013 - 100 år med rett til å stemme Universitetet i Tromsø 28-30 august. The FEMCIT project 2007-1011:

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The Impact of Contemporary Women's Movements in Multicultural Europe Beatrice Halsaa

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The Impact of Contemporary Women's Movements in Multicultural Europe

Beatrice Halsaa

Senter for tverrfagligkjønnsforskning

Universiteteti Oslo


Kvinnekonferanse 2013 - 100 år med rett til å stemme

UniversitetetiTromsø 28-30 august

The FEMCIT project 2007-1011:

financed by the EU

40 researchers

comprehensive research in 13 European states, covering the North, East, West and South

covering the period from the late 1960s

Modest statements:

But there is no indication that as yet, despite its enormous growth, the organized women’s liberation movement can claim more than nuisance value

Women’s liberation movement is, in concept and organization, the most public revolutionary movement ever to have existed. It is able to make the most revolutionary statements in public without anyone seeming bothered

Juliet Mitchell (1973): Women’s Estate

The impact of women’s movements:



women’s movements change, and do not have porous borders,

women’s movements are not the only actors, thus

impactcannot easily be separated from the impact of other social movements, of media, public policies etc.

it matters if you assess short or long-time impact, and

movement impact is related to political opportunities, timing, and last but not least specific issue.

Impact on everyday life and women’s self-esteem matters.

Virginia Woolf in A Room of One’s Own:

"Women have served all these centuries as looking-glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of man at twice its natural size. (…) That serves to explain in part the necessity that women so often are to men. (…) How is he to go on giving judgement, civilizing natives, making laws, writing books, dressing up and speechifying at banquets, unless he can see himself at breakfast and at dinner at least twice the size he really is?"


Hilde Danielsen (red.) 2013 (Whenthe personal becamepoltical. The newwomen- and men’smovement in the 1970’s)

Runa Haukaa, authorof «Bak slagordene»,

aboutthenewwomen’smovement in

Norway, from 1982.

The first and onlycomprehensive

discussionofthe«new» movementuntil2013

Foto: Nina S. Strand,

(Kampdager, KILDEN)

FEMCIT: Gendered Citizenship in Multicultural Europe: The Impact of Contemporary Women’s Movements 2007-2011

comprehensive comparative research

Demands, practices and impact of women’s movements activism

6 dimensions of citizenship: intimate, bodily, multicultural, social, economic and political

21 sub-projects on selected feminist issues

ethnicity/racialization as a cross-cutting issue

Remaking Citizenship:

New understandings, overall assessments, policy input and recommendations

  • Cross citizenship dimension analysis:

  • Reconsidering core concepts, sensitising questions, close cross-WP readings,.

  • Women’s movements, gender and diversity as common threads

  • Political

  • Citizenship

  • Issues:

  • - quotas

  • being repr.

  • -female repr.

  • Cases:

  • Macedonia

  • Poland

  • Sweden

  • UK

  • Social

  • Citizenship:

  • Issues:

  • - child care

  • parental leave

  • Cases:

  • Czech Rep.

  • Finland

  • Norway

  • Spain

  • Economic

  • Citizenship

  • Issues:

  • - employment

  • elderly care

  • Cases:

  • France

  • Norway

  • Poland

Ethnic and




- violence

- faith





  • Bodily and

  • Sexual

  • Citizenship

  • Issues:

  • - abortion

  • prostitution

  • Cases:

  • Czech Rep.

  • Netherlands

  • Portugal

  • Sweden

  • Intimate

  • Citizenship:

  • Issues:

  • -partnership

  • repr. rights

  • sexual identities

  • sexual violence

  • Cases:

  • Bulgaria

  • Norway

  • Portugal

  • UK

Contemporary Women’s movements: Citizenship claims and practices

Example: violence against women

  • Examples of critical acts:

  • Shelters for women

  • Crimes against Women: International Tribunal in Brussels, 1976

  • 1981 Activists mark Nov. 25

  • Examples of impact:

  • 1993 UN Declaration to Eliminate Violence against Women

  • 1997 EWL Observatory on Violence against Women

  • 1999 UN declares Nov. 25 International Day against Violence against Women

Example from Spain: Law 1/2004 on Comprehensive Protection Measures against Gender Violence

Result of the feminist movement’s efforts since 1993

A 'pioneering' law:

  • defines gender violence as a problem of gender inequality: 'the most brutal symbol of gender inequality' (the Preamble), defined as result of patriarchal structures,

  • direct consequence of unequal power relationships between men and women

  • Special Courts for the hearing of cases of VAW, and a special prosecutor for crimes against women

Impact on law and policy – a continuum:

Access impact: new voices are being listened to: YES

Agenda impact: new demands on the political agenda; YES

Policy impact: adoption of legislation or policy in line with demands; YES

Output impact: measures to ensure the new legislation – ??

Full impact: when/ if the underlying hardships are removed or lessened - NO

FEMCIT has explored

women’s movements mobilisation and organizations

women’s movements claims and frames

women’s movements impact/ resonance/ transformations

for individual citizens; civil society, policy-making

on selected issues in selected countries

FEMCIT openingconference

FEMCIT PhDcourse in Prague

Bodilycitizenship: prostitution


Abortion rights advocates gather in Smith Park in Jackson, Mississippi, to rally support for a woman's right to an abortion, Saturday, July 15, 2006. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)


  • a core demand of feminist movements –

  • this demand has obviously been influential

  • Western democracies have aligned themselves to the normative models of women’s economic citizenship that were prevalent in many of the ex-Soviet countries prior to 1989

    Measures to reduce the “double burden” that limits women’s access to full economic citizenship have been largely predicated on the “activation” of women workers through the “commodification” of care services to households with (elderly) care needs. - the family 'going public' (Hernes, 1987:135)

A “win-win” scenario of the “de-gendered” universal citizen worker paradigm?

Or producing new forms of segregation between “minoritized” and “majoritized” women on the labour market?

In all of the countries studied in FEMCIT economic citizenship group (France, Poland, Norway), migrant and “minoritized” social groups face a series of obstacles in gaining access to economic citizenship rights on the same basis as majority groups


  • Gaypride, Oslo 2013

  • Lesbianmothers’ section

Minorityethnicwomen – indigenous, Roma, migrant women


From an art exhibition, Holsmbu, Norway


The legacy of women’s movements:

Transformations of culture; everyday life

new norms and practices of mothering, parenting, intimacy

new notions and cultural expressions

Access for women - procedural changes

access to employment, to political and religious institutions, education etc.

Policy changes - substantive changes

gender equality policies, mainstreaming, quotas, abortion on demand, gender research etc.

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