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Transnationalism Reversed: Women Organizing Against Gendered Violence in Bangladesh

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Acid attacks against women and girls have captured the attention of the global media, with several high-profile reports ranging from the BBC to The Oprah Winfrey Show. In Bangladesh, reasons for the attacks include women's rejection of sexual advances from men, refusal of marriage proposals, family or land disputes, and unmet dowry demands. The consequences are multiple: p Acid attacks against women and girls have captured the attention of the global media, with several high-profile reports ranging from the BBC to The Oprah Winfrey Show. In Bangladesh, reasons for the attacks include women's rejection of sexual advances from men, refusal of marriage proposals, family or land disputes, and unmet dowry demands. The consequences are multiple: permanent marks on the body, disfiguration, and potential blindness. In Transnationalism Reversed, Elora Halim Chowdhury explores the complicated terrain of women's transnational antiviolence organizing by focusing on the work done in Bangladesh around acid attacks--and the ways in which the state, international agencies, local expatriates, US media, Bangladeshi immigrants in the United States, survivor-activists, and local women's organizations engage the pragmatics and the transnational rhetoric of empowerment, rescue, and rehabilitation. Grounded in careful ethnographic work, oral history, and theoretical and filmic analysis, Transnationalism Reversed makes a significant contribution to conversations around gendered violence, transnational feminist praxis, and the politics of organizing--particularly around NGOs--in the global South.


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Acid attacks against women and girls have captured the attention of the global media, with several high-profile reports ranging from the BBC to The Oprah Winfrey Show. In Bangladesh, reasons for the attacks include women's rejection of sexual advances from men, refusal of marriage proposals, family or land disputes, and unmet dowry demands. The consequences are multiple: p Acid attacks against women and girls have captured the attention of the global media, with several high-profile reports ranging from the BBC to The Oprah Winfrey Show. In Bangladesh, reasons for the attacks include women's rejection of sexual advances from men, refusal of marriage proposals, family or land disputes, and unmet dowry demands. The consequences are multiple: permanent marks on the body, disfiguration, and potential blindness. In Transnationalism Reversed, Elora Halim Chowdhury explores the complicated terrain of women's transnational antiviolence organizing by focusing on the work done in Bangladesh around acid attacks--and the ways in which the state, international agencies, local expatriates, US media, Bangladeshi immigrants in the United States, survivor-activists, and local women's organizations engage the pragmatics and the transnational rhetoric of empowerment, rescue, and rehabilitation. Grounded in careful ethnographic work, oral history, and theoretical and filmic analysis, Transnationalism Reversed makes a significant contribution to conversations around gendered violence, transnational feminist praxis, and the politics of organizing--particularly around NGOs--in the global South.

35 review for Transnationalism Reversed: Women Organizing Against Gendered Violence in Bangladesh

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dana

    In Transnationalism Reversed: Women Organizing against Gendered Violence in Bangladesh, Elora Halim Chowdhury analyzes feminist organizing in Bangladesh. Critiquing the hegemonic developmentalist and saviorist paradigm that saturates global feminism, Chowdhury aims to “shift the discourse of global feminism” which erases the agency of Bangladeshi activists and “essentializes rescuers and victims on either side of the North-South divide.” Thus, she examines how anti-violence activists in Banglade In Transnationalism Reversed: Women Organizing against Gendered Violence in Bangladesh, Elora Halim Chowdhury analyzes feminist organizing in Bangladesh. Critiquing the hegemonic developmentalist and saviorist paradigm that saturates global feminism, Chowdhury aims to “shift the discourse of global feminism” which erases the agency of Bangladeshi activists and “essentializes rescuers and victims on either side of the North-South divide.” Thus, she examines how anti-violence activists in Bangladesh mobilize in diverse ways within the context of local, national, and transnational power structures which are both constraining and enabling. Chowdhury’s analysis pushes us to recognize the “complexities, contradictions, and paradoxes” of transnational feminist organizing often ignored in dominant narratives. A nuanced study, she avoids easy binaries or dismissals, but instead shows the “multiple layers and linkages involved in feminist struggles” to “highlight the unexpected and even unlikely alliances and trajectories the transnational feminist projects may engender.” ----- Excellent analysis, topic, and study. Should be required reading for "development" workers in Bangladesh and those interested in forging feminist solidarity across class/national/ethnic boundaries etc. Did wish the author had foregrounded her own work more so than outside sources; tiring to continually read paragraphs that start with another person (especially in the conclusion).

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  35. 5 out of 5

    Jenno1007

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