“Still Palestinian feminists are struggling to prioritize their goals: Should they fight exclusively for Palestinian statehood, in the hope that this will further their goals? Or should they be social critics, promoting long-term issues of democracy and women's rights as national institutions and a constitution are being formed? In 1988, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat proclaimed that "Palestine is a state...based on social justice, equality with no discrimination...on the basis of ethnicity, religion, color or between men and women." The mechanics of achieving such a vision were left undefined.”
- Dahlia Scheindlin, "Palestinian Women's Model Parliament"
In WLUML Dossier 22, published fourteen years ago, Dahlia Scheindlin argues that the relationship between the women’s movement in Palestine and the Palestinian national struggle is an uncertain one, as the national women’s movement is constantly faced with the question of where it situates itself in relation to the Palestinian liberation struggle. Is the women’s struggle situated within the wider national struggle or is gender equality a separate goal to be pursued independently of Palestinian nationhood?
أردت أن أكتب أنْ لا حركة نسوية مصرية معاصرة حقيقية. لكنني شعرت بعدم الرضى وبشيء من المبالغة، وربما بالتخلي عن القليل من الاندفاع الناتج من غضب، سببه الاستياء من حركة لا تتقدم وبفقدان الاهتمام بالانتماء إلى حركة تحمل نفس مساوئ النظام المجتمعي الذي يُفترض أن يُحارَب. ربما بقليل من الهدوء قبل الشروع في الكتابة، ستأخذ من يُعرفن بناشطات نسويات هذا على محمل الجد وسيمرّ في عقولهن أنّ النسوية ليست تجربة حياتية شخصية لفرد تطبق بحذافيرها وتصبح درساً مُسلّماً بيه لتخلق كائنات فضائية متشابهة. >وبالتالي، يجب إدراك أنّ الحركة النسوية تعاني مشاكل كبيرة. التعميم غباء حتمي.
On 9 May 2012, Manal al-Sharif was awarded the Havel Prize for Creative Dissent at the Oslo Freedom Forum in Norway. This came shortly after al-Sharif was honored as one of TIME’s100 Most Influential People in the World at a Gala in New York City. Such events have given rise to a pattern: just as numerous pictures and videos of activists attending various conferences and receiving numerous awards surface, waves of criticism pour in. Their motives are viewed with suspicion, worthiness is questioned, and a movement’s progress is reassessed.
The Feminist Wire is an online women's studies journal “founded by African American feminist scholars that is run collaboratively and with mutual respect and love by a diverse Collective that spans races, ethnicities, sexualities, class statuses, geographies, religions, and feminist perspectives." On April 13, they published an article by Adele Wilde-Blavatsky, an English journalist who was then a member of their collective, entitled "What It Means to be an Ant-Racist Feminist in the 21st Century." The article argued against an equation being made in the blogosphere between the hoodie
Adrienne Rich, a poet of towering reputation and towering rage, whose work — distinguished by an unswerving progressive vision and a dazzling, empathic ferocity — brought the oppression of women and lesbians to the forefront of poetic discourse and kept it there for nearly a half-century, died on Tuesday at her home in Santa Cruz, Calif. She was 82.
While building solidarity between activists in the U.S. and Iran can be a powerful way of supporting social justice movements in Iran, progressives and leftists who want to express solidarity with Iranians are challenged by a complicated geopolitical terrain. The U.S. government shrilly decries Iran’s nuclear power program and expands a long-standing sanctions regime on the one hand, and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad makes inflammatory proclamations and harshly suppresses Iranian protesters and dissidents on the other. Solidarity activists are often caught between a rock and a hard place, and many choose what they believe are the “lesser evil” politics. In the case of Iran, this has meant aligning with a repressive state leader under the guise of “anti-imperialism” and “populism,” or supporting “targeted” sanctions.
I started working on what became this book more than ten years ago, because I felt there was so much confusion in the way that large sections of the trade union movement and the Left responded to globalisation. They took a straightforward anti-globalisation position which, by default, reinforced a nationalist reaction against globalisation. This went against all my Marxist internationalist instincts. Also, having been involved in trade union research for decades, it was obvious to me that many of the evils attributed to globalisation, such as subcontracting and the shifting of production, had been rampant for years or decades prior to it. Most disturbing of all, much of the anti-globalisation rhetoric was indistinguishable from the rhetoric of the extreme Right. (I have given examples of this in my book.)
Twenty years ago today Algeria’s military-backed government stopped the country’s electoral process, preventing the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) from coming to power and dismantling the Algerian republic – something it had openly promised to do. In context, this was the better of the two bad alternatives available at that moment – interrupting a flawed parliamentary election rather than allowing the reins of power to be taken by fascists who openly proclaimed their opposition to democracy.