EDITORIAL, by Paola Bono
by Paola Bono
DWF goes South. Introduction
by Monica Luongo
Thinking of Said’s theorization of “Orientalism” in conjunction with feminism/ s, the author reflects that in Italy (in Europe, perhaps?) the same unilateral approach is being used, which prevents productive relations with our “sisters in sex” in the different Souths of the world. For it is very difficult to get rid of an attitude of “helping” in order to embrace an intellectual and practical partnership in an open exchange, carefully listening to the voices of worlds we can indeed come to understand better – although there is a barrier, no matter how we define it, hindering a total knowledge.
Where do we stand between the United Nations, trans-national feminism and international cooperation: a reading of women’s political agency in a globalized world
by Bianca Pomeranzi
Many different kinds of feminism have emerged worldwide since the Seventies in the context of the UN Conferences on women. Although each feminism has its own history and position/s, they have much in common to contribute to women’s freedom. The article focuses on the need to renew, through the agency of women in international cooperation, the original transformative power of feminism in the struggle against all forms of male domination/supremacy, i.e. against patriarchy, and against all those forms of oppression, discrimination and exploitation which are at the basis of today’s dominant economic structure: globalized capitalism.
South Asian feminists against the political economy of death
by Laura Corradi and Sangat
Laura Corradi introduces and translates parts of the Declaration of a network of South East women. In July 2006 a group of forty feminists from different countries in South Asia – Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka – met in Negombo for the first South Asian Feminist Meet organized by Sangat (South Asian Network of Gender Activists & Trainers) to discuss about challenges and perspectives of feminist activism in the 21° century. The word “Sangat” also has a meaning in some South-Asian languages: it indicates the “merging of individuals who have a similar mind”. The introduction of their Declaration is focussed on the common regional identity and context, followed by different sections about topics such as the problems of contemporary democracy, militarization and the “security factor”, globalization and the “political economy of death”. The document offers an important understanding of the interlinks between capitalism, patriarchies, racism/castism, national chauvinism, heteronormativity and religious fundamentalisms. A feminist critique of gender mainstreaming, identity politics and different forms of domestication and “ngo-isation” of the struggles of women is also presented, with the necessity of maintaining a critical stance and being vigilant in the movements in order to prevent any attempt of cooptation.
Indian feminism seen from Kali for Women
by Monica Capuani and Urvashi Butalia
Journalist Monica Capuani and photographer Simona Cagnasso met in Delhi Urvashi Butalia, founder of the Indian feminist puiblishing house. A graduate in English literature, Butalia got tired of Milton e Chaucer, and just as tired of revamping English language teaching books for an Indian audience, and decided to found her own press, called after a female goddess, black to boot. She tells the story of Kali’s success (including the publication of the Body Book, distributed in thousands of copies in Indian villages), and traces a brief story of Indian feminism.
Women’s right to the land, a story of struggle and change from Brasil
by Beatrice Costa
Brazil, Eastern Amazonia: a movement of women employed in the cultivation of the babaçu nut fight for survival, demanding a fair treatment as women and workers. In the Seventies the process of “modernization” in agriculture turned wide expanses of land into pastures for cattle and for the cultivation of export products. In 1985 a further felling of babaçu nut palms provoked the protest of some women of the Ludovico community, which then became a more comprehensive struggle for their rights.
Introducing the case of Mozambico
by Monica Luongo
In the early Nineties Italian cooperation contributed to the creation of a Gender Studies Department within the CEA (Centro Estudos Africanos) of the university Edoardo Mondlane in Maputo, Mozambique. The war was just over with the Rome peace treaty. Since then Mozambican feminism has grown, engaging in many different activities; the relations between Mozambican and Italian women have also grown, turning – like the approach of Italian Cooperation itself – into a true partnership between the two countries, with a productive exchange of experiences and practices.
About the discussion on the Bill against domestic violence: what’s the good of a large number of women in Parliament?
by Maria Josè Arthur
It would seem obvious that a larger number of women in Parliament should bring about a greater attention to women’s needs and interests, creating a space for an agenda in this sense. But many groups, especially the Ngos fighting for women’s rights, are now questioning the truth of such an “automatic” result. Perhaps being a woman is not a sufficient guarantee for caring about women’s problems and opposing the structures which oppress and discriminate them. Who are the women in Parliament, what is their story, how did they reach their position? Can they vote freely, disagreeing with their parties, when it comes to defending women’s rights.
A woman at the roots of the relations between Italy and Mozambique
by Raffaella Chiodo Karpinsky
The author tells the story of Dina Forti, a woman who has played a fundamental role in the relations between Italy and Mozambique, and especially in the relations between Italian and Mozambican women. Her action began after the II World War, in the context of the Italian left – more precisily the Italian Communist Party – and continued until recent times, helping to establish contacts with the African liberation movements, especially in Southern Africa.
The “Doi Mói” impact on gender perception in Viet Nam
by Alessandra Chiricosta
This essay aims to present the contradictory perception of gender roles in the Vietnamese contemporary society. In the East Asia and Pacific region, Vietnam stands out for its success in closing gender gaps in the last 20 years. However, Vietnamese women are now facing new challenges as the country moves to a more open market economy. If this economic process could be considered as a “step forward” or a “step backward” from a gender perspective is still a debated subject. After a brief glance on the diverse conceptions of “female role” in the Vietnamese tradition, this article analyzes the impact of D- ˆ’ oi Mó’i (Renewal) policy on gender issues, presenting then the controversial attitude of the new generations towards the so called “traditional” and “western” models of femininity.
Women’s agency between Occupation, patriarchal family and Islamic revivalism. The case of Palestine
by Ruba Salih
The centrality of the family and its hierarchies as the basic unit of society is a fundamental notion if one wishes to under stand the specificity of the idea of citizenship in the Middle East, where “the citizen” is mediated by a series of relations of kinship and community. One stands in the different position vis-avis the State according to her/his place in the family or the village.
Reviews and schedule
by D’Amelia, Ricaldone, Stella, Guarracino, Sarra
LORELLA REALE (a cura di), Futuro femminile. Passioni e ragioni nelle voci del femminismo dal dopoguerra ad oggi, un libro e un dvd in cofanetto, Roma: Sossella, 2008
PAOLA BONO e LAURA FORTINI (a cura di), Il romanzo del divenire. Un Bildungsroman delle donne?, Roma: Iacobelli, 2007, pp. 231
ROSSANA ROSSANDA e MANUELA FRAIRE, La perdita, a cura di Lea Meandri,Torino: Bollati Boringhieri, 2008, pp. 79
SUSAN McCLARY, Georges Bizet. Carmen, a cura di Annamaria Cecconi, Milano: Rugginenti, 2008, pp. 221 + xxviii
CRISTINA BRACCHI (a cura di), Le Dissenzienti. Narrazioni e soggetti letterari, San Cesario di Lecce: Manni, 2007, pp. 184
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