In the last century, women’s rights ran a marathon. Across the globe, women fought and won the right to slam their stove doors shut and put down their mops to participate more equally in government, in education, in paid work, and all the other wonderful things that a good life offers. So much so that the feminism of fifty years ago sounds outdated and unnecessary to the young women in the Western World today. Yet if the goal is to secure an environment in which women can reach their potential, today’s guests set-out why many women actually get something far short of the ideal, and how women are fighting back.
- The militias in many countries are now using the genitals of women as a weapon of war. Marie Claire Faray regularly returns to the Congo - her homeland - where the militia’s have raped 200,000 women to humiliate their communities and cripple their families. She explains why.
- From African villages to the suburbs of America, historically women with children clean and cook while men go out to put food on the table. For women, that can mean slave-like drudgery. That’s why feminists started an international campaign for a wage for housework. Selma James - co-author of The Power of Women and the Subversion of the Community - tallies some of its impressive victories.
- In totalitarian countries like China, when men are imprisoned for their politics, their wives end up being punished with them. Lee Tan, from the Australian Conservation Council, reads extracts from an essay by Ouyang Xiaorong called: ‘The life of a political prisoner’s wife’.
- How can women get their issues onto a political agenda dominated by men? Sharon Bhagwan-Rolls - coordinator of femLINKPACIFIC - takes a suitcase radio out into the rural areas of Fiji to record the voices of the people and play them back to policy makers and politicians. She tells us the results.
- The mothers and grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo - the wonder women of Argentina - were pivotal to punishing the murdering military which rampaged through Argentina during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Rita Arditti - the author of Searching for life: The grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo and the Disappeared Children of Argentina - recounts how they’ve fought and won.
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