Portal:Feminism

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The Feminism Portal

International Women's Day, Bangladesh (2005)

Feminism is a range of socio-political movements and ideologies that aim to define and establish the political, economic, personal, and social equality of the sexes. Feminism holds the position that societies prioritize the male point of view and that women are treated unjustly in these societies. Efforts to change this include fighting against gender stereotypes and improving educational, professional, and interpersonal opportunities and outcomes for women.

Originating in late 18th-century Europe, feminist movements have campaigned and continue to campaign for women's rights, including the right to vote, run for public office, work, earn equal pay, own property, receive education, enter into contracts, have equal rights within marriage, and maternity leave. Feminists have also worked to ensure access to contraception, legal abortions, and social integration; and to protect women and girls from sexual assault, sexual harassment, and domestic violence. Changes in female dress standards and acceptable physical activities for females have also been part of feminist movements.

Many scholars consider feminist campaigns to be a main force behind major historical societal changes for women's rights, particularly in the West, where they are near-universally credited with achieving women's suffrage, gender-neutral language, reproductive rights for women (including access to contraceptives and abortion), and the right to enter into contracts and own property. Although feminist advocacy is, and has been, mainly focused on women's rights, some argue for the inclusion of men's liberation within its aims, because they believe that men are also harmed by traditional gender roles. Feminist theory, which emerged from feminist movements, aims to understand the nature of gender inequality by examining women's social roles and lived experiences. Feminist theorists have developed theories in a variety of disciplines in order to respond to issues concerning gender.

Numerous feminist movements and ideologies have developed over the years, representing different viewpoints and political aims. Traditionally, since the 19th century, first-wave liberal feminism, which sought political and legal equality through reforms within a liberal democratic framework, was contrasted with labour-based proletarian women's movements that over time developed into socialist and Marxist feminism based on class struggle theory. Since the 1960s, both of these traditions are also contrasted with the radical feminism that arose from the radical wing of second-wave feminism and that calls for a radical reordering of society to eliminate patriarchy. Liberal, socialist, and radical feminism are sometimes referred to as the "Big Three" schools of feminist thought.

Since the late 20th century, many newer forms of feminism have emerged. Some forms, such as white feminism and gender-critical feminism, have been criticized as taking into account only white, middle class, college-educated, heterosexual, or cisgender perspectives. These criticisms have led to the creation of ethnically specific or multicultural forms of feminism, such as black feminism and intersectional feminism. Some have argued that feminism often promotes misandry and the elevation of women's interests above men's, and criticize radical feminist positions as harmful to both men and women. (Full article...)

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1921 Certificate of Membership from Gamma Chapter at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Alpha Kappa Alpha (ΆΚΆ) is the first Greek-lettered sorority established and incorporated by African-American college women. The sorority was founded on January 15, 1908, at Howard University in Washington, D.C. by a group of nine students, led by Ethel Hedgeman Lyle. Forming a sorority broke barriers for African-American women in areas where little power or authority existed due to a lack of opportunities for minorities and women in the early twentieth century. Alpha Kappa Alpha was incorporated on January 29, 1913. Consisting of college-educated women of African, Caucasian, Asian, and Hispanic descent, the sorority serves through a membership of more than 200,000 women in over 975 chapters in the United States and several other countries. Women may join through undergraduate chapters at a college or university, or through a graduate chapter after acquiring a college degree. Since being founded over a century ago, Alpha Kappa Alpha has helped to improve social and economic conditions through community service programs. Members have improved education through independent initiatives, contributed to community-building by creating programs and associations – such as the Mississippi Health Clinic – and influenced federal legislation by Congressional lobbying through the National Non-Partisan Lobby on Civil and Democratic Rights. The sorority works with communities through service initiatives and progressive programs relating to education, family, health, and business.

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Mary of Teck
Mary of Teck
Credit: Bain News Service

Mary of Teck was the queen consort of King George V as well as the Empress of India. Before her accession, she was successively Duchess of York, Duchess of Cornwall and Princess of Wales. By birth, she was a princess of Teck, in the Kingdom of Württemberg, with the style Her Serene Highness. To her family, she was informally known as May, after her birth month. Queen Mary was known for setting the tone of the British Royal Family, as a model of regal formality and propriety, especially during state occasions. She was the first Queen Consort to attend the coronation of her successors. Noted for superbly bejewelling herself for formal events, Queen Mary left a collection of jewels now considered priceless.

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Makhtaran Bibi

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Anna Quindlen
It's babe feminism - we're young, we're fun, we do what we want in bed - and it has a shorter shelf life than the feminism of sisterhood. I've been a babe, and I've been a sister. Sister lasts longer.

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Princess Helena of the United Kingdom
The Princess Helena (Helena Augusta Victoria: Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein by marriage; 1846 - 1923) was a member of the British Royal Family, the third daughter and fifth child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Helena was educated by private tutors chosen by her father and his close friend and adviser, Baron Stockmar. The intimate atmosphere of the royal court came to an end on 14 December 1861, when her father died and her mother entered a period of intense mourning. On 5 July 1866, Helena married the impoverished German Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein. The couple remained in England, in calling distance of the Queen, who liked to have her daughters nearby, and Helena along with her youngest sister, Princess Beatrice, became the Queen's unofficial secretary. However, after Queen Victoria's death on 22 January 1901, Helena saw relatively little of her surviving siblings. Helena was one of the founding members of the Red Cross. She was founding president of the Royal School of Needlework, and president of the Royal British Nurses' Association. As president of the latter, she was a strong supporter of nurse registration against the advice of Florence Nightingale. She became the first member of her family to celebrate her 50th wedding anniversary in 1916, but her husband died a year later. Helena outlived him by six years, and died aged 77 at Schomberg House on 19 June 1923.

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IEnriqueta Favez

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