The articles in this collection, covering the diverse regions of Afghanistan, Egypt, and Palestine, engage in questions concerning gender and human rights discourses, anticolonial and anti-imperialist resistance, and religious and political fundamentalisms. They also discuss “colonial feminism” and “imperialist feminism” in the context of current wars and occupation in the Middle East, examine the mutually reinforcing yet conflicting relationships between regressive forces in the West and the Middle East, and consider the place of gender analysis in the debate on “empire” and “imperialism.” The articles in this special section, as well as the literature cited in this introduction, warn us that, in spite of the proliferation of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), the conditions of women's lives are deteriorating and levels and forms of exploitation are on the rise. Women, whether under war and occupation in Iraq, Palestine, or Afghanistan or in the marketplace of NGOs, continue to suffer from the rule of capital in its imperialist expansion. The amount of critical literature on the role of women's NGOs is limited and needs to be expanded, to delve deeper into questions of how women's NGOs fit into the continuation of the production of capital and labor and the furthering of imperialism.
Shahrzad Mojab; Introduction: Gender and Empire. Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 1 August 2010; 30 (2): 220–223. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/1089201X-2010-008
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