Has Feminism failed Women?

Feminism is failing in the war against women says Virginia Haussegger in a thought provoking article.

She writes

There is a totalizing ideology on the march across the world, and it’s anti-women. This is not about religion, piety or virtue. Rather it’s about misogyny and a global war against women. It’s about the rights and freedoms of women. The ownership and control over women’s bodies has become the chief battleground.

Examples abound that all the increase in salaries of women in the corporate world has not addressed what happens under the untouchable umbrella of social customs and cultural practices.

In India, we have more than enough of this happening. From governments being mum on ridiculous judgments of khap panchayats and dishonor killings to daily stories of abandoned and battered girl children, we have ample reason to sit up in alarm.

It is not not that the fight against brutality to women is a purely feminist responsibility, far from it. In her book “Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide” Sheryl WuDunn proposes that the

Central moral challenge of this century is gender inequity

You should watch the whole video.

The important thing to learn from the video and from any work that highlights the issue of inequity is that gender inequity is not a womens problem only. Gender discrimination is the single greatest reason we are unable to face some of the greatest challenges of this decade like religious extremesm and HIV/AIDS pandemic.

While some of you might be skeptical that just educating and empowering women might be a panacea for all of worlds problems, for those who care to look and listen, (not just the video) the transforming power empowered women have on societies is fairly obvious.

I know that there are organizations like Bell bajao and CEHAT that work in the area of Domestic violence, but I am unaware of many others and whether these would call themselves feminist.

In the coming days I hope to gain some insight into the role of feminism in gender equity movement in India and hopefully a better understanding of how the feminist movement in India can take up this challenge with the urgency that it requires.

One thought on “Has Feminism failed Women?”

  1. Since when did feminism becmoe a dirty-word? Suffragette was a dirty word too, before women won the right to vote (a mere 91 years ago). Granted, had there not been a movement many years ago perhaps us ladies would not be where we are today. Not only would we not be here (in leadership positions, with weening pay gaps) today, we also wouldn’t have simple protections that many of us take for granted medical leave, safer and less harassing workplaces, and at least a shrinking gender pay gap.How many women (and men) depend on FMLA yearly to protect their jobs while they attend to their own or their family’s medical needs? Prior to 1993, this was left to the discretion of individual employers. What population do you think lead the charge to bring about that change? As long as gender pay gaps (even if shrinking) and glass ceilings (even if they are more breakable) exist, I think women-focused leadership groups to focus on these and other workplace challenges are valuable. If any population made 15-15% less than another, I’d hope they’d be working to discover the reasons, addressing those challenges, and closing the gap.You mentioned declining consideration for the women’s leadership group at a previous employer, so I’m assuming you hadn’t attended any meetings. How can you be sure male bashing was on the agenda? This hasn’t been a topic in my experience in any women’s groups in the past. Perhaps this is why they had a selection process, to weed out those that wanted to criticize and contradict their efforts.

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