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Advocating feminism: The Latin American Feminist NGO 'Boom'

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Latin American feminist NGOs have played a critical role in 'advocating feminism' by advancing a progressive policy agenda while simultaneously articulating vital linkages among larger women's movement and civil society constituencies. However, three recent developments potentially undermine NGOs' ability to promote feminist-inspired policies and social change. First, States and inter-governmental organizations (IGOs) increasingly have turned to feminist NGOs as gender experts rather than as citizens' groups advocating on behalf of women's rights. Second, neoliberal States and IGOs often view NGOs as surrogates for civil society , assuming they serve as 'intermediaries' to larger societal constituencies. And third, States increasingly subcontract feminist NGOs to advise on or execute government women's programs. Possible strategies for rearticulating the movement-activist and technical-professional faces of NGOs in the region are explored in conclusion.
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Keywords: AMERICA; FEMINIST; GENDER; MOVEMENTS; NON-GOVERNMENTAL; ORGANIZATIONS; POLICY; SOCIETY

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 30 November 1999

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