Translocal Women's Human Rights Advocacy Between Nariño and Geneva. An Ethnographical Approach

"According to several activists and scholars, the integration of the women's human rights frame in law and public policy is the most important achievement of Colombian feminist movement. With the incorporation of the international human rights treaties in local legal order, through its integration if the bloc of Constitutionality by the new Constitution of 1991, juridical arena became an imperative scene for collective action, not only for feminist mobilization but also for LGBTI, indigenous, Afro-descendant, ecologist, peasant and other minority collectivities. Nonetheless, in Colombia there is a parallel increase of human rights bureaucracy and socio political violence against human rights defenders, especially against women leaders. This fact is an important characteristic of the current transformation that the Colombian state traverses. In this investigation I will explore the ways in which the concept of women's human rights, frequently paired with the idea of differential approach, circulates across three levels: the international, the national and the departmental, linking Geneva (Switzerland) and Nariño (Colombia). My purpose is to depict the contested processes through which such a concept has been inserted into the standard language of both women's activism and public action practices in Colombia, in order to uncover the power relations and tensions that are hidden on that apparent agreement.The research include an inquiry of the way in which women's rights discourses are used and contested in the institutional macro-level of politics, policymaking and law; and it will also explore the way in which these categories are mobilized, shaped, questioned and interpreted in micro level practices, through the concrete political experiences of members of women's grassroots associations in Nariño. Through ethnographic fieldwork, the ways in which different sectors understand the practice of human rights will de depicted, in the encounter among feminism, ethnic minorities and peasant activism in Colombia. The translocal circulation of ideas such as women's human rights, minorities' rights and differential approach or multidimensional marginalization, has made more visible these historical social struggles. Existing literature will be completed by tracing processes through which the tensional encounter among feminism, human rights activism, minority and peasant mobilization takes place, in the very particular Colombian context, marked by the persistence of violence. Three different nodes of the translocal arena as well as the experiences of diverse grassroots organizations will be considered. The connections among local dynamics and its relations with the transnational circulation of the ideas under study will be traced. Mobilizing an ethnographic perspective in order to capture meanings, as well as a sociological approach to grasp institutional changes that are currently taking place, a multidimensional account will be constructed. In this manner, the connection between subjective experiences, macro processes of transformation of the Colombian state, and global processes of circulation of social science concepts and political claims, will be highlighted. This research will contribute to the fields of gender studies, anthropology and sociology of human rights, and sociology of the international circulation of ideas.


PhD Director(s):
Grégoire Mallard
Notes:
Jury member(s): Christine Verschuur



 Record created 2017-05-11, last modified 2018-01-29


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