Women Against Fundamentalism: Stories of Dissent and Solidarity
Edited by Sukhwant Dhaliwal and Nira Yuval-Davis
This book maps the development of the organisation over the past 25 years, through the life stories and political reflections of some of its members, focusing on the ways in which lived contradictions have been reflected in their politics. Their stories describe the pathways that led them to WAF, and the role WAF has played in their lives and in the forms of politicial activism in which they have engaged. Discussing feminist activism from different ethnic and religious back-grounds, contributors highlight the complex relationships of belonging that are at the heart of contemporary social life – including the problems of exclusionary political projects of belonging. They explore the ways in which anti-fundamentalism relates to broader feminist, anti-racist and other emancipatory political ideologies and movements.
The personal stories at the centre of this book are those of women whose lives enact the complexities of multiple (if shifting and contingent) mutually constitutive axes of power and difference. Many of their concerns therefore relate to crossing the boundaries of collectivity and practising a ‘dialogical transversal politics’ that has developed as an alternative to identity politics.
Sukhwant Dhaliwal joined WAF in 1995. She has worked with Asian women’s organisations challenging domestic violence in both Newham and Manchester and has worked with Southall Black Sisters. For the last ten years, she has completed research projects encompassing a number of equality strands including: racism and racist violence; disability; age; religion and belief; and gender.
Nira Yuval-Davis is a founding member of WAF. She is the Director of the Centre on Migration, Refugees and Belonging (CMRB) at the University of East London and has been the President of an ISA Research Committee on Racism, Nationalism and Ethnic Relations. Her written and edited books include Racialized Boundaries; Gender and Nation; and The Politics of Belonging. She is currently leading a research team on Everyday Situated Bordering as part of an EU research programme.