Our Sisters from Stable Countries: Globalization, Gender and Accountability

The article explores linkages between the transnational activities of a Canadian oil company operating in Sudan and the human rights and humanitarian violations committed by the government of Sudan against the people of southern Sudan in the course of the ongoing civil war. The specific impact of the armed conflict on women is recounted in microcosm through a meeting between the author, a member of a fact-finding mission to Sudan, and a group of Nuer women. The encounter also provides an opportunity to query and theorize rhetorical strategies deployed within a context of profound asymmetries of power. These discursive appeals are designed to generate both solidarity and accountability among women for the violation of fundamental human rights. The author warns against attributing fixed and invariant meanings to particular tropes (such as sisterhood), arguing instead for an evaluation that takes into account the specific context within which discourses are deployed, including the position and agency of the speaker in relation to the listener. en

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