Posts Tagged ‘Feminism’

Women Responding to War

by Roberta Cohen

Whatever would Aristophanes, the Greek playwright of antiquity, think of the new US Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) documentary, Women, War and Peace? In his play Lysistrata performed in the fifth century B.C., Aristophanes depicted women tired of war and angry over its devastation of their and their families’ lives, uniting marching, occupying the Acropolis and withholding themselves to force men to the negotiating table. They triumph: the warring parties sign a peace agreement and the women propose some of its terms. For Aristophanes and his Greek audiences, women in war did not have to be victims but rather potentially powerful agents of change.

Fast forward twenty-five centuries to the US PBS documentary whose five riveting segments also show that when women join hands, they can rise above enormous odds in wartime. Here is some of what they achieved:  

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Gender and Climate Change: Durban Explores the Intersection

by Rebecca Lefton

Most people do not think of climate change as a gender issue. But experts at the COP 17 climate conference in Durban, South Africa are trying to raise awareness of the disproportionate impact that a changing climate has on women. Women are responsible for collecting water that is becoming increasingly scarce, and they are needing to travel farther distances to reach clean water supplies. Women are primarily responsible for putting food on the table, but food prices are rising and as climate change worsens agricultural productivity. And women are often the most vulnerable in war and regional conflicts, which will be exacerbated by resource scarcity.

A discussion held  in Durban focused on these impacts. The panel featured the Honorable Mary Robinson, the former president of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. In addressing climate resilience, Robinson stressed the importance of focusing on health and burden impacts of climate change. One of the keys is access to reproductive health for women.

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What I Learned As a Playboy Bunny in the ’70s

My nascent anger at the artifice I saw all around me caused me to unknowingly join in it even more than I could have seen.  By Lili Bee

At seventeen, most girls were filling out college applications. I was nervously chewing my fingernails at an audition to become a bunny at the New York Playboy Club.
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Equality for women? Don’t make me laugh

By Lin Hatfield Dodds

 

I have no time for those who airily claim that women have scaled the Everest of equality and triumphantly planted a flag right on the peak. Please. Don’t make me laugh. Or cry.

Over the past decade or so, we’ve heard the victory cry that feminism is over – that it’s no longer needed, that the battles have been won, that women have achieved equality.

It’s true, some giant strides have been taken. We vote, we work, we run companies, head up political parties, mount expeditions to improbable parts of the world, achieve breakthroughs in science and significantly shape the arts.

But we are still the primary carers of our children (and increasingly our parents), we are more likely to be in casual or part time than full time work, we are less educated and are still paid less than men.

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