Date of Completion

12-15-2010

Embargo Period

1-1-2001

Open Access

Open Access

Abstract

In this study, the author examines the efforts of one transnational feminist network, the Nepali Women’s Global Network (NWGN) to organize through a conference addressing gender inequality matters that shape the experiences of Nepali women on a global and national level and the variant experiences of conference participants based on their social locations. Recognizing the complexity of individual social change on a personal level as well as process-based institutional social change challenging social norms, the author posits the following two research questions 1) Can conferences organized by feminist networks initiate social change? and 2) How can feminist networks best promote grassroots level social actions? This research contributes to the gender and intersectionality literature in addition to the literature on organizing among diasporic populations. Interviews with fifteen Nepali women who attended the first NWGN Conference held in 2008, nine interviews with participants who attended the 2009 Association of the Nepalis in the Americas (ANA) Convention and a review of NWGN’s influence in lobbying for gender equality in the forthcoming Constitution of Nepal inform this analysis. This research suggests that transnational feminist networks’ strategies for implementing social changes should mirror the thematic concerns and social needs of network audiences to avoid perpetuating marginalized statuses based on the intersections of participants’ education, movement ideology, and social capital. This project also reveals the need for the broad communication of network ideas both outside of the participant base and within the network for the expansion of opportunities for outreach.

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