Social Scientist. v 13, no. 149-50 (Oct-Nov 1985) p. 121.


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BOOK REVIEWS

MARGARET RANDALL. SANDINO'S DAUGHTER'S: Testimonies of Nicaraguan Worn^n in Struggle, New Star Books Vancouver/Toronto, 1981.

WRITING ABOUT the participation of women in the Telangana movement, P. Sundarayya referred to that tremendous revolutionary spirit and energy that is smouldering in our economically and socially oppressed womenfolk. If we only take a little trouble to enable it to emerge out of its old tradition-bound shell, and try to channel it in the proper direction, what a mighty upheaval it will lead to.'

Six years ago and twenty eight years after that heroic struggle in our part of the world, a small nation of three million people, 51% of whom Were women, successfully liberated itself. The struggle of the Nicaraguan people began more than half a century ago and culminated in the overthrow of one of the most brutal dictatorships, thereby becoming a thorn in the global strategy of the mighty economic and military power of the United States to chain the major part of the world to poverty, illiteracy and the worst kinds of social and state oppression in order to protect the interests of private profit. Characteristic of the later part of this struggle has been the remarkable participation by women.

Nicaraguan women did not mere}y participate in unprecedented numbers, they successfully performed tasks hitherto thought primarily to be the concern of men. As Margaret Randall describes it, "Women fought in the front lines as FSLN militants, participated in support tasks, worked under cover in government offices and were involved in every facet of the anti-Somoza opposition movement... By the final offensive, women made up 30% of the Sandinist army and held important leadership positions, commanding everything from small units to full battalions. In fact, the contribution of women, both in kind and in quantity, has been an essential component of the Nicaraguan Revolution, leaving its mark both on the political, economic and social changes introduced after July 1979 and on the existing social relations between men and women."

Sandino's Daughters attempts to record in exemplified form how women from different social backgrounds transformed themselves while fighting alongside their brothers to transform their homeland. The book is befittingly dedicated to "the women and men who with their lives defeated the old



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