CONCLuSION Victoria Bernal and Inderpal Grewal
Feminisms and the NGO Form
Neither what we have called “the nGo form” nor any other form is
or will be sufficient to contain feminist activism or to pursue femi-
nist agendas in the coming decades. Feminist ideologies, agen-
das, and activism arise and are deployed in response to the en-
during and emerging conditions of women’s gendered lives. Today
nGos are a fact of women’s lives around the globe. Furthermore,
as the essays in this volume demonstrate, nGos that are engaged
with women or women’s issues are part of the social context that
constructs and defines “women.” As such, nGos are not simply
vehicles for serving women or empowering them (however well
or inadequately) but rather are themselves fields of gendered
struggles over power, resources, and status. nGos are simulta-
neously local and transnational, and ambiguously located in re-
lation to states. nGos may collaborate with, compete with, and
sometimes act in place of states. The terrains of feminist struggles,
thus, run through and across nGos. The research in this volume
has revealed the ambiguous and unstable synergies between femi-
nisms and the nGo form.
As this body of research shows, nGos themselves are not static.
Within nGos there is increasing awareness of many pitfalls and of
the critiques leveled at nGos as having been co- opted by power-
ful interests, including states, donors, corporations, and elites of
various kinds. nGos are growing more sophisticated in their col-
laborations with states, donors, and other nGos. Although there
remain nGos that seem to be unconcerned with the dangers of
agenda- setting by corporate, state, or donor sponsors, there are
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