Event, General, Politics, Source, Women's History

A Century of Feminist Foreign Policy – Looking Back for Help Today

Since WILPF’s inception, the world has experienced 224 wars. During that same timeframe, women won two important struggles for human rights. The first, of course, was the right to vote in 1920; the second, the right to reproductive freedom in 1972. Jacobs, and the group that formed out of the Hague conference insisted then, and we insist now, on a third human right —the right to be at the peace table; to be part of the decisions to make war or keep the peace. Fewer than one in 40 of the signatories of major peace agreements since 1992 have been female, according to the UN development fund for women. This needs to change.

Today, there are 50 ongoing violent conflicts resulting in 50 million refugees around the world, and untold death and destruction. The international trade of lemons and toothbrushes is regulated, but not guns and other weapons. Would the adoption of more feminist foreign policy and an increase in women’s participation in peace negotiations put an end to arms and conflict? Probably not. But the point is not to end conflict, but to resolve it without recourse to military violence. The world is missing a powerful opportunity for creating sustainable peace when it turns to military solutions and restricts the participants at peace negotiations to the men with guns.

Event, Politics, Source, Women's History

Left on Pearl – 1970s Women’s Liberation Remembered

1970s Women’s Liberation Movement activism not only brought together women of diverse backgrounds. It ensured women’s voices were heard in political struggles of the time which women saw as intimately connected with women’s drive for a new world where egalitarian ideals would be met and women’s independence, bodily integrity and empowerment would be central. The 888 action was determined that women’s space should be free for women to consciousness raise and engage with the antiwar movement, civil rights, black power, lesbian and gay rights movements on women’s terms. Consistent with past wmen’s movement struggles, affordable housing was one of the issues taken up – reminiscent of Jane Addams and the Chicago movement of times past, where women trade unionists and suffragists like Alice Henry and Miles Franklin took up the banner.

Biography, Politics, Women's History

Jessie Street, Carrie Chapman Catt & Women’s Movement Internationalism

Fifty years after women meet at Seneca Falls, and almost fifty before debates about the content of the Women’s Charter, Life and Labor carries articles from women taking an internationalist view of the labour movement and women’s industrial struggle. Australians are contributors and even more closely associated with the journal. When in January 1906 she moves from Melbourne to Chicago, as first editor Henry brings with her journalistic expertise and respect gained in Australia. She brings along, too, her Women’s Movement activism and the support of confederates and mentors, Catherine Helen Spence amongst them. She carries letters of introduction from Spence to Susan B. Anthony, Jane Addams and Anna Garlin Spencer amongst others. She knows from direct experience, working internationally in the nineteenth and into the twentieth century, that the movement for women’s rights necessarily crosses national boundaries.