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Global Feminist Profiles: Glocal Activists in Korea

May 18, 2009

Global Feminist Profiles highlights feminist leaders all over the world who are creating change and empowering their countrywomen to demand equality.

Last summer I had the pleasure of meeting a group of visionary feminist from Korea  in Mexico City.  The women had envisioned a global network of local feminist activists that they were calling the Glocal Activist Network (글로컬액티비즘), and were traveling the world to recruit organizations and individuals to join up.

The word Glocal is a “geolexical construct” that is a linguistic and theoretical combination of global and local.  The concept is based on the feminists’ conception of feminism in a globalized era characterized by a “global patriarchal system… enhanced by militarism, capitalism, imperialism and fundamentalism.”

glocalThe Network for Glocal Activism was officially established April 18, 2009, by representatives from South Africa, Mexico, China and South Korea to build international ties between feminists and move beyond the North-South, first world-third world paradigm.

gaphee koGaphee Ko was one of the original founders of the NGA and is currently a member of the NGA Establishment Committee, and has written on gender and sexuality and markets, and is now a sex work activist in Korea.  She says, “our movement will be based on the ideological paradigm of feminism through which Green-Red-Purple can be brought together.”

Read: Green for the environmental movement, Red for Marxism and the labor movement, and Purple for feminism.  One of the important issues for the NGA is the “gendered and sexualized nature of female labour.  Domestic work, sex work, care work, and irregular work…”

I see it as hugely important the international feminist work focus on the material economic structures that constrain women’s lives and define their opportunities.  The NGA will be doing invaluable theoretical work that should inform our future practice as feminist activists all over the world.

For more information on the Network for Glocal Activism, see their webpage or email them.

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  1. Korean Feminist Reader: May 25 2009 (Updated) « The Grand Narrative

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