Maternal Gift Economy: Breaking Through -
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Salon #56 - The Gifts of International Feminist Movements in the Last 50 Years

January 27, 2024


Featuring Peggy Antrobus, Paola Melchiori and Angela Miles. Moderated by Letecia Layson.

Peggy Antrobus – I identify as a Caribbean feminist activist. Since the mid-1970s I have been involved in programs to advance women’s rights, first within the structure of government, later within the academy and now as part of a feminist-led global women’s movement.

My most significant and life-changing experience has been being part of the network of feminist researcher-activists from the Economic South advancing development alternatives with women for a new era (DAWN).

My interest in the Gift Economy came from realization of the fact that much of what allows Caribbean people (and economies) to survive and thrive takes place outside the Market, grounded in social relations of reciprocity and solidarity.

Today, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic in which gifting, and women’s caring labor, much of it unwaged or low-waged, is the basis of survival for communities, even whole countries, I am interested in how the value of these practices might finally be recognized/acknowledged and reinforced though policies that support rather than continue to exploit this essential work.

Paola Melchiori is a Feminist theorist, activist and writer, author of books/videos/articles on feminist issues. She has created nationally and internationally, free spaces of critical thinking, based on the model of the Free Universities. Their main idea is to develop and make visible new paradigms of knowledge based on women’s ways of thinking and knowing, working in an interdisciplinary way across cultures, classes and specializations. She is the founder and past president of The Women’s Free University in Milan, of Crinali, a research and intercultural education association in Milan, of the International Feminist University Network, an international think-tank for women’s critical thinking and education. From the mid eighties she has worked in different African and Latin American countries in women’s education, participatory research and popular education with a Freirian and feminist perspective. During the years of the UN Conferences of the 90ties she has formed a solid International network of feminists working together on these issues. Her main interest is the intercultural collaboration among feminists of different cultures and disciplines. She is the author of several essays on feminist theory, of four books, and of several videos.

Angela Miles is a founding member of Toronto Women for a Just and Healthy Planet, Antigonish Women's Association, Feminist Network for a Gift Economy and a member of the editorial board of Canadian Woman Studies. She is Professor Emerita at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto where she co-founded the International Women’s Human Rights Education Summer Institute. Her publications include, Integrative Feminisms: Building Global Visions and the edited collection Women in a Globalizing World: Transforming Equality, Development, Diversity and Peace.

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