The International Mothers Network (IMN), the first global consortium of motherhood organizations, which includes York’s Association for Research on Mothering (ARM), will officially launch on International Woman’s Day, Sunday, March 8, in cities around the world.
It will be a virtual launch online, in blogospheres and on YouTube, within collective maternal activist communities, Web sites and in academia across the world. Thousands are expected to participate by walking, talking, writing, sharing, blogging, watching or attending an International Women’s Day gathering near them.
In addition to ARM, there are some 50 mothering organizations taking part in the launch, including The Motherhood Foundation, Mamapalooza, Welfare Mothers, Mamazine.com, MomsRising, Mother Centers International Network for Empowerment, The Mothers Movement Online, Mothers Acting Up, SisterSong and CODEPINK.
The idea is to link maternal activist organizations and to galvanize a signal-to-noise phase that goes directly to the grassroots level. It is meant to be beneficial to mothers seeking a community and a way to expand the growing “mom rock movement” – as in, mom’s rock. The mom rock movement is being hailed as a third wave vehicle for empowerment.
IMN’s focus is on progressive mothers groups – mothers from the global south, mothers in poverty, mothers who are activists, mothers with disabilities, welfare mothers, grandmother caregivers and others vested in feminist perspectives on maternal well-being and health, including safety, freedom of expression, equal rights, benefits for families and caregivers.
Initial round table discussions on IMN began at ARM’s You Say You Want a Revolution: The Motherhood Movement of the 21st Century international summit last fall. There, mothering organizations committed to working together in equitable, sharing and participative ways that reflect maternal and matriarchal values in dealing with power and decision-making.
Founding members agreed the network must include a sense of community building and encourage ongoing discussion and dissemination of information to help bring the motherhood movement to a new, practical reality, galvanizing the work that has already begun. IMN is committed to a more mother-centred world and dedicated to bringing diverse mother groups together to work toward influencing public discussion as well as exploring alternate economic and societal structures.
A film about the summit, tentatively titled The Motherhood Movement – You Say You Want A Revolution, is currently in production. Initial projects of the IMN include a quarterly newsletter and a calendar of events, Mother’s Day Action for the Month of May and a triennial conference.