Magazine article Women in Action


Magazine article Women in Action


Article excerpt

In December 2005, Isis commissioned two papers on the theme "peace and security" for its Gender, Governance and Democracy monograph series. The contributing authors, Anurada Chenoy (1) and Marieme Helie-Lucas, (2) both called for the urgent development of a feminist agenda towards understanding notions of nationalism, religious fundamentalism, secularism, among others, in relation to the protection of women's rights in these times of conflict. They also called for a stronger feminist lens for "engendering" human security framework.

This WIA issue responds to Chenoy's and Helie-Lucas' push for collaborative work between the women's movement and women parliamentarians/politicians and indeed other social justice movement actors on addressing peace and security issues.

Peace talks presents a series of conversations, talks and snapshots on new and alternative visions, strategies, dialogues centered on addressing peacebuilding towards nation building and the interrogation of what constitutes the social context of that peace, nation and state.

Tesa C. de Vela and Mira Alexis Ofereneo's paper "Political violence as moral exclusions: linking peace psychology to feminist critical theory" leads the discussion on the latter question. Political violence has social, psychological and cultural dimensions. The authors develop a a model that highlights moral exclusion as the social psychological basis for violence. The authors propose alternatives based on critical feminist theories to set a peace agenda for activists and social movements.

Miriam Coronel Ferret tackles peace and nationbuilding issues when she discusses the Philippine context of a state facing off with socialist revolutionary groups threatening its power. The typical solution adopted by these opposing forces is violence, specially currently that the government's anti-communist stance is being re-stated as anti-terrorism. She also succintly captures how anti-state forces also use violence to challenge state power. She pushes the point that "Counter-violence as the better or best way to fight state violence cannot be accepted."

While Chan Shun Hing discusses the changing perspectives in feminist peace discourse, Girlie Villariba provides one such example when we asked her in a one-on-one in "Babaylan women as guide to a life of justice and peace." She describes the origins of babaylans in the Philippines, as well as the practices among babaylans that made such women powerful and significant parts of ancient indigenous Philippine society, and demonstrates the seven values for discovering babaylan consciousness which provides spaces for negotiations and dialogues for peacebuilding.

Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt leads the discussions on peace, conflict and development where she scrutinises the increasingly popular theories of the natural resources curse, natural resources conflicts and natural resources wars. …

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