Source: Open Democracy

by: Jenny Allsopp

From the student protests in Chile, to the protests of the ‘Arab spring’ in the MENA region, the debate among young feminists about how to reclaim public space reveals tensions between an individualist model of autonomy and a collectivist reclamation of public space. Jenny Allsopp reports on day two of the AWID Forum 2012

A concept that has framed several debates over the last two days at the AWID Forum is that of “visibility” and “invisibility”. We have heard that women’s contribution to the economy is often invisible, that economic power manifests itself in “visible”, “hidden” and “invisible” forms, and, as feminists, we have been called by both Lina Abou-Habin and Boaventura de Sousa Santos to reach beyond the feminist movement in order to be “visible players” in the wider movement for economic justice. Two breakout sessions yesterday, ‘Bringing gender to the streets: young women amidst the Arab uprisings’, and ‘Rebellious young women inherit their mothers’ and grandmothers’ wisdom to gain autonomy’,brought home both the power and the risks that such visibility carries for feminist activists across the globe, as well as the controversy surrounding different ways of “making oneself visible”, or of being exposed.


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