Feminist Security Studies, as I have argued before, makes its important contributions by taking feminist methodological commitments seriously. The most important among them is to study feminist questions, which are research questions that arise from women’s everyday experience. Sandra Harding, a philosopher at UCLA, has pointed out that a main way in which bias (whether sexism, racism, classism, or ethnocentrism) enters into science is by the questions we ask. Thus, in my view, one of the most important contributions feminists can make to security studies is to ask feminist questions.
One Billion Rising Join us on February 14, 2013 as we participate in a global strike to demand an end to violence. We will gather on the west steps of the California State Capitol in Sacramento to RISE UP and DEMAND an end to violence against women! We are calling on women and those who love them to participate in an event that uses dance as a protest to end violence. Because One Billion violated is an atrocity, but One Billion dancing is a REVOLUTION! (via Sacramento Women Take Back the Night | A project of the Northern California Association for Women Take Back the Night)
I can’t dance but I will be out tomorrow on the west steps of the Sacramento Capitol from 12pm to 1pm supporting the Take Back the Night movement and an end of violence towards women.
Often when we hear about security, it’s in terms of the State: military, police, private armies or other “security sector” agents. In your life, what does it take to feel secure? What does human security mean to you?
- Submit your thoughts by clicking here. All responses are confidential.
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Four Afghan policemen have been jailed for 16 years for raping a young woman in northern Kunduz province this year.
Cynthia Enloe recently spoke in NYC about women and peace and security and unfortunately I missed it! I went on a mission to see what I missed I’m now watching/reading everything I can find of hers! Check out this video to get a sense of what she’s about and I’ve selected one of my favorite quotes from her lecture below:
“To really understand the costs of war - whether they be in in Uganda, or Iraq or Afghanistan or Combodia or Northern Ireland or the United States or the UK it really means that we have to be seriously interested in those women who are the care givers for the physically and the emotionally and mentally wounded after wars. And not just in the United States and the UK, but in Iraq too.”
What an awesome and useful project! : Feminist Movement-Builders’ Dictionary
The sources and purpose of this edition
This first English language edition of JASS’ Feminist Dictionary was developed by Alda Facio, Lisa VeneKlasen, Valerie Miller, Srilatha Batliwala, Annie Holmes, Molly Reilly, Alia Khan, Maggie Mapondera, Natalia Escruceria, and Anna Davies-van Es. It draws on the collective expertise and experience of JASS’ community of feminist popular educators, scholars, and activists from 27 countries in Mesoamerica, Southeast Asia, and Southern Africa.
As with all knowledge, the content of this dictionary is a reflection of the various vantage points, intersecting identities, values, and experiences of its writers and contributors. The words and their definitions reflect and are embedded in JASS’ approach to feminist movement building and our analysis of how power can operate in both positive and negative ways.
As such, this dictionary is neither comprehensive nor complete, as no single volume can capture the full range and diversity of women’s voices and women’s knowledge. Likewise, it is not a static reference, as words and meanings shift over time and place. Instead, we hope this dictionary will nurture fresh and imaginative political thinking, debate and action, and serve as a starting point for women from all walks of life to understand and negotiate our differences and find common ground.
Within the local-to-global context of citizen action, many activists and scholars agree that we face a “crisis of discourse.” Words that once imparted radical visions of social change have been co-opted by more powerful groups, rendering them devoid of their original meaning or politics. We decided at JASS to generate and claim our own definitions…Please send your input to firstname.lastname@example.org.
‘Karama’ is the Arabic word for dignity, as well as an initiative fueled by a coalition of partners as constituencies to build a movement to end violence against women in the Middle East and North Africa. Karama puts emphasis on women from the ground up, addressing violence as they define it, with solutions of their own design
Excerpt from: No Spring for Arab Women:
Women’s rights in the countries like Tunisia and Egypt will be eradicated in the name of religion if the fundamentalist version of Islam becomes the law of the state. Is the world prepared to support dissidents of these countries who demand universal rights, or will fundamentalists who openly curtail the rights of women and of citizens be supported in the name of ‘democracy’?
Let me take this opportunity to challenge here the use of the term ‘sharia law’ in the formulation of your question. It is a grave mistake to use the fundamentalist terminology and to label ‘sharia law’ any of the patriarchal measures that they want to impose as part of religion. It is both a factual mistake and also a political mistake. Additionally, I will also challenge the use of the term ‘Islamophobia’.
First of all ‘sharia’ in Arabic means ‘the path to God’, i.e. an individual spiritual journey. It does not mean and has never meant any legal provision or set of provisions, any human law of any given country. Any decent Islamic theologian will confirm this translation of the word ‘sharia’ and its misuse by fundamentalists.
Fundamentalists managed to make the world believe that there is such a set of divine laws and that challenging their views on this matter is an insult to Islam itself.
Progressive forces outside Muslim countries and communities cowardly bend to this false translation/interpretation of the Arabic terminology, for fear of being accused of racism or ‘Islamophobia’.
‘Islamophobia’ is yet another concept that fundamentalists forged and managed to give credibility to: as they portray themselves as the only legitimate representatives of their religion, if one opposes any of their diktats passed in the name of Islam, one is accused of being against Islam. In other words, the fundamentalist mantra is: as we are the only representatives of the true Islam, if you are against us, you are against Islam, thus ‘Islamophobic’.
Progressive people and feminists should avoid giving credence to fundamentalists’ claims by deconstructing their terminology and by refusing to use it. All fundamentalists of all religions want to impose their backward interpretations as THE only true version of their religion.
However when it comes to Christianity, one would not dream of agreeing that Opus Dei’s view of religion is the only true one. They know that, for instance, the Liberation Theology in Latin America promoted different views of Christianity. Or when it comes to Hinduism, one would not agree to support, for instance, sati that is promoted by fundamentalists as part and parcel of a good wife’s behavior supported by true Hinduism.