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  • Event: 20 years of Women Against Fundamentalism

    by Sunny
    9th November, 2009 at 8:16 am    

    Is the iconic (but short-lived) ‘Women Against Fundamentalism’ back?? I hope so

    Today, the need to challenge the rise of religious fundamentalism in all religions is more critical than ever. At the same time we need to safeguard secular spaces (both physical and intellectual) where people of all religions and none can participate in public life and express themselves on equal terms.

    Struggle not submission; 20 Years of Women Against Fundamentalism
    A public meeting organised by Women Against Fundamentalism
    3 - 6pm, 28th November 2009
    Room 3A, University of London Union,
    Malet Street, London, WC1E 7HY
    Entrance £5

    All welcome

    This meeting will look back over the past 20 years since WAF was founded and assess the challenges we face now and in the future

    Gita Sahgal will show her film Struggle or Submission and talk about changes in the political scene over the past 20 years.
    Peter Tatchell will discuss the Single Equality Bill and the exclusion of sexual minorities from the scope of its protection.
    Julia Bard will talk about faith schools, the agendas being played out and the impact on religious/minority identities.
    Clara Connolly

    Women Against Fundamentalism
    Women Against Fundamentalism (WAF) was formed in 1989 to challenge the rise of fundamentalism in all religions. Its members include women from a wide range of backgrounds and from across the world.

    By fundamentalism we mean a modern political movement which is using religion to gain or consolidate power. We do not mean religious observance, which we see as a matter of individual choice.

    Fundamentalism and the role of women
    Fundamentalism is found in all religions throughout the world, sometimes holding state power, sometimes in opposition to it. But whatever their relationship to the state, all fundamentalists see women’s role as crucial in representing and transmitting
    the supposedly unchanging morals and traditions of the whole community.

    Women who fail to conform to so-called traditional family values are portrayed as placing the wellbeing and future of the whole society or community at risk. The control of women’s minds and bodies is, therefore, at the heart of fundamentalist agendas everywhere.

    Join us in building a secular movement
    Women Against Fundamentalism believes that only secular institutions – which have no religious agenda – can begin to bring about equality for people of all religions or none. We oppose the delegation of public funds and responsibilities to religious leaders and institutions.

    via Stroppybird

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    1. pickles

      Blog post:: Event: 20 years of Women Against Fundamentalism

    2. John Relation

      Pickled Politics » Event: 20 years of Women Against Fundamentalism

    1. Halima — on 9th November, 2009 at 12:54 am  


      Thanks for linking this event.

      I wondered what had happened to this amazing movement. I think I must've been about 18, maybe younger, when my friends Georgie Wemyss and Clare Ramsaran (two remarkable young women getting to grips with the unfolding East London anti-racist scene at the time) introduced me to the Tower Hamlet's launch meeting of Women Against Fundamentalism - and then it was a movement against the rise of the BNP and Derek Beacon on the Isle of Dogs, as well as religious fundamentalism. Madeline Bunting attended this meeting in Bethnal Green to cover what appeared to be the emergence of an important grassroots coalition. The movement stood for all fundamentalisms. Both Wemyss and Ramsaran have been intimately connected to the women's moments in East London and the UK more widely, and I'll never forget my introduction to feminist politics from them. Though I did wonder why people like Tariq Modood and so on when on to criticise Women Against Fundamentalism. Yes, their starting point is the ISM that works against women but I didn’t think this was a particularly controversial point…

    2. Fojee Punjabi — on 9th November, 2009 at 1:05 am  

      Should be good but I beg to ask how we're going to deal with the fundamentalist feminist nut-jobs!

      I jest!

      Please don't hurt me, ladies :(

    3. persephone — on 9th November, 2009 at 2:47 pm  

      A shame I cannot go to this. If some of it is video'ed suggest PP put it on here?

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