This book is divided into two sections. The first section, chapters one through three, takes a broad view of economic development and liberalization in the MENA region, and is intended to provide the reader with a useful framework for the country-specific case studies that follow in the second section of the book. In the second section, starting with chapter four, six country-specific case studies are presented from different authors. Chapters four and five examine how structural adjustment programs affect women’s access to public sector employment in Egypt. Chapters six and seven address globalization’s effect on the nature of women’s activism and ability to organize in Jordan and Tunisia. Chapters seven and eight investigate the revision of gender ideologies in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The authors’ research makes several important contributions. Primarily, it seeks to explain why disparities, in education, income and labor force participation, are greater in the MENA region out of the larger developing world. Noting the importance of this endeavor, it sheds light on the complex and often contradictory relationship between globalization and social change. While the authors do identify common regional dynamics, they do not address any regional strategies that women in the MENA countries have undertaken or the benefit of such cooperation on these issues. Furthermore, the reader ought to consider that this research was conducted prior to September 11, 2001. While the editors include an additional post- September 11 th chapter on women’s education in Saudi Arabia and an epilogue at the book’s conclusion, they fall short of offering any substantive commentary on how this event will undoubtedly affect regional economic development and its gender impact. - By Anne Figge “Healing the Holy Land: Inter-religious Peacemaking in Israel/Palestine” By Yehezkzl Landau United States Institute for Peace, September 2003. Peaceworks N° 51
Since 2000, through its Religion and Peacemaking Initiative, USIP has worked at strengthening the capacity of religious communities to help resolve conflicts. “Healing the Holy Land” is part of a larger series on dialogue between religious leaders in Macedonia, Nigeria, between Jews and Christian from the United States and Muslims from both the United States and other countries. “Healing the Holy Land: Inter-religious Peacemaking in Israel/Palestine” is an interesting exploration of religious peacemaking in Israel and Palestine. The author focuses on efforts to build bridges between religious communities, especially Jewish and Muslim communities, as well as interfaith efforts to promote peace. The author advocates that even though the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is primarily a political dispute between two nations over a common homeland, it has religious aspects that need to be addressed in any effective peacemaking strategy. Therefore, the peace agenda cannot be the monopoly of secular nationalist leaders, for such an approach guarantees that fervent religious believers on all sides will feel excluded and threatened by the diplomatic process. Religious
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