Feminist participatory action research (FPAR) for transnational feminism in Asia
The Routledge International Handbook of Critical Participatory Inquiry in Transnational Research Contexts
Taylor & Francis / Routledge
School of Arts and Humanities
This chapter explores FPAR as a methodology to foster transnational feminist movements for women’s human rights. It begins with an analysis of the transnational context of feminism in Asia and examines the methodological foundations of FPAR. We consider FPAR theory and practice to operate at the nexus of globalization, fundamentalisms, militarism, and patriarchy and contend that marginalized women’s experiences are reproduced intergenerationally and transnationally by these interlocking violent systems. We discuss two case studies from Southeast Asia demonstrating how FPAR can be an effective methodology to generate knowledge and mobilize action to strengthen grassroots feminist movements and challenge neocolonial, patriarchal power structures that violate women’s human rights: (1) Uma Indigenous women in the Philippines using FPAR to build resistance against Chevron’s geothermal energy project in defense of their Indigenous territory, livelihoods, and self-determination; and (2) women workers in 15 garment factories in Yangon using FPAR to organize themselves to demand a living wage, labor rights, and corporate accountability. We end the chapter by discussing strengths and challenges of FPAR for fostering transnational movements for women’s human rights and identifying opportunities for human rights activists and scholars to engage in FPAR as an effective, decolonial methodology for South-North transnational feminist activism.