Activity 9: The feminist challenge: how feminism expands ideas of freedom

2 hours 45 minutes


This task will help us to locate the concrete ways in which feminism challenged, broadened and enriched ideas about freedom.


There are quite a few ideas that are today associated with the feminist tradition. Many of these ideas were responses to the neglect of feminist concerns in existing ideas about freedom and in different struggles for freedom. But feminism was not just a response to the blind-spots in some of the dominant conceptions of freedom. It was also about making a case for new visions of freedom. Now that we have looked at four conceptions of freedom that emerged in different struggles, it is time to look at where feminism stands in relation to these ideas and how feminism gives us enriched ideas of freedom.


You will be divided into 4 groups. Each group will receive a resource pack with an article and images about the different ways in which feminism has challenged and broadened ideas of freedom. Your task is to carefully study the contents of the resource pack and prepare an input that serves as a feminist “backchat” to the four conceptions of freedom identified in the previous activity.

We suggest you follow these steps:

  1. Start by reading the introduction to [The Feminist Challenge] handout and the specific section assigned to your group. Next, Study the resource pack and discuss the question: “what key ideas about freedom does feminism bring to the fore?”

  2. In the speech bubbles provided, write a response based on the key ideas presented in your resource pack.

Get ready to report back to plenary.

Group 1: Social reproduction theory


Group 2: Personal is political!


Group 3: Race matters, so does gender and class!


Group 4: Women’s liberation is not a by-product of national liberation



Be mindful of the fact that participants in other groups were dealing with different questions. They rely on you to present your case in a succinct and clear manner, highlighting the key arguments and insights that can be drawn from your case.

You have 75 minutes for concluding steps 1 and 2 and we will have 45 minutes for the report back.

A 45 minutes input that consolidates the presentations and a discussion will conclude this session.

📖️ Handout


Additional videos