||Feminist Politics, Activism and Vision: Local and Global Challenges
Edited by Luciana Ricciutelli, Angela Miles and Margaret H. McFadden
ISBN 0-9681290-8-0 / 2004 / 392 pp. /$34.95 List
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Reviewed by Catherine Vance
This book is a project of the Feminist Journals Network it brings together a unique connection of essays from leading feminists from North America, Africa, Asia, Latin America & Europe. It is one of the most informative, interesting and stimulating books that I have ever read.
The book claims that the engaged and sophisticated personal accounts, political speeches and academic articles collected here reveal a vibrant and multifaceted transnational feminist community in struggle redefining wealth, work, peace, democracy, family, human rights, development, community and citizenship. This book certainly does not disappoint! The intellectual
ability, unquestionable knowledge and passion with which each piece has been written will leave any reader suitable impressed, impassioned and with better informed perspective on a wealth of subjects.
The background to this book is, in itself, amazing. Angela Miles tells of a group of feminist activists and journal editors from around the world who had arranged to meet in Halifax, Novia Scotia to look at the opportunity to work together and share knowledge. They had already formed the Feminist Journals Network of twenty-five journals in seventeen countries on four continents and they were keen to look at how to make their work more readily available to all. The week long event took place in September 2001 and they were in the process, on 11th September, of planning this first volume when news of the World Trade Center Bombing came through.
Angela describes the silence as initially deafening but it then provided them with an impetus and a sense of urgency to proceed with their planned publication. These were a collection of women with unparalleled knowledge and set of experience that they were desperate to share with the wider feminist community. Their personal and moral outrage and their political anger that outpoured within this shared environment provided them with a deeper feminist understanding than they would have achieved alone and it confirmed their commitment to work together.
Their work is a diverse collection of articles on crucial subject matter. The issue of globalisation and the challenges that this provides for women throughout the world are brought together here in an inspirational format that does, very realistically, highlight the fragility, and the importance,
of developing and nurturing links. Information and shared experiences of local linkages, dealing with specific issues, and also those on a national and global level are the fundamental core of the future development of the feminist movement throughout the world.
Paramount to the successful attainment of a more just and peaceful world for all citizens is the creation of an informed Œarmy¹ of women who are willing to share experiences, learn from each other and influence others at every level I am delighted to say that this book is a superb starting point for building that intellectual and emotive capability.
No matter what you current level of understanding, your commitment to feminist principle or your interest in world affairs may be you will find this a fascinating, emotional and empowering read.
Published in Women¹s News (Belfast) in June 2005. Reprinted with permission.