Since the idea of “women's rights as human rights” emerged, there has been a wave of international donors, organizations and transnational feminist activists successfully delivering pressure and resources in the struggle to mitigate violence against women worldwide. Through these transnational networks, decisions regarding which local problems to address and how to manage them are often made at the international level. Most scholarship has rightly celebrated the advances for women's rights that have been made possible due to the impact of international organizations and transnational advocacy networks. However, there are many dilemmas that arise from this North-centric approach to assigning and managing priorities – especially among development aid organizations. Coordination with international donors is often necessary and has been a major source of advances. However, there are still some potentially harmful impacts of having to engage in these networks in order to address violence against women – including a disproportionate focus on short-term results while neglecting long-term goals. This article articulates these dilemmas and explains how international feminist human rights norms can be more successfully translated into a stronger sense of solidarity across borders and more sustainable advances for women. Examples are drawn from the Central American countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua.
- Central America
- human rights
- transnational advocacy networks
- violence against women
- women's rights