Book Review: Feminism and Nationalism in the Third World" by Kumari Jayawardena

 Book: "Feminism and Nationalism in the Third World" by Kumari Jayawardena

Reviewed by: Kaleem Baloch

"The book is organized around case studies of women who are leading feminist, socialist,
and political movements in eleven Eastern nations: Egypt, Iran, Turkey, India, Sri Lanka, China, Japan, Korea, Philippines, Vietnam, and Indonesia. These nations have all experienced direct hostility from imperialist governments who want to annex their territory and enslave their people through projects that they indirectly exploit. These case studies are set against the backdrop of the East World's expanding nationalist liberation struggle, which grew out of the East World's desire to exploit its colonies for its emancipation, and which gave rise to a shared struggle for freedom between feminist and nationalist forces."

Kumari Jayawardena, a historian from Sri Lanka, took a train from Brussels to The Hague in the early 1980s to attend a course on the history of women's movements. The book was first published in 1982 and later developed into a significant work of feminism and nationalism in the Third World. The book was reissued as one of Verso's feminist classics. It was published in Turkey, Egypt, Iran, India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Philippines, China, and Vietnam more than three decades after it originally came to light. The finest introduction in Korea and Japan is still the history of women's movements. It introduces us to a variety of women and men who attempted reform and revolutionary change, as well as their lives and ideologies. Their stories practically leap off the page.

Poet Kyu, who was born in 1875, left her husband and children behind in Beijing to study in Japan and started dressing like a man. "The new women were from and organized the women's army," said Jaski Identity Rebel. The "Jungle Birds Stone" theatrical poetry, which connected the oppressed Chinese women to the humiliation of their nation as a result of imperialism, was written in a style that was popular among women and illiterate people. The Mancho government executed Qi Jin in 1907 for conspiring to overthrow it. Jayawardena recounts traditional forms of resistance, such as the women who fought in Korea and the war-torn female fighters. In the 12th century, Ibn Rashid lived in Iran. Lee Rosen's 1827 novel "Flowers in the Mirror" (Flower the Mirror), which imagined a world in which Chinese males struggled to tie their feet rather than women, is one example of an educated man who questioned the limited lives of women. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, he worked within women's households and took action against exploitation and oppression in society, adopting a broad understanding of feminist rights. The book asserts that feminism is not racially exclusive and is similar to other radical ideologies in that it connects things within a particular historical context. Her book makes statements about women's liberation that are connected to nationalist movements' encouragement of modernity.

Colonial women resorted to Western thought and feminism as a result of the paradoxical impacts of global capitalism, but they also reintroduced the concepts of freedom for themselves. Women's publications, books, letters, and oral stories from border crossers all contributed to the dissemination of these views. As a result, Egyptian women learned about modern secular reform in Turkey, while Chinese women heard about Japanese "new women." Jayawardena demonstrates how a crucial first step was education. Sanskrit was taught to Indian reformer Pindata Rambai (1858–1922) by his father. He challenged social inequality and women's institutions and universities using his knowledge, becoming an activist. Despite how the colonial system distorted these cordial ties, Raden Edgeng Cartini (1879–1904) was inspired by reading about Pundita Rambai and was further bolstered by correspondence with Dutch socialists and feminists who were advancing the movement for not only women's suffrage but also for economic equality and sexual self-determination. He admitted that the solution did not lie in merely copying the "European world": "Jayawardena shows a multifaceted nationalism that is driven by the romantic ideas of materialism."

Nationalism's emergence in the late 19th and early 20th centuries he was instrumental in challenging and rebelling against gender stereotypes that were held both by men and women. Nationalist ideologue Zia Goklip in Turkey emphasized women's equality, whereas Muslim reformer Qasim Amin in Egypt rejected public displays of affection and prearranged weddings. He promoted access to education, employment, and legal reform. Muslim nations' modern nationalist women have rejected the mask. He shaved his head, battled against foot binding in China, and fought against the Spanish in the Catholic Philippines.

Jayawardena demonstrates a complex nationalism that is motivated by both romantic notions of materialism and conceptions of development. Demands for independence by women Cultural and social Colonialism and global capitalism that evolved as a result of these differences severely impacted poor women before escalating into insurrection. The first strike by female factory workers in Japan took place in 1886, and as soon as women entered the textile sector in India, communist women or organizers like garment worker Bai Bhur fought for improved working conditions during the British era. Sri Lankan women were beaten and forced to work in coffee and rubber gardens in exchange for repairing roads. During the decades 1920 and 30، Communists and Trotskyites helped unite them in 1948 a group of left-wing women formed Sri Lanka's first socialist feminist group.

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