Caught in the cross-fire of political opportunism, neo-liberal triumphalism and geopolitical adventurism, feminist platforms are in retreat. Only a politics of coalition building can avert their eclipse.
The WLUML E-Gazette is a quarterly publication sent out to subscribers which aims to shed light upon the activities of the network and share important updates about women's and gender issues in the Muslim world and beyond.
The two-day International Conference on the Religious Right, Secularism and Civil Rights held in London during 11-12 October 2014 was a rousing success. A broad coalition of secularists, including believers, free-thinkers, agnostics and atheists assembled from the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and the Diaspora at the unprecedented and historic gathering to discuss resistance against the repression and violence of ISIS and other manifestations of the religious-Right, including in Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, India, Iran, Israel, Libya, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Turkey, Tunisia and Yemen.
This week marks the beginning of the yearly commemoration of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence - a global campaign initiated and led by women's groups and movements in many parts of the world which put the spotlight on this pandemic. I have been a part of this campaign since its beginnings and through the lenses it has given me on why women are being targeted and subjected to the most inhuman manifestations of oppression, my feminist outlook has been sharpened and my activism for women's rights became an integral part of who I am. I am now a 62 year old feminist and human rights activist and on the road to slowing down while casting my vision to new fields where I can still be useful to my causes within my given limitations.
It has never been more imperative to take action toward ending gender-based violence and militarism. From the terrorism of the likes of ISIS and Boko Haram, to the threats of Western-led imperialism, down to personal lives marred by cultures of masculinist violence, women all over the world face insecurity owing to patriarchal and militaristic violence.