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Feminism Needs Global Perspectives
Eight Recommended Books on Feminism in the Third World
to Help Develop Feminism in Global Perspectives

Various Perspectives from Africa, Latin America, Islam, Asia and others

▲ 8 recommended books for developing global feminism

Lately, there was the news that the Swedish Government was going to supply copies of the essay,『We Should All Be Feminists』by a Nigerian novelist Ngozi Adichie to all the teenagers in the age of 16. It is a project started by a Swedish women’s organization called ‘Swedish Women`s Lobby’ with the purpose of providing opportunities to discuss feminism and gender equality for teenagers.

It is remarkable that Sweden, known as the most developed country in terms of gender equality did focus on an African writer`s book from the Third World other than Western writers or writers in the country who had led feminist campaigns. Adichie from Nigeria is a promising author who has received quite a few awards, which are Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for her first novel, 『Purple Hibiscus』, including Orange Prize for a short story, 『Half of a Yellow Sun』, which was also selected as ‘One of the 100 notable books of this year’ by New York Times. The novel,『We Should All Be Feminists』was written based on Adichie’s TED lecture, having drawn big attention after it was featured in Beyoncé’s ‘Flawless’.

Mina Salami, the blogger of an African feminist blog called ‘Ms. Afropolitan’, evaluated that choosing the Adachie`s book is such a meaningful event in favor of global feminism as well as feminism in Sweden. She emphasized in her column contributed to a British daily news, ‘The Guardian’ that “No regional differences can exist in feminism” and “Our feminism should have a global view point going beyond our own communities.” In addition, she recommended eight books including 『We Should All Be Feminists』for developing global feminism.

The First one is『Sister Outsider』written by Audre Lorde who is an immigrant from Grenada in the Caribbean Sea. This book shows the writer`s thinking of various issues such as gender discrimination, racial discrimination and homophobia. She describes herself as ‘a black, a lesbian, a mother, a soldier and a poet’.

『Woman at Point Zero』by Nawal El Saadawi, an Egyptian feminist and writer, is based on a real story about a woman waiting for execution in Cairo Prison. It reveals women`s problems through a woman’s story who had been born in a poor Egyptian family and suffered from tragedies such as forced marriage with a 65 old man, rape and circumcision.

『Your Fatwa Does Not Apply』written by Karima Bennoune, a law professor at the UC Davis School, who specializes in international law, deals with very impressive stories about those struggling against Islamic fundamentalism, sacrificing their own lives. This book becomes far more important these days as the terrorism of Islamic fundamentalists is getting more severe. Another book dealing with Islamic problems,『Headscarves and Hymens』 by Mona Eltahawy is strongly recommended for reading to understand the Arab Revolution.

『Under Western Eyes』included in『Feminism Without Borders』by Chandra Talpade Mohanty, a postcolonial feminism theorist from India, is also an important book in terms of global feminism. Also,『Why Women Will Save the Planet』by an environmental organization called ‘Friends of the Earth’ provides an opportunity to widen the sight of feminism from social justice to environment justice.

Salami said, “All these books are must-reads for global feminists and provide intellectual arguments, and lastly recommended『Mad Women』, a book of poetry written by a Chilean author, Gabriela Mistral, stressing on the importance of arts, poems and mythologies in addition to academic theories. End. 

Park yoonsu Women’s news reporter(birdy@womennews.co.kr)/ Trans by Choi Eunyoung
1369호 [World] (2016-01-06)
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