The Gender Impact Studies Center (GISC) at IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi conducted a Three-Day Immersive Online Certificate Training Course on ‘Feminism: Fundamentals, Facets and Future’ from February 23rd to 25th, 2023.
The course, spread over three-consecutive days, introduced the participants to the origins and trajectory of feminism, its contemporary and European aspects, intersectional feminism, feminist theory in India, and the intersection of law and feminism. It initiated a dialogue on the fundamentals and core values of feminist theory and encouraged a feminist consciousness within the participants.
On the first day our second speaker, Roxana Marinescu, Professor, Faculty of International Business and Economics, Department of Modern Languages and Business Communication, Bucharest University of Economic Studies, Romania opened the discussion by talking about the multifaceted landscape of contemporary feminism, drawing a diverse audience eager to engage in a comprehensive exploration of this vital social and political movement.
Overview of the Presentation
Dr. Marinescu’s presentation navigated through the complex world of feminism, bringing forth key themes and challenges:
Dr. Marinescu initiated the discussion by posing the fundamental question: “What is feminism?” The audience actively participated in exploring the intricate nature of feminism, acknowledging that it defies simplistic definitions and categorizations.
Key Principles of Feminism:
Central to the presentation were the core principles of feminism, emphasizing gender equality and equity. Dr. Marinescu emphasized that feminism transcends the binary concept of gender and introduced the audience to the pivotal concept of intersectionality, highlighting how gender discrimination intersects with other identity markers such as race, class, ability, and sexual orientation.
Focus on Women’s Rights:
Three key pillars of feminism were emphasized: equal access to resources, equitable life opportunities for individuals of all genders, and fair representation in political, economic, and social spheres. These principles were explored, elucidating both their theoretical underpinnings and their practical applications in the pursuit of gender justice.
Contemporary Feminist Trends:
The presentation delved into the dynamics of modern feminism, showcasing the diversity of voices within the movement. It was made evident that contemporary feminism extends beyond the traditional focal point of white, middle-class Western women. Dr. Marinescu thoughtfully examined the positive developments, such as increased female representation across various fields, but also pointed out the challenges, including the persistent backlash from right-wing movements and regressive forces.
Emerging Feminist Trends:
The audience was introduced to several emerging trends within feminism. These included an intensified emphasis on intersectionality, the powerful connection between feminism and environmental issues (known as eco-feminism), and the ethics of care, underlining the vital role of care work in our society.
Solidarity and Networking:
Dr. Marinescu underscored the significance of networking and mutual support among feminists, particularly in regions where conservative and neoliberal forces pose significant obstacles. The audience left with a heightened awareness of the importance of unity among feminists from diverse backgrounds to advance gender equality on a global scale.
Dr. Marinescu seamlessly integrated visual aids throughout the presentation, augmenting the audience’s understanding. These aids ranged from a feminist manifesto for the 99% to references of academic journals and thought-provoking films that engage with feminist issues.
Challenges to Contemporary Feminism
In addition to the positive aspects, the presentation did not shy away from discussing the challenges that confront contemporary feminism. The notion of a post-feminist era was examined, alongside the concern that younger generations sometimes revert to traditional gender stereotypes, potentially undoing the hard-won progress of earlier feminist movements.
In conclusion, Dr. Roxana offered a profound understanding of contemporary feminism. Her exploration of the core principles, emerging trends, and the challenges facing the feminist movement left the audience with a profound appreciation of the significance of this ongoing social and political phenomenon.
The presentation served as a reminder that feminism is an ever-evolving force that adapts to the evolving social and political landscape. Dr. Marinescu’s insights and expertise greatly enriched our comprehension of feminism’s fundamentals and its prospective trajectories.
Acknowledgment: Trisha Shivdasan is a research Intern at IMPRI.
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