Direct Link to Full 168-Page Text:



Urgent Action Fund for Women's Human Rights

Jane Barry with Jelena Dordevic


Putting the Soul Back Into Your Life and Your Work


"There is a powerful and growing realisation in women's rights movements that the time has come to make well-being and sustainability a priority.


Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi summed this up beautifully in her eloquent appeal for change:


     Addressing the physical, spiritual, and emotional needs of women has been

     a major shortcoming of our work as feminists. In the very social and

     institutional arenas in which we must work, the compounded effects of the

     growing backlash against the women's movement, media harassment,

     cultural and religious fundamentalisms, the pressures of running

     organisations, and the challenges of balancing family and professional

     obligations, make the task of sustaining individual women's energies very



     Many of us are tired, burnt out, depressed and angry; and many of us have

     gone through intense periods of crisis characterised by a breakdown in

     relationships, problems with our families, betrayals of trust, bitterness and

     deep hurt. Increasingly, we are cynical; and we are just 'going through the

     motions.' And while many of us are aware of this, we seldom talk about it.

     For a movement that has thrived on the slogan 'the personal is political,' we

     have not reflected on how much of what we do and with one another is both

     'personal' and 'political.'


     We need to go back to the old feminist strategies of consciousness-

     raising and developing women's self-esteem. We need to teach ourselves

     how to feel pain and how to talk about what we are going through rather

     than denying it or seeking comfort in all the wrong places. We have to

     learn how to like each other, to respect each other, and to love each other,

     and most importantly, how to take great joy in doing that.


     We want to put the soul back into our movement!"