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Seminar: Filipino Women’s Movements in Transnational Spaces
Date: 28 April 2011 

The School of Modern Languages and Cultures has the pleasure of inviting you to the following Seminar:

Filipino Women’s Movements in Transnational Spaces

Dr. Mina Roces
The University of New South Wales

Date: 28 April, 2011
Time: 12:30 - 2:30
Venue: KKLG103 (K.K. Leung Building)

Filipino organizations argued that activism must be global. They participated in the international women’s movements (through international conferences or in meetings with the United Nations), and were proactive in hosting international conferences in the Philippines. Two important priority feminist issues—trafficking and migration—required networking or lobbying across national boundaries.  Activists lobbied several governments from the United States, to Spain, Italy, Greece, Hong Kong, Singapore and the Middle East to name a few, and international organizations such as the United Nations.  Women’s organizations relied on a huge international network in their advocacy work and engaged with the world as transnational subjects.

This paper focuses on the transnational nature of the women’s movements. I argue that some activists’ decision to locate themselves in the interstices has proved to be an effective strategy.  Straddling national borders allows them to have a continuing dialogue with feminists of all color, injecting Philippine perspectives into international women’s movements, and in so doing, impacting on international feminist debates, and international activism on behalf of all women. Using empirical data and interviews with feminist Catholic nuns and a number of women’s organizations, I explore how the decision to become a transnational activist had a seismic impact on the perspectives and strategies of the women’s movements in the Philippines and on the subjectivities of the transnational actors themselves.  Filipinas aspired to take leadership roles in these international organizations along with first world feminists. In doing so they moved from interrogating “the Filipina woman” to engaging with “the international woman”.

Mina Roces is an Associate Professor in the School of History and Philosophy, The University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.  She is the author of Women, Power and Kinship Politics:  Female Power in Post-War Philippines, (Praeger, 1998), and Kinship Politics in Post-War Philippines, The Lopez Family, 1945-2000 (de la Salle University Press, 2001).  Together with Louise Edwards she has edited a number of books on women in Asia with the most recent ones being Women’s Movements in Asia (Routledge, 2010) and The Politics of Dress in Asia and the Americas (Sussex Academic Press, 2007). She is Book Series Editor of the Sussex Library of Asian Studies (Sussex Academic Press) and Regional Editor for Southeast Asia of the journal Asian Studies Review.  A new book, Women’s Movements and the Filipina, 1985-2008 is currently in press (The University of Hawaii press, 2011 or 2012).


All are welcome.

For enquiries, please contact Ms Christy Ho at

This seminar is co-hosted by the School of Modern Languages and Cultures and the HKU Women's Studies Research Centre.

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