Thematic Axis

1. Bodies and sexualities 

Thinking about the body, gender and sexuality in the Humanities and Social Sciences has developed in the end of the last century and the new millennium,  challenging and expanding the notions and expectations concerning bodies, genders and sexualities. To a large extent, these reflections contributed to shatter e closed, limited and binary readings of bodies and sexuality. In this thematic axis, the objective is to broaden this discussion, exploring, criticizing and challenging assumptions, principles and perspectives regarding the Body and Sexuality.

We encourage reflections that problematize and theorize bodies and sexuality in the contemporary neoliberal context; LGBTQI+ sexual diversity; bodies’ political economy; the impact of heteronormativity; sex work, among other associated topics.

 

2. Violence against women

Violence against women is one of the public health and development problems in several countries and, specifically, in Mozambique. The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) Article 1 says: “Gender-based violence is the act of violence based on belonging to the female sex that has or can result in physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering for women; it includes threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, both in the public or private life domain.” Gender-based violence is produced and reproduced in power relationships in which categories of gender, class, race and ethnicity are intertwined. A particular form of global violence founded upon a the patriarchal order delegates on men the right to dominate and control “their women” and make the use of violence for this purpose.

Some preliminary questions are present in this problematization, such as: how does CEDAW have an impact on women’s daily lives? Are there other alternative forms of fight/resistance that women use to assert their rights? In this axis, therefore, the submission of proposals that discuss aspects of violence against women and other related issues is encouraged.

 

3. Economic autonomy and women’s work

We are currently experiencing a cycle of neo-liberal capitalism based on the neo-colonial plunder of the natural wealth of the global South (extractivism), the radical devaluation of work (wage earners or not), financial speculation (financialization) and the destruction of democracy (authoritarianism). This system, in addition to transforming women and their bodies into objects at the service of their ideals and projects, drastically impoverishes women and takes away their power to decide about their lives and the lives of their communities and societies.

In this thematic axis, we seek to discuss and reflect on, among other topics: the links between the contemporary neo-liberal political economy and the oppressions of women; alternatives designed and led by women; the work and the rights of those who work, especially women; reconciliation between paid labor and family and parental life; feminist perspectives on the sexual division of labor; economic inclusion of women through income and work; public policies for women’s economic redistribution and autonomy; care work for the production of life that is worth living.

 

4. Public services and their impact on the daily lives of women and girls

One of the characteristics of the policies advocated by the so-called Structural Adjustments imposed on countries by the Bretton Woods institutions, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (BM), is the State’s lack of responsibility towards the provision of universal and quality public services. We are increasingly witnessing the dismantling of redistribution policies through less access to public goods that greatly contribute to the dignity and well-being of the people and promote social equity and justice. We know that the absence of schools, day-care centers and kindergartens, health care, social security, care for older people increases the work of women and hinders their full citizenship, participation and well-being.

In this thematic axis, we want to discuss, among other issues, the absence of public services in our countries and the impacts of this reality on the lives of women and girls. We also want to know ways of fighting, resistances and alternatives to reverse the policies of neglect and weakening of the social function of States, and also, other ways of understanding which non-state public services can be governed by  horizontal and cooperative / communitary logics.

 

5. Common goods

Common Goods are reservoirs of wealth and of knowledge that need to be taken care of as they belong to a community, a group. Land, water, forests, air and biodiversity are the most common examples of the materiality of the wealth of Common Goods. Equally rich, knowledge includes knowledges, values and practices inherited from ancestors that must be passed on to future generations. By consisting essentially on a relationship of shared ownership, because they are not commodities, therefore, not tradable, the Common Goods challenge the concept of private property.

The objective of this axis is to increase the knowledge about the ways to preserve Common Goods as a front of resistance to the imposition of the neoliberal model of privatization of all spheres of social and natural life and to destroy and erase ancestral knowledge. Its main objective is to exchange experiences on how to take care of Common Goods so that communities are strengthened in the face of predatory impositions by the international financial organizations.

 

6. Peace and demilitarization

One of the greatest threats facing humanity is the widespread increase in military spending and the development of control and surveillance techniques to serve the purposes of the Global War on Terrorism. The obsession with the so-called securization of societies prevails on a planetary scale and the war discourse consolidates the image of the enemy that dehumanizes people everywhere. That is why projects that strengthen community bonds, mutual trust, care and affection are so important, so that they can help to reverse the impacts of the fear discourse which brings setback with regard to people’s fundamental rights.

It is therefore necessary to analyze the impacts of militarization from a feminist perspective so that there is a real transformation in international relations and the idea of human security. For these reasons, in this thematic axis we want to reflect on alternatives and other approaches on peace and security, such as: human security, energy security, climate security, reconciliation, demilitarization. In this thematic axis of the MM2020, we intend to expand the existing proposals that create a Culture of Peace that has the sustainability of life at its center.

 

7. Land, Extractivism and Climate Change

We cannot endorse the current narrative that states that environmental problems are universally felt. Therefore MM2020 invites participants to reflect on the specific ways in which these issues affect and involve women or are gendered in many ways. In the Global South, this interwoven relationship takes on new shapes when the experience of colonialism and coloniality is highlighted. This colonialism has been upgraded through predatory neo-extraction, landgrabbing (land usurpation) and developmentalists projects, among others, whose relations of exploitation of land and communities result in injustice and environmental conflicts. The inevitability of climate change can also be an invitation to problematize which bodies and places are most likely to experience the effects of extreme events, such as floods, hurricanes and other environmental disasters and daily difficulties, such as access to drinking water).

In this sense, we consider that discussions that address this necessary interweaving between environmental and gender issues (and their intersections with race, class, ethnicity and generation) can contribute to a better understanding of current resistance processes, political struggles and the search for alternatives to the exploration of nature and subjects. For this reason, in this axis, we welcome proposals for Workinars whichaddress environmental issues and their links with the lives of the population, in general, and of women, in particular. We encourage researchers from the various fields of knowledge, as well as members of social movements and/or other civil society associations, to share with us their theoretical reflections, research results (completed or in progress), methodological dilemmas and/or experience and mobilization testimonies.

 

8. Gender, Language and Power

The connections between gender and language in social practices are implicated in power relations, in the production and reproduction of values and in the political conflicts and violence resulting from them in different communities. Thus, gender works, from different perspectives, as a category of analysis relevant both for the study of linguistic phenomenon as well as for a theoretical understanding of how different cultures present different interpretations about them. Analyzing such a category in language research includes an attentive look at the different forms of power, such as the patriarchal, colonial and capitalist, sexism, heterosexism, elitism, racism, among other issues. To this end, we can start from some questionings, such as: how have the changes in the contemporary role of women and gender relations caused theoretic-methodological changes in Language Studies? What is the relevance of the intersectional perspective – which articulates gender, race and class – for such studies? How to transform the colonial and patriarchal knowledge paradigms within the scope of an Afrocentric and critical science in North/South and South-South cooperation? How can the knowledge and practices of African women (also in the diaspora) permeate the epistemologies and methodologies of research on language and power?

Therefore, this Thematic Axis aims to gather investigations on the role of the gender category in the studies of language and literature within the interests of Theory and Linguistic Analysis, Sociolinguistics, Linguistic Policy, Discourse Analysis, Linguistic Anthropology, Literature, Translation and related areas.

 

9. Concrete feminist utopias

Despite the achievements reached by women towards equal rights, we know that we are still far from eradicating their subordination and oppression. In addition, women continue to be held responsible for unplanned pregnancies, child care, rape and harassment of which they are victims and for all types of violence they suffer, whether from their spouses or from various political, cultural, religious institutions, and economic misogynies in their societies.

Many of the solutions already proposed by the policies of international agencies, governments or even civil society organizations are decontextualized and, therefore, end up excluding many women who do not see themselves reflected in them or do not understand them. It is in such context that in this axis we intend to promote a space for feminist political reflection, from the bottom up and rehearsing alternative and radical worlds, capable of freeing women from hetero-patriarchy, from new forms of colonialism, racism and contemporary capitalism. We want to be a space for transgression, debate and imagination of the worlds of women who, with boldness, defy all violence, all injustices, all the norms that prevent women from being happy, free and emancipated.

 

10. Social imaginary, corridors of oppression and emancipation

The objective of this thematic axis is to gather reflections on the coexistence between so-called “tradition” and “modernity” – in the field of activism, art and academia, in order to give visibility to the productions of other knowledges that emerge from day-to-day practices, from the living experiences of women who are always subordinated, peripheralized and marginalized from the hegemonic places of knowledge production. We wish to build a space  to look at these themes that bring controversies, ambiguities, paradoxes, the (un)binarized perspective of the world; the displacement of perspective, the epistemic restlessness, the struggles and resistances of contexts that exist and (re)exist, producing and reproducing  thoughts and struggles that reinvent everyday lives. Perspectives that cross  different cultures,  glances narrated in the first person, with people (and not about people), visualizing different modes of thinking and questioning the analysis of common sense and objectified production, producing theoretical, methodological as well as alternatives of social and cultural intervention.

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