Women and Community Action: Local and Global Perspectives

Women and Community Action: Local and Global Perspectives

by Lena Dominelli


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Although much progress has yet to be made, societal roles for women in the world today differ greatly from those which prevailed in the late 1980s, when Women and Community Action was first published. This third edition updates some of the perennial questions facing women on issues like governance, roles in their communities, homes, workplaces, corporations, domestic work, and interpersonal relationships. It also engages with some of the newer issues, namely digital exclusion, empowerment across the life cycle, sustainable community development and environmental justice, and building community resilience post-disasters.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781447341567
Publisher: Bristol University Press
Publication date: 06/22/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Lena Dominelli is chair in applied social sciences in the School of Applied Social Sciences and codirector at the Institute of Hazards, Risk and Resilience Research at Durham University.

Table of Contents

List of boxes and figures ix

Acknowledgements xi

Preface: actioning our futures from our pasts xiii

1 Introduction: community, an undervalued women's space 1

Introduction 1

Communities as complex entities 2

Conceptual framework 4

(Re)conceptualising communities 7

Mainstream models of community work 13

Emerging forms of community work 23

The book's structure 27

2 Creating and recreating communities as gendered entities 31

Introduction 31

Gendered social relations 33

Feminist challenges to traditional community work 38

Gendering key concepts in community work 40

Conclusion 48

3 Women and social action: social change at the individual level 49

Introduction 49

Feminist approaches to women's emotional well-being 50

Advocacy: a basis for individual and collective action 61

Feminist community-based social action on health issues: women challenge health professionals 63

Consciousness-raising groups 73

Conclusion 75

4 Women and social action: social change through group activities and networks 77

Introduction 77

Changing the world for women, men and children by beginning with women 78

Challenging medical expertise 80

Characteristics of feminist groups, networks and campaigns 85

Collective organisation 85

Identifying which problems feminists address 87

Women organising across diverse boundaries 89

Organising aids, techniques and tips 93

Conclusion 106

5 Social change through collective action: campaigns and mass mobilisations 107

Introduction 107

Feminist campaigns and social action 108

Childcare campaigns 113

#MeToo campaign against sexual harassment in the workplace 116

Greenham Common: women's contributions to feminist campaigns involving political action on peace 117

The impact of the Greenham Common Women's Peace 125

Movement on traditional community action Making allies 128

Conclusion 129

6 Feminist action in the workplace 131

Introduction 131

Waged work and domestic labour are interlinked 132

Women's lot: unpaid domestic work and low-paid waged labour 132

Women's unequal engagement in the workplace 135

Feminist workplace initiatives 137

Childcare campaigns connect domestic work and waged labour 139

Eldercare: work undertaken in the home 142

Recognition of caring work: organising around old age is a workplace issue 146

Older women's organisations impact both the workplace and wider society 148

Women workers and women service users: shared interests 150

'We're all in it together' - women against pit closures 152

Feminist prefigurative forms 153

Contemporary struggles for equal pay 157

Conclusion 158

7 Increasing women's positions in parliament, governance and decision-making structures 159

Introduction 159

Feminist political action nationally in the UK 160

Feminists target the political realm 163

Feminist social action in British public relational space 164

Feminism and British municipal socialism 166

Autonomous feminist political organisations: lessons from Iceland 169

Feminist political action outside electoral politics 172

Ecofeminism and redefining economic and environmental issues 174

Conclusion 176

8 Sustainable community development 177

Introduction 177

Sustainability, modernity and globalisation 178

Poverty eradication is crucial to sustainable development processes 184

The focus on micro-level sustainability in community work 185

The Community Development Projects 186

Mainstream community work continues to monetarise sustainability 191

Sustainable income-generation projects 194

Microfinance schemes: micro-level sustainable income-generation projects 195

Empowering social capital 196

Facilitative factors in supporting social development 198

Conclusion 199

9 International policy changes and mainstreaming women's actions in communities 201

Introduction 201

International attempts to challenge gender inequalities 202

UNWomen: a global initiative to improve conditions for all women 214

Meeting women's welfare concerns: the general and specifics 214

The Millennium Development Goals 216

The Sustainable Development Goals 217

Country-based initiatives 218

Conclusion 219

10 Conclusions 221

Introduction 221

Supporting women: changing and transforming policies and practices 221

Organising women in the community 222

Feminist community action and the future 225

Feminist theory and practice: guiding principles 226

Contributions by feminist community work and social action to mainstreaming gender equality 229

Changing social work practice 229

Conclusion 231

Bibliography 233

Index 271

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