Books

Collective identities: trap or tool for empowerment?

Andreas Speck

Collective identities--"we" as queers, or whatever group you like--are often perceived as empowering by providing a sense of belonging. At the same time, by the very existence of these collective identities produce new boundaries of "in" and "out" and new norms of behavior that limit people's freedom to be and to do. Thus, identity can be disempowering and even threaten people's lives, in the case of nationalist or homophobic attacks.

Swadhina

Saswati Roy

Sumitra, Champa, Samprada, Sushama, Kalabati, Salma are some of the tribal women living in remote corners in the state of Orissa in India who we have met during our recent visit to their villages. The women's organization with which I work, Swadhina, has been encouraging and promoting women's groups in these villages for the past five years. These women live in distant villages located in hilly forest regions. Their lives are integrally linked to the forest, which has been their source of food, fodder and wood for fuel.

A Conscientious Objector's Guide to the UN Human Rights System

This report was commissioned by QUNO, the Quaker United Nations Office in Geneva, and has been published by CONCODOC in London.

Publications

Testimonies of Conscience Sent From the Soviet Union to The War Resisters' International 1923 - 1929,

Toronto 1997. Edited by Peter Brock, Professor Emeritus of History in the University of Toronto; 42 pp., £3 (including postage). Available from the WRI office.

Editor's Introduction

The widespread movement of conscientious objection during the first twelve years of Soviet rule remains a topic almost unexplored by scholars. Yet it is one of the most important themes in the history of pacifism before the nuclear age. Until near the end of the Communist era the few writers who broached the subject, e.g.. the hard party-liner F.M. Putintsev or the erudite sociologist of religion A.l. Klibanov, did so in an extremely tendentious fashion. With the collapse of Communism, the situation of course changed.

Books

Our Human Rights: A Manual for Women's Human Rights Education is the first comprehensive training manual that addresses many aspects of women's human rights in an ´interactive format' which is suitable for many audiences, from school teachers, to advocates for women's rights, to general human rights groups.

Review

Learning True Love: How I Learned and Practiced Social Change in Vietnam by Chan Khong, 258 pages, 1993, US $16 paperback. Parallax Press, P.O. Box 7355, Berkeley, CA 94707, USA.

reviewed by Shelley Anderson

News

On the Move

The international feminist network Isis-WICCE (Women's International Cross-Cultural Exchange) has moved from its office in Switzerland to Kampala, Uganda. The group's next exchange program between feminist action organizations, scheduled for early 1996, will focus on "Freeing Ourselves from Violence: Mechanisms for Change". The program will look how specific mechanisms for monitoring and ensuring accountability for women's human rights can be developed. Applications are due June 1, 1995.

Books and Publications

"Death Without Weeping: Daily Life in Northeast Brazil" is the theme of the April 1994 The New Internationalist. Based on the book Death Without Weeping (600 pages, 1992, University of California Press) by anthropologist Nancy Scheper-Hughes, the lives of slum women and their children in Brazil's poverty-stricken Northeast are shocking and moving by turns. The exploitation, by sugar cane plantations, is endless and gives rise both to desperation and resistance.

Hear My Testimony by María Teresa Tula (1994, 224 pages, $14).

Nonviolent Struggle and Social Defence

Published in 1991 by War Resisters' International and the Myrtle Solomon Memorial Fund Subcommittee (of the Lansbury House Trust Fund; Charity Reg No 306139)

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