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Joanna Kerr, Ellen Sprenger and Alison Symingtan, (eds) 2004, The Future of Women's Rights: Global Vision and Strategies.

Joanna Kerr, Ellen Sprenger and Alison Symingtan, (eds) 2004, The Future of Women's Rights: Global Vision and Strategies, zeal Books, LONDON / NEW YORK. ISBN 1842774581 Cased ISBN 184277 459-Limp.

Bringing together 13 articles on The Future of Women's Rights, this volume differs from others on the Subject by its focus on the global visions and Strategies. The two major themes running through the book are the relationship between the women's strategies and the vision for the future. Bringing together both theoretical contributions and case studies pertaining to particular state or region, the book provides insights into various important questions including how social transformation brought about? What are the most important driving forces of change? How can women engage with these forces in order to bring about more just societies? And how can women remain committed to collective action to improve the status of women?

The Major issue discussed thoroughly in the book is that, diversity and difference have been celebrated as intrinsic to the development of women's movement. It is an achievement of the women's movement to corporate and connects diverse political sectors, identifies issues into the global women's agenda. One of these issues related to their rights. Although important progress has been made in recent years toward achieving gender equality, much remains to be done. The Contributors to this volume are seeing pressing needs for women's movements to evaluate the methods they have used until now, with a view to making their political work more effective in the future. Recognizing that gender is an important social division marked by inequality. This book emphasizes the importance of gender equity and women's empowerment.

The book is the result of joint project of Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID) and Mama cash. The Project had its origins in a gender policy review workshop hosted by Novib, Oxfam, Netherlands, 1-2 November 2001 in The Hague where Toanna Kerr presented a paper on 'Trends in Gender Equality Work Around The World'. The main focus of the project to identifying and analyze issues, processes and potential impacts on women's rights and gender equality in the coming years.

The introduction by Alison Symington and Ellen Sprenger, "The Future of Women's Rights: explains the past and the future situation of women, the devising strategies and visions for the future, challenges and opportunities and the strategies and vision for feminist engagement. Joanna Kerr in chapter (2) focuses on issues related to trade liberalization and investment policy; technological development; militarization and armed conflict; religious, Cultural and ethnic extremism, and the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

Challenges currently facing African feminism including poverty, globalization, armed conflict, political exclusion and citizenship, and continuing failures, are the contribution and of Bisi Adeleye--Fayemi in chapter (3). Her main Argument is that the global feminist movement should see its task as one of continually creating new, transformatory identities of women from which new strategies and vision will emerge.

The chapter by Mahnaz Afkhami, place women's individual rights of choice at the centre of feminist discourse, concluding with an action agenda for practical feminist mobilization into the future.

An interview with Josefs (GIGI) Francisco, as Strategic activist, regional coordinator of DAWI of the IGTN Asia region node, and a long--time faculty member in International Studies Department bringing to both her research and her advocacy the depth of understanding. Chapter (5) illustrates her ability to identify connections between the current political climate and the longer--term struggle for women's right. She also projected how in the future these political realities could innact an ability of all peoples to live freely and without fear of oppression.

The Critical challenges for the global women's movement are poverty, conflict and militarization and the rise of fundamentalisms of various kinds. However, the importance of chapter (6) is the fact that authors addressed themselves to the challenges faced by poor and laboring women and they build their analysis from the experience of women in South Asia. The examples demonstrate that people most affected by economic policy changes and reform, especially poor women, have no power to play a role in such decision-making, but are more often victims rather than being beneficiaries. The author suggested that the links between conflict and poverty, and / or between peace and prosperity are strongly, absent beyond the level of lip service from both discourses on poverty and international "strategic" issues and peace. Also the chapter suggests three strategies that must guide women's movement to face the challenges and threats: revisiting frameworks, strengthening the base and recasting structures. These ideas are critical for women collective future.

Sarah Bracks, in chapter (7) brings the contradictions and complexities of late global capitalism for contemporary feminism. She suggested four elements seen as a possibility to solve these complexities by a new transnational division of labor and mobility of capital result in a profound restructuring of the labor market. She concluded that women's movements need to politicize, where the process of politicization could put the women within the current globalization and anti-capitalist struggles.

Chapter (8) by Ana Criquillion, demonstrate the importance of direct representation and participation of women in public an decision-making as well as the relevance of popular culture and the media in shifting the balance of public opinion in favor of Women's rights. It also demonstrates the core experiences common to all women. Such experiences include relative poverty, restriction on the ability to exercise a full and satisfying sexual life and on women's control over their reproductive capacity, external life and on women's control over their reproductive capacity, and the violence that women all over the world still experience. In conclusion the chapter suggests some proposals for strategies. These include, the issue of economic rights, the need to influence public opinion among women and young people, to create and lead new mixed organizations of all types, and finally the issue of sustainability and autonomy of feminist movement in each region and globally were also suggested.

Neo liberal globalization is well presented in chapter (9) as one of the major challenges for feminist movements at this time. A key Strategy for Alda Facio in this chapter is developing feminist movement spirituality and consciousness. The greatest value of this exercise in understanding the future of women's rights comes from broader insight that provides into globalization and its impact on women.

Chapter (10) explores the emerging trends and future developments that affects or will affect, the rights of women. The chapter looks specifically at the need for feminist analysis of security and defence policy. In terms of international advocacy work, the author encourages links between the local and the global, as well as 'reasserting" a collective feminist identity and commitment. The chapter concluded that there is a need of women's movement to develop: a structure; political will and commitment to collective action; and measures of providing support solidarity. Similar strategies are suggested by Srilatha Batliwala in chapter (6).

How has globalization threatened a range of women's rights? This chapter presents a fascinating exploration of the impact of globalization on the women's rights. The chapter also focuses on the interconnected issues of HIV/AIDS and economic globalization and their impact on the rights of women and girls. Power bases that are not oppressive, developing feminist theory or/and identities as challenges for young feminists today are identified in more details in terms of strategies for future. Lida Facio outlines a commitment to transparency building bridges between local and global activism, developing activist citizenship, scaling up advocacy efforts and using human rights frameworks as areas where women could direct their efforts.

The reflection from Anslasia Posadsraya in chapter (12) is an output of fifteen years of experience in directing academic and advocacy programmes focusing on women's rights. She critically assesses the past strategies which women critically reject them to replace them with something novel. Her suggestions are the need of new mechanism for alternative processes for using human rights instruments outside the United Nation' reporting mechanism.

The final chapter deals with the comprehensive resources varied as participants studied. Its findings can be usefully taken on board by policy makers. It uses multiple data sources and streams. It sets up alternative explanations of the role of networking and education, and leases out answers to the questions raised at the outset and appropriately qualifies its finings. If anything, it tries to be holistic, and lays a very wide base for constructing its story. In the end the out come is excellent.

The collection is the first of its kind and draws upon a group of international activist scholars. The essays demonstrate conclusively that future is shaped by highly empowered women of vision and substance. This collection also provides both a dynamic critical understanding of new insights to help us to focus on the challenges that face us today, and also help us to thinks about what we should do to secure a future of justice to all women.

Reviewed By: Dr Asia Maccawi Ahmed, Assistant Professor, School of Management Sciences, Ahfad University for Women.
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Author:Ahmed, Asia Maccawi
Publication:Ahfad Journal
Article Type:Book review
Date:Dec 1, 2005
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