Faiza Elmasry’s article discusses the 50th anniversary of Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique, and the impact that the book and Women’s Rights Movement has had since it’s publication. The article explains the Friedan published the book in 1957 after attending her 15th college reunion , and learning that many of her female classmates were unhappy with their lives. These women had good husbands, nice homes, and beautiful families, so why were they unhappy? Friedan decided that she needed to articulate this feeling of being unfulfilled so she attempted to publish it as an article. When it was rejected by all journals, she instead turned it into a book. That book ended up awakening a generations of women, and helped propel the second wave of feminism. The article then goes on to discuss how real life women have been influenced by this book and movement. Stephanie Ortoleva is an human and women rights activist that read the book in the 70′s as a law student. She speaks of how even though her school was progressive, women still had to work harder to be noticed and thus the book spoke to her generation. She feels women have made a lot of strides since the time it was published but still have a far way to go. She also discusses how feminism really has begun to move forward on the global scale. The president of Washington DC’s NOW chapter, Susan Mottet says she thinks the younger generation is still involved in this movement, utilizing new avenues to spread their message such as social media. The younger generation had a somewhat differing opinion. 23 year olfd grad student Katayoun Kishi said she and her friends don’t consider themselves feminists because she thinks they don;t face the same discrimination as the women who came before them. How do you feel about the movement? Do you think it has made great strides? Do you think it is important for the younger generation to still identify as feminist? Do we still have far to go?
In this article, Amy Leiberman discusses the outcomes of this year’s UN Global Gathering of Women. While the gathering did produce conclusions via a 17 page document on the issue of violence against women, it is heavily criticized by many within gender and women’s rights. Many individuals say that the meeting has turned into a battleground over rights, rather than a public forum. As more agencies are included in this forum, the path to agreement becomes that much more bumpy. There are also issues of certain regions working together, such as Africa. Conservative nations get the larger voice in this group, while those which are more liberal are quieted. The meeting also concluded in the resignation of Michelle Bachelet, former executive director of UN Women. The meeting does hold value however, in the opportunity it presents for women from around the share their voices. Many travel far and long to be a part of it. However, the results of the gathering still fell short in addressing protections for lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual people and condemning violence against women in personal relationships.
Sarah El Deeb’s article discusses the opposition that a UN Women’s document has received from the Islamic Brotherhood in Egypt. The group has opposed this document because of clauses within it that they consider incompatible with the tenants of Islam. Actual details of the document have yet to be released pending negotiations. Officials are remaining optimistic that the document will pas, but there is speculation that Egypt will seek the choice to opt out of sections of the document before passing it. Libya has also publicly rejected the document. Egypt has called for an amendment to the document before they would approve it. Issues lie in the differences in interpretations of ideologies of Islamic law. The rise in Fundamentalist groups as a result of protests and political upheavals in the region has led to more traditional interpretations as well as an increase in violence against women. Women activists have responded on both sides, some agreeing with the document and others with those who have challenged it. Issues between differences in interpretations have created contention amongst Politicians and activist who have called for stronger protection and enforcement of rights for women. Shannon
In this Harvard Business School article, researches ponder the question why there are so few women holding board seats at the 1500 S&P businesses (only 14% of board seats are held by women). The results of their research are very interesting in some aspects (the similarities in how men and women in business think) and was completely not surprising in other aspects (men don’t think there are enough qualified women to fill board seats while women think the board seats are often filled by ultra-traditional methods). I definitely think this is an interesting investigation of women in business and the perceptions of women in business.
This Cuban Hip Hop group is interesting: Remember the critique that many black women in the US have of white feminists, and so they prefer the term “womanist” to “feminist”? Check out this group’s discussion of this issue and how they are framing themselves:
The senate today passed the re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act. All of the women senators voted in favor, as did all of the democrats and not surprisingly those who were opposed were republican men. Some very important changes were that Native American women, GLBT women, and immigrant women were all included. I am glad the Senate finally got it together to renew and expand the act. Women across the United States are grateful.
Based on the deadly gang rape the president added an anti-rape ordinance into law. Protesters are furious because they say it was crafted without any input and falls short of bringing perpetrators to justice. The outcry is also due to the perceived dismissal of the recommendations made by the Verma committee’s report. The finance minister did say that the ordinance would speed up the trial of those accused in the gang rape. One positive move was when the Supreme Court is considering a measure to lower the age of adult from 18-16, therefore, those that are found guilty of sexual assaults will face time in prison.
In Indonesia they are fighting for women’s rights, but LGBT rights are not considered to be part of those. In fact if LGBT rights are mentioned it brings backlash from the fundamentalists and weakens the advocacy for women. This is problematic because there is no one to speak up for the LGBT persons. Some of the organizations are fighting just to be able to gather together and associate with one another like in the East/ West film. Since the provinces are now allowed to govern themselves, discriminatory laws are being pushed through government by religious extremists. According to the author punishments can range from being stoned to death, imprisonment, and caning. There are some international activist groups trying to give assistance, but the government denies any wrongdoing. This reminds me of the conversation in class when we were discussing groups coming together to fight a common fight, such as women’s rights, and once they have made ground moving onto other issues such as LGBT. In this article I feel like the author is stressing the need to combine the two fights, as LGBT people are exposed to strict laws and punishments, and she is calling out CEDAW for their reluctance to speak about these issues.