Harmonizing the narratives on the concept of gender in the context of trans-feminist solidarity in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Montenegro

Author(s): Selma Alispahić
Final project
Year of publication:
Supervisors: Ásta Kristín Benediktsdóttir


The concept of gender has long been used in feminist theory and practice as a powerful emancipatory tool and critical response to essentializing views that aimed to justify social inequalities between women and men. The idea that the subordinate and inferior status of women in society is not “natural”, but rather socially constructed made the feminist struggle possible and its goals achievable, while the emergence of the performative theory of gender provided additional tools for challenging and subverting oppressive gender norms. However, essentializing and naturalizing views on sex and gender have persisted, most prominently in the form of anti-gender movements and trans-exclusionary radical feminism (TERF), and they continue to forcefully attack the conceptual basis for achieving gender equality. In the face of such challenges, asserting and strengthening trans-feminist solidarity is of paramount importance. By relying on the constructivist and performative theories of gender and qualitative methodology, the essay examines the interpretations of the concept of gender within the trans-feminist community and explores the possibilities of a shared understanding of gender as a key prerequisite for common political projects and actions. While pointing out the political contradictions that arise out of differing interpretations of gender, the main goal of the essay is to contribute to amplifying trans-feminist cooperation and support in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Montenegro.