Session Submission Summary

Direct link:

Transnational Feminist Activism and Theorizing in China and Taiwan: Reflections 20 years after the UN Women's Conference in Beijing

Tue, June 23, 4:05 to 6:00pm, South Building, Floor: 7th Floor, S719

Session Submission Type: Organized Panel Proposal Application


The year 2015 marks the twentieth anniversary of the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. Focusing on the transnational/transborder development of feminist activism and scholarship in China since then, this panel traces the influence of the Conference, reflects upon current challenges, and explores strategies, referencing how themes and practices initiated then are playing out today. The panel starts with the reflections of a participant in the 1995 conference on her experience as an international NGO representative, and on her changing understanding of cultures of women’s human rights in transnational China. The panel also surveys the ways contemporary women's activism in China has been encouraged, enlightened, and equipped by the staging of the Conference, through an examination of activist practices since the late 1990s. Across the Straits, a feminist scholar takes on another Conference theme: gender mainstreaming. In the light of experiences in implementing the Gender Impact Assessment in Taiwan, the panel highlights the crucial role of oppositional women’s movements in addressing challenges and pitfalls in progressive governmental reform. As one of a new generation of Chinese feminists who “came of age” after the 1995 Conference, a US-based Chinese feminist scholar reflects on the “grafting” of foreign feminist theories into a Chinese context in an era of Anglophone dominance in knowledge production. Looking back and looking forward, this panel aims to contribute to the discussion of the development of feminisms in China, by asking: what have we achieved? What lessons have we learned? What are our future strategies?

Area of Study

Session Organizer


Individual Presentations