I’m just back from a family vacation in India where I was struck by the healthy public debates and frequent news hour analyses on the current Women's Reservation Bill that would provide for 33% “reservations” (quotas) for women in parliament and local state assemblies. This is a part of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s larger commitment to laws providing for gender equality in a country where millions of women and their families struggle to live on less than a $1 a day without regular access to food, water, housing, livelihoods, reproductive care or education.
Clearly, this is now a world-wide trend to bring more women into decision making positions in government and corporations. Norway, Spain, Netherlands have already passed legislation that would help to bring 30% to 40% women on corporate boards.
History is a collective story. It is selectively written, representing even unintended preferences of its author, and it is selectively understood, transforming as the mind of the reader practices a sort of cognitive dissonance to contextualize it.
This video was inspired by historian Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner who brilliantly determined to preserve and document the writings of suffragist Matilda Joslyn Gage. In the 19th century, Gage complained that women of means funded their husbands' alma maters, churches and the ballet, but rarely stepped forward to fund their suffragette sisters. Imagine how different the world would be today if women had begun funding women sooner! This fast-moving video shows how today's women's funding movement, and new giving trends like Women Moving Millions, are literally changing the course of history. Video produced for The Sister Fund by Chicken & Egg Pictures, The Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation and Great Plains Productions.
In today's WMC Exclusive, "An Architect of Feminist Human Rights Law," human rights leader and feminist foremother Charlotte Bunch offers a tribute to Rhonda Copelon, who had a profound impact femininst human rights law. Says Bunch,
Feminist and human rights lawyer Rhonda Copelon often worked behind the scenes, but her finger prints, or perhaps I should say brain waves, are all over many of the most important breakthroughs in progressive feminist advances both in the United States and globally...Feminist scholar Ros Petchesky called Rhonda her “model of a life fully realized.” Even more than her brilliance, Ros cited her friend’s “practice of a truly feminist humanity in the everyday—her devotion to younger generations, her fierce and loving presence for her many friends; and her passionate embrace of both politics and fun.”
Bryna Tuft, East Asian Languages and Literatures (graduate student and GTF), “A Fine and Private Place: Literary Privacy and Feminist Politics of the Self in the Works of the Avant-Garde Women Writers.”
Vacuuming the carpet, making the bed, cooking dinner, or using room freshener may be hazardous to women’s health. These activities all release potentially harmful allergens and pollutants. However household air pollution is not regulated, putting respiratory health at risk.
The founding president of the National Council for Research on Women, Mariam Chamberlain, just turned 92. Gwendolyn Beetham, a former NCRW staff member, posted a "tribute a gender studies godmother" on Feministing in Mariam's honor. Mariam's many contributions to the feminist and social justice movements include:
WASHINGTON (April 20) – Dorothy Irene Height, long-time civil rights activist, chair and president emerita of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) and "godmother of the women's movement," died of natural causes 3:41 a.m. Tuesday, April 20, at Howard University Hospital, 27 days after her 98th birthday.