This Solidarity of Sisters

  • Rosalind P. Petchesky


An invitation to reflect on writing that one did over a dozen years ago is inevitably a post-mortem about memory, time, the despair of nauseating repetition, and the delight of rediscovery and surprise. Everything that seems old is also new, or open to new interpretations; and what might seem new is inexorably haunted by the (colonial, patriarchal, nationalist, racist) burdens of the past. ‘Globalization, Women’s Health and Economic Justice: Reflections Post-September 11’ originated as a plenary address to the Macalester International Roundtable of October 2001. It was written partly during the summer preceding the Roundtable, while I was also writing a book on this topic (Petchesky 2003), and then completed in the weeks following the September 11 attacks on the US; hence its conversational style, its disjunctive (before and after) structure and its sombre tone. Going back to look at it, so many years and global disasters later, made me weep because little has changed on the geopolitical landscape. At the end of 2014, the US is more immersed in war than it was in 2002 — the same wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, now extended to Syria, Yemen and Pakistan — and more committed to a limitless ‘War on Terror’, now involving unmanned drone attacks killing untold numbers of civilians, as well as continued detention without trial of ‘enemy combatants’ and ubiquitous surveillance of citizens and foreigners alike.1 Since 2011, Washington has spent US$4 trillion on this security and military behemoth, also a boondoggle for a handful of corporate contractors: ‘one of the largest transfers of wealth from public to private hands in American history’ (Risen 2014).


Police Brutality Enemy Combatant Boko Haram Sexual Health Advocate United Nations Research Institute 
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© Rosalind P. Petchesky 2016

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  • Rosalind P. Petchesky

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