International Mothers Network springs from York’s ARM conference

York’s Association for Research on Mothering (ARM) is one of over 25 motherhood organizations banding together to form the International Mothers Network (IMN), the first ever global consortium of motherhood organizations.

The idea for the IMN developed during the final day of ARM’s motherhood movement conference (see YFile, Oct. 20), the first international summit on the international motherhood movement, held in October and embedded in ARM’s annual mothering conference (see YFileOct. 15).

The summit explored the mandate and goals of each organization there with the aim of establishing an international consortium of motherhood agencies. Some 28 international mother organizations, including CODEPINK Women for Peace, National Organization for Women, Mothers Acting Up, MomsRising, Literary Mama, SisterSong, The Motherhood Project, National Association of Mothers Centers and Mother Centers International Network for Empowerment, attended the conference along with 200 academics and activists from more than 20 countries.

Right: Andrea O’Reilly

“The initial goal of the IMN is to invite mother organizations from around the world to join this network. In particular, the IMN urges all progressive mothers groups – mothers from the global south, mothers in poverty, mothers with disabilities, welfare mothers, grandmother caregivers and others – to join in this new network,” says York Professor Andrea O’Reilly, ARM’s founder and director.

The hope is that the network will lead to a more mother-centred world by bringing together diverse mother groups to work toward influencing public discussion as well as exploring alternate economic and societal structures. The IMN would provide a sense of community, promote public awareness and affect change.

“We hope to officially launch the IMN on International Women’s Day in cities around the world,” says O’Reilly. International Women’s Day is usually observed on March 8.

Above: A Youtube video of the beginnings of IMN

The IMN Web site (, featuring a quarterly e-newsletter and calendar of IMN events worldwide, will be up by the end of November. In addition, a listing of mother events for May is planned along with an IMN conference every three years. ARM will host the Web site initially. From there it will be rotated among participating organizations.

Groups wanting to join the IMN are encouraged to e-mail details of their organization by Feb. 15, 2009 to

Above: Particpants at ARM’s international motherhood summit in October