Blog Archives

PALESTINE: Sexual Violence, Women`s Bodies, and Israeli Settler Colonialism

Nov 17 2014 by Nadera Shalhoub-Kevorkian, Sarah Ihmoud and Suhad Dahir-Nashif

[ [“Deaths.” Drawing by Suhad Daher-Nashif]

They not only invaded our home, took over our space, and evicted us—they even arrested me and took me to the Maskubya—the police station.  I was put in room number four, alone, for a long time.  Then, a big and tall man, a police officer, entered the interrogation room.  I was alone, and started shivering from fear as he closed the door, started moving things around in the room and examining me from head to toe.  I was terrorized, and my heart was beating so fast.  His eyes penetrated my body, as he was opening the drawers looking for something.  Then, he left the room and came back five minutes later holding a box.  He pulled out a pair of blue plastic gloves, and put one on each of his hands, while looking at me and saying “…Come here…” I must tell you that I was terrorized when they invaded the house and evicted us. I was extremely anxious when they arrested my son. But my fears of ‘you know what’…You know…being abused…being raped by his blue big hands and more…were the most terrifying moments of my life.[1]

These were the words of Sama, a thirty-six-year-old Palestinian woman who lost the intimate familial and physical space of her home, only to experience further terror with the threat of sexual abuse.  Sama’s narrative is not uncommon, as colonized women living under severe deprivation and dispossession are subject to daily attacks against their sexuality and bodily rights. Sexual violence is central to the larger structure of colonial power, its racialized machinery of domination, and its logic of elimination.  This is readily apparent in the history of settler colonial contexts, where the machinery of violence explicitly targets native women’s sexuality and bodily safety as biologized “internal enemies” since they are the producers of the next generation. Read the rest of this entry

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TUNISIA: Feminism Attack! Anarcha-Feminism in Tunisia

25.09.2013 by Nath & Cris
1715FeminismAttack

Tunisia, with a strong feminist movement for over a hundred years, is often considered the most advanced in terms of women’s rights among countries of the Muslim world. Since 1957, the Personal Status Code recognizes the rights of women, such as abortion, contraception and the right to education. Although the Tunisian feminist movements have allowed for these advances, the status of women, as in many places on the globe, is still far from anarchist ideals. Nothing new under the sun of male domination: women are still seen as mothers and wives before citizens . After a few days in, it is easy to see how the judgment of others and fear of compromising a reputation may hinder the engagement and activism of women. There are currently at least three feminist collectives in Tunisia:

Democratic Women, a group consisting of bourgeois who gather themselves without political purpose or claims, Femen, recognized in Tunisia for their struggle (their actions, however, do not induce unanimous approval), and Feminism Attack, a self-managed and self-funded collective movement, whose members have an average age of about 20 years. It is inspired by anarchist ideas to search for radical solutions to social and political problems, and the dangers that threaten the position of women in society.

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TUNISIA: Amina leaves FEMEN for Islamophobia

20.08.2013 by CORDÉLIA BONAL translation by Tahrir ICN

 

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A young Tunisia, arrested and released in early August, leaves the movement but not her fight. Read the rest of this entry

IRELAND: Anti choice extremists defeated but this legislation is worthless – where next?

2013-07-11

Despite spending in the region of a million euro and getting the backing of the catholic church its now clear that the anti-choice extremists of Youth Defence & the Pro Life Campaign were resoundingly defeated when the Dail finally voted though legislation implementing the X-Case judgment of 21 years ago.  This time last year they were confident that they already had enough Fine Gael TD’s on board to block the required legislation but they reckoned against the wave of public anger that followed the death of Savita Halappanavar after she was denied a potentially life saving abortion in a Galway hospital.  Read the rest of this entry

The fast-food feminism of the topless Femen

10 April, by Mona Chollet

Blond young women stripping off their shirts to protest for…women’s rights. Le Monde Diplomatique’s Mona Chollet reviews the purportedly feminist protest group called the Femen, finding little evidence of feminism and a budding affinity with France’s anti-Muslim right. Amina Tyler, Alia el Mahdi and other young Femen of the Arab Spring would do well to have a second look at their Ukrainian mentors, she suggests. Read the rest of this entry

WESTERN SAHARA: Notes from Western Sahara

An Interview with Fatma El-Mehdi   24.03.2012

Gdeim Izik ©Kirby GookinAs the Arab Spring spread across several countries in the Middle East and North Africa, American philosopher Noam Chomsky argued that it did not originate in Tunisia, as is commonly understood. “In fact, the current wave of protests actually began last November in Western Sahara, which is under Moroccan rule, after a brutal invasion and occupation,” Chomsky stated. “The Moroccan forces came in, carried out – destroyed tent cities, a lot of killed and wounded and so on. And then it spread.”  Read the rest of this entry

TUNISIA: Femen Strikes in Tunisia – the Case of Amina

Mar 26, 2013  by Sara Salem

femen-amina

Femen has struck again. After reports the Ukrainian based feminist group would be focusing its activism on locations outside of Europe, fresh controversy has erupted following events in Tunisia. Read the rest of this entry

EGYPT: Egyptian Female Cartoonist Pokes Fun at Fundamentalists

March 29-31, 2013 by MEDEA BENJAMIN

One of the women who spoke at the Women’s Assembly during the World Social Forum in Tunisia was not a political activist, but a cartoonist. Dooa Eladl is 34-year-old Egyptian woman who calls herself a Muslim anarchist. Her work appears in the prominent newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm She has become one of Egypt’s best-known political cartoonists, in a field completely dominated by men. (One of her humorous drawings is a portrait of herself marching to work, her hair tied to the mustaches of four of her male colleagues.)Egyptian Female Cartoonist Pokes Fun at Fundamentalists_html_m328aaa82

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The Gendered Body Public: Egypt, Sexual Violence and Revolution

Jan 28 2013   by Maia Mikdashi

We must acknowledge, sit with, and address the sexual violence that has, is, and will occur in and around Tahrir Square. How do we do this work in a responsible and ethical manner that is in solidarity with Egypt’s ongoing (and multiple) revolutions? How do we retain and respect political, economic, and social complexity in the face of the horrors of mass and public sexual assault? Read the rest of this entry

LEBANON: Women and politics in Lebanon

Lebanese Christian women training during the civil war, 1976.

Article by a Lebanese woman describing the position of women in both Muslim and Christian communities as the country slid into civil war. Read the rest of this entry