Filipino Catholic nuns aren’t typically considered feminists—but they are in fact formidable members of the global women’s movement, substantially because of their unique position as highly educated networkers who can move seamlessly between the local and the transnational.
Women’s studies largely neglect the idea of Catholic nuns as feminists. Yet Filipino Catholic nuns have become formidable activists in the global women’s movement. They are a tiny minority within the larger community of Catholic nuns, but this group has provided an important element of leadership in women’s movements globally since the late 1970s. In their home country of the Philippines in particular, these special nuns became formidable activists in the women’s movement: in Filipino feminist theorising, as women’s studies teachers, and as leaders and members of transnational organisations.
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