This panel presents diverse ethnographic cases of women who have emerged as leaders in local and global contexts. It assesses whether having women at the helm makes a difference, and if so how; and whether women's leadership extends the meaning of gender and sociopolitical action.
Current trends in social research reveal that women's multiple modalities of activism and leadership are extending both the meanings of gender and the contours of social action and political engagement across a number of formal and informal domains within civil society, government, and the economic sphere. Both in the Global North and South, women are taking up the challenge to lead in struggles for subsistence security, environmental sustainability, health and wellbeing, reconciliation and peace, and dignity and freedom. This panel features ethnographic cases of women who are emerging as leaders in local as well as global contexts. Papers will critically assess whether having women at the helm of non-governmental organizations, social movements, or political systems makes a difference. Do the form, logic, and content of women in leadership add new sociocultural value and engender meaningful transformation? Is leadership being redefined and reconstructed through women's action?