Nearly ten years since the September 11 events, we assess the depth and extent of various forms of discrimination, their manifestations as well as its resulting violence against individuals and polarisations among communities of ideologies and praxis. The early part of the decade saw the enormous violations of human rights and national sovereignties in the name of security and solidarity against the “war on terror.”

The brunt of the consequences of these measures has been shouldered by already marginalised communities particularly in the South. Women’s bodies have been further subjected to restrictions by Christian, Islamic and other political and religious fundamentalisms, on top of the restrictions arising from their gender and equally critical social categories such as class, caste, ethnicity, age and geographic origins. Their mobility has likewise been checked with the increased tightening of national borders, notwithstanding the political threats in their home countries and their contribution to foreign economies and societies, among others.

The homogenising impact of unilateralism in politics and economy has indeed downplayed the diversity in identities, especially those based on gender and sexuality and instead, emphasised danger in individual choices, differences and dissent. Lesbian, gays, bisexuals, transgenders and intersex continue to experience discrimination.

This upcoming Women in Action, Maximum Intolerance, Mounting Resistance issue surfaces the emerging and old forms of intolerance based on the intersectionality of identities, emanating from gender, race, ethnicity, age, religion, class, caste, citizenship and location, among many others. But more than a reflection on the insidiousness and interrelatedness of fundamentalisms, this WIA issue highlights the mechanisms and spaces which however limited, have still enabled individuals, communities, feminist and social movements moments of resiliency and even empowerment.

Maximum Intolerance, Mounting Resistance features feminists and activists such as Mahboubeh Abbasgholizadeh, Kamla Bhasin, Anka Grzywacz, Sandra Castaneda, Shaina Greiff, Sunila Singh, Debbie Stothard, Adin Thayer, Giles Ji Ungpakorn and Noam Chomsky, among many others.

This WIA issue will be distributed in time for the Asia Pacific NGO Forum on Beijing + 15 in the Philippines in October 2009.

For more information, you may contact Nina Somera at nina[AT]isiswomen[DOT]org

facebook rndyoutube rnd twitter rnd