When Women Have Wings: Feminism and Development in Medellin, Colombia

Murdock, Donna F.


In When Women Have Wings, 1998 IDRF Fellow Donna F. Murdock provides an insightful and detailed look at the tensions, contradictions, and positive moments apparent in a women’s development project in Medellín, Colombia. Based on sixteen months of ethnographic field research in a working-class women’s community center run by a local feminist NGO, this in-depth account illuminates both working- and middle-class women’s perspectives on the professionalization of feminist NGOs and provides an unusual ethnographic lens on the process as it unfolds. Using detailed descriptions of the encounters between working- and middle-class women to highlight how the women’s center attempts to negotiate the pressures of feminism and professionalization, Murdock depicts the frailty and complexity of cross-class organizing and the ways that this process may be threatened by professionalized NGO styles. With its clear and vivid style, When Women Have Wings fills a gap for scholars of feminist development, professionalized feminist NGOs, grassroots democracy, and Latin American women’s movements and will contribute much-needed insight into the everyday workings of the problems of professionalization and democratic development. Buy from Amazon