Connexions Resource Centre:
Focus on Women's Issues
Recent & Selected Articles
- This is a small sampling of articles related to women's issues in the Connexions Online Library. For more articles, books, films, and other resources, check the Connexions Library Subject Index, especially under topics such as
- Lise Vogel and the politics of womens liberation (October 10, 2014)
A review of Lise Vogel, Marxism and the Oppression of Women: Toward a Unitary Theory.
- Kavita Krishnan: 'Womens Liberation, Everyones Liberation' (July 5, 2014)
Kavita Krishnan on sexual violence, everyday sexism, protest, solidarity, and public space in India.
- Socialist Feminism in the 21st Century (March 8, 2014)
In the 21st century, women of the working classes employed in the formal economy, the informal economy, working in the countryside or doing unwaged labour have entered the global political stage in an astonishing array of movements.
- Central American Women Put their Lives on the Line for Human Rights (February 25, 2014)
Solidarity is at the heart of an initiative that seeks to protect women activists facing harassment, death threats and violence.
- War and Womens Rights (February 12, 2014)
A discussion of the history, current status, and future of women's rights in Afghanistan.
- Beyond the Veil (September 22, 2013)
The question of the Muslim veil seems never to leave the headlines for long. The latest controversies have erupted in Britain after a defendant in a criminal trial demanded the right to wear a niqab in court and a college attempted to proscribe it.
- I Am a Woman and a Human: A Marxist-Feminist Critique of Intersectionality Theory (September 12, 2013)
In the United States, during the late 20th and early 21st centuries, a specific set of politics among the left reigns king. Today, you could go into any university, on any number of liberal-to-left blogs or news websites, and the words identity and intersectionality will jump out you as the hegemonic theory. But, like all theories, this corresponds to the activity of the working class in response to the current composition of capital.
- India is taking acid attacks more seriously (August 27, 2013)
Women campaign for courts and public to take notice of impact of devastating assaults.
- The Emperors New Penis (June 21, 2013)
Right now the gender fundamentalists are doing their best to shut down dialogue. Theyve damaged booksbooks that dont even mention their concernpressured bookstores, and silenced speakers scheduled at universities. It should come as no surprise that they are using the final tactics of all fundamentalists: bullying, threats, assault. And theyve done this with increasing frequency and intensity. How long does it take to see the pattern?
- There Is a War on Ordinary People, and Feminists Are Needed at the Front (June 7, 2013)
The problem with media-run "conversations" on gender is not merely the almost total absence of male participants, but the suppression of class. The bourgeois media club relegates and distracts from the fact that a full-blooded class war is under way.
- Womens liberation: theory and practice (May 24, 2013)
Fundamental change for women means challenging the priorities of a system based on profit, and that requires connecting womens movements to the wider fight for change.
- Marxism and womens oppression today (April 10, 2013)
Times reflect how much in society in relation to women has changed, but also how much appears to have stayed the same.
- Reproductive Justice Needed (March 1, 2013)
Many wonder why the fight to maintain legal abortion is still so heated forty years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Dianne Feeley points to attitudes about women that provide the political space for the right-wings attacks.
- Why is India so bad for women? (July 23, 2012)
Of all the G20 nations, India has been labelled the worst place to be a woman. How is this possible in a country that prides itself on being the world's largest democracy?
- Without Women, No Food Security (March 1, 2012)
In the countries of the Global South, women are the primary producers of food: the ones in charge of working the earth, maintaining seed stores, harvesting fruit, obtaining water and safeguarding the harvest.
- Broadside: A Feminist Review (2012)
A history of the groundbreaking Canadian feminist newspaper published between 1979 and 1989.
- Connexions Archive Case Statement (September 24, 2011)
Working together to secure a future for the past
- The Murdered Women of Juarez (January 21, 2011)
The murder of young women, often raped and tortured has brought international infamy to Cuidad Juarez.
- The Crimewave That Shames The World (September 13, 2010)
It's one of the last great taboos: the murder of at least 20,000 women a year in the name of 'honour'.
- Feminism's Global Contradictions (September 1, 2010)
It is clear that the most significant factor now shaping womens lives and status worldwide is globalization. What isnt clear, however, is whether globalization is affecting women positively or negatively.
- What isn't wrong with Sharia law? (July 5, 2010)
To safeguard our rights there must be one law for all and no religious courts.
- Reporting Gender Based Violence (December 28, 2009)
Violence Against Women has presented particular challenges to the media and to society because of the way it has been consigned to the "private" sphere -- dampening public discussion and stifling media debate. Yet, the media has the potential to play a lead role in changing perceptions that, in turn, can help galvanize a movement for change. This toolkit seeks to help reporters and news managers grapple with the challenge of reporting gender based violence is a way that doe snot perpetuate gender stereotypes but informs and encourages public debate.
- Women Chiefs Change Indian Villages (December 22, 2009)
Women chiefs are bringing change to India's villages.
- Malawi: Women Fight Harmful Cultural Practices (December 14, 2009)
Combatting traditional practices that harm women.
- Israel's Arab Women Workers Need Not Apply (November 30, 2009)
Israel's private sector is almost entirely closed to Arab women because of discriminatory practices by employers.
- Connexions Archive seeks a new home (November 18, 2009)
The Connexions Archive, a Toronto-based library dedicated to preserving the history of grassroots movements for social change, needs a new home.
- Palestinian Women Suffer as Israel Violates CEDAW (November 5, 2009)
Palestinian women continue to suffer abuse and denial of basic human rights at the hands of Israeli settlers and soldiers in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.
- Guinea Pigs Spell Independence for Women (October 2, 2009)
Raising guinea pigs has become an important means for Peruvian women to earn money to support their families, as well as to learn how to defend their rights.
- Goodbye "Norma Rae" (September 24, 2009)
Crystal Lee Sutton was a genuine hero. She will forever be remembered as one of the champions of organized labor, right up there with the Joe Hills, Bill Haywoods and Emma Goldmans.
- Israeli guards 'humiliated inmates' (September 16, 2009)
A group of female former Palestinian prisoners detained in Israeli jails have accused prison guards of subjecting them to intrusive and degrading treatment.
- In Uganda, Rioters Strip Women Wearing Trousers (September 15, 2009)
Rioters attacked and stripped about 20 Ugandan women who were wearing trousers last week during deadly riots in Kampala. The humiliations were part of a major confrontation between a traditional kingdom and President Yoweri Museveni's government.
- Women Are Not Wallpaper (September 15, 2009)
Something new is appearing on the Italian screen. About time, some may say.
- Woman Leads Tribals Against World's Steel Maker (September 12, 2009)
The fight against the world's biggest steel maker, ArcelorMittal, is being waged from a tiny tea stall in Ranchi, eastern India.
- Women Recycle for Income and Environment (September 12, 2009)
The women of this town in northern Venezuela no longer say "garbage" but rather "secondary raw material," and instead of referring to recycling, they talk about "separation at point of origin."
- South Africa: Redouble Efforts to Reduce Maternal Mortality (September 10, 2009)
Maternal health has been under the spotlight in South Africa after an analysis of maternal deaths was released in July showing an increase in the country's maternal mortality rate. Researchers found that nearly four out of every 10 deaths (38.4 percent) were avoidable. They identified non-attendance and delayed attendance as common problems, together with poor transport facilities, lack of health care facilities and lack of appropriately trained staff.
- Latin America: Women in History - More than Just Heroines (September 8, 2009)
Women in Latin American struggles.
- Coming out in Kenya (August 23, 2009)
Rape has always been used to intimidate assertive women in Kenya, like feminists and female politicians.
- On Islam And Gender Equality (August 18, 2009)
A review essay on Salbiah Ahmad's book Critical Thoughts on Islam, Rights and Freedom in Malaysia.
- Guatemala: Murders of Women Recall Counterinsurgency Techniques (June 22, 2009)
The worst waves of brutal, unsolved murders of women in Latin America have been seen in Ciudad Juarez, on Mexico's northern border, where close to 400 killings have been reported since 1993, and Guatemala, where 527 women were killed last year alone.
- Getting the Balance Right (March 6, 2009)
Gender equality in journalism.
- Women of the revolution (January 30, 2009)
Thirty years after the toppling of the Shah in Iran, Azar Sheibani looks at how Iranian women have defied the reign of misogynist terror.
- Why make a fuss about the murder of a brown-skinned Muslim girl? (December 16, 2008)
History gives us numerous examples of social movements which come, over time, to adopt positions directly opposed to the principles on which they were founded. It appears this has happened to the 'feminists' who seek to silence those who speak out about violence against Muslim women.
- The 'Honor' Killing of Aqsa Parvez (2008)
Feminists and reformist left have for the most part met the spate of 'honour' killings within Canada with disgraceful silence.
- The Veil and Violence against Women in Islamist Societies (August 2, 2007)
The ongoing battle between the Islamic authorities and women over the veil clearly reveals why it has become a symbol like no other of the violence women face under Islam and why improper or bad veiling and unveiling have become a symbol of resistance to Islam in power and its violence against women. It is for this very reason that the slogan neither veil nor submission has become a rallying cry ever since the regime imposed compulsory veiling on women after expropriating and crushing the revolution to consolidate its rule.
- Zimbabwean feminist speaks (June 1, 2007)
If one looks at the experience of women in Zimbabwe and one looks at the role of the state in relation to women's lives, the state has never had the interests of women at heart. Women are only considered citizens when the state has something to gain.
- What's all the fuss about the veil? (March 21, 2007)
It is impossible to address the status of women under Islamic laws and defend womens rights without addressing and denouncing the veil. And this is why the veil is the first thing that Islamists impose when they have any access to power.
- Sharia "Socialists" (January 6, 2006)
It is mind-boggling that self-styled leftists would champion a campaign by the most reactionary, anti-woman forces in the Muslim community to have their religious law backed by the authority of the capitalist state.
- Black Women's Narratives of Slavery, the Civil War and Reconstruction (February 4, 2005)
Anyone who has ever wondered how black people managed to struggle and survive the hideous tortures meted out during slavery and afterward would gain from reading these books. They offer inspiration to a new generation of fighters.
- US-UN Crusade Against 'Sex Trafficking' (2004)
Kidnapping, debt bondage, sexual assault, beatings - for any purpose - are horrible crimes. But there is a qualitative distinction between this kind of coercion and the fundamentally consensual act between a prostitute and her client to exchange money for sex.
- Iraq: Women's Liberation and the Struggle Against Imperialist Subjugation (April 25, 2003)
The women of Iraq illustrate the status of most of the world's women, caught between the domination of imperialism and the oppression of stifling ancient 'customs' like the veil, holdovers from a more backward era.
- Women Enslaved by Islamic Reaction (April 13, 2001)
There is nothing progressive or "anti-imperialist" about being shrouded in the veil. Nor is it, as some liberals would maintain, a quaint cultural attribute. You wouldn't think you would have to be a communist to see that wrapping a woman in a veil and secluding her in the home is a hideous oppression crying out to be wiped from the face of the earth. The veil is a physical symbol of the submission of women to men and the imposed affirmation of their inferior status.
- The Export of Philippine Women (1997)
Principles of social justice are clearly not served by applauding a system that prides itself in an increased GNP at the same time that it farms out its women to be servants of the world.
- Towards A Red Feminism (1996)
Red Feminism contests all forms of institutionalized feminism: from cultural feminism (which is making a comeback in the name of a commonsense fear of the "new," the "alien" and the technological) to postmodern feminisms with their bourgeois reifications of the pleasures and desires of commodity capitalism. Red Feminism challenges the effectivity of the new localist, "transnational" feminisms and calls for a renewed internationalism--with a historical and strategic use of the nation-state--to fight global capitalism. It insists on the priority of production and class struggle in the emancipation of women and reaffirms the solidarity of humanity on the basis of shared needs. Red Feminism thus moves away from individualistic desires and the limits of identity politics toward the collective struggle of international socialism.
- Feminist Resistance in Serbia (1995)
Describes the conditions and factors influencing womens lives in Serbia in 1995, and the ways women have organised to resist violence and assist one another.
- Words that Count Women In - Review (January 1, 1993)
Review of Words that Count Women In. A guide to eliminating gender bias in writing and speech.
- Ask Yourself... Do You Really Want More Censorship? (February 1, 1992)
Censorship is dangerous and feminists who support it are wrong-headed.
- The Exploitation Explosion (March 1, 1991)
Female workers in developing countries are undervalued and underpaid.
- Misogyny reflected in Grocery Line (January 1, 1991)
Checking out the popular media at the grocery checkout.
- Women and Censorship - Letters to Index on Censorship (1991)
Reader comments on pornography and censorship.
- Connexions Annual Overview: Women (October 1, 1989)
- A Tale of Two Offices (July 1, 1977)
Daily life and offices politics viewed through the experience of working in two libraries with very different management styles.
- Marxist Women versus Bourgeois Feminism (1976)
The texts presented here are intended to revive acquaintance with a revolutionary women's movement, which was undoubtedly the most important one of its kind that has yet been seen. Yet it has been so thoroughly dropped down the memory hole that even mention of its existence is hard to find.
- What is Socialist Feminism? (1976)
- Arms and the Woman (June 1, 1975)
The modern revolutionary movement must destroy this opposition of pleasure-activity, sensitivity-lucidity, conception-execution, habit-innovation.
- Feminism in the Radical and Early Socialist Movement (1975)
There existed a strong minority tradition in radicalism which questioned the whole social and sexual position of women.
- Middle-Class Women Begin to Organise (1975)
- Socialist Feminism: A Strategy for the Women's Movement (1972)
Our movement's strategy must grow from an understanding of the dynamics of power, with the realization that those who have power have a vested interest in preserving it and the institutional forms which maintain it. Wresting control of the institutions which now oppress us must be our central effort if women's liberation is to achieve its goals. To reach out to most women we must address their real needs and self-interests.
- Women's liberation, then and now (1971)
Selected Websites and Organizations
- This is a small sampling of organizations and websites concerned with women's issues in the Connexions Directory. For more organizations and websites, check the Connexions Directory Subject Index, especially under topics such as
- Association for Women's Rights in Development
AWID's mission is to connect, inform and mobilize people and organizations committed to achieving gender equality, sustainable development and women's human rights.
- Bat Shalom (Daughter of Peace)
Feminist peace organization working toward a just peace between Israel and its Arab neighbours.
- Organization for Women's Liberation - Iran
Organisation for Women's Liberation (OWL) was built on 14th December 2002 in direct response to the growing women's movement in Iran for equality and liberation The contemporary history of women's movement in Iran dates back to the 1979 uprising, when their struggle and aspirations for an equal and just society for all was crushed by the newly empowered Islamic Republic of Iran.
Women were the first social strata of the society to be suppressed by the Islamic regime. The imposition of Islamic laws, such as the compulsory veil, gender segregation in public places, negation of the right to divorce or custody of children for women, and the subsequent punishments for defying these laws, such as arrests, imprisonment, stoning and execution have all made life a hell for millions of women in Iran.
However, what we are witnessing in Iran is the growing women's movement to combat women's suppression and humiliation. Women in Iran demand freedom, equality, separation of religion from state, and an end to sexual apartheid. OWL belongs to this movement. We regard political Islam as one of the main obstacles in the path of women's movement for change, especially in the Middle Eastern countries.
- Women Living Under Muslim Law
WLUML is an international solidarity network that provides information and support for those women whose lives have been shaped by the customs and/or laws of Islam. It extends to more 70 countries and links all women who see themselves to have been influenced by the Islamic world.
- Women's ENews
Covering issues of particular concern to women and providing women's perspectives on public policy.
Other Links & Resources
- Black American Feminisms
An extensive bibliography of black American Feminist thought from across the disciplines.
- Feminist Majority Foundation
News, resources, articles, and links of interest to women on a wide range of topics. Access to archives and searchable databases of documents.
News, resources, links to activist pages dealing with women's rights and equality. Articles, speeches, documents. Classified ads.
- Feminists Against Censorship
A group of feminist academics and campaigners who fight censorship from a feminist perspective. They believe:
1) Censorship is a dangerous tool that is primarily used to suppress dissent from those who would challenge oppression by society and the state, and particularly victimizes minorities.
2) Censorship is used by those in power as a way to avoid dealing with serious, intractable problems in society that require real, imaginative action, and are not solved by banning words and images.
3) Women must have recourse to free expression in order to explore the truth of our own experience and sexuality that has been forcibly hidden from us for millennia, and the state must no longer be permitted to interfere with this discourse.
4) Censorship can never eliminate evil ideas, and so the best answer to bad speech is more speech.
5) Censorship gives unacceptable powers to the police to invade our privacy and harass individuals who they find threatening although they pose no threat to others.
- The Global Campagin to Stop Killing and Stoning Women
Campaign initiated by a group of lawyers, activists, journalists and academics in order to address the intensifying trend of cultural/religious legitimization of lethal violence against women.
- Lesbians & Gays Topic Index in Sources Directory of Experts
A subject guide to experts and spokespersons on topics related to lesbians, gays, and bi-sexuals in the Sources directory for the media.
- Machsom Watch
Israeli women's organization which monitors the behaviour of Israeli soldiers and police at checkpoints and which attempts to ensure that the human and civil rights of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories are protected.
- Parenting Topic Index in Sources Directory of Experts
A subject guide to experts and spokespersons on topics related to parenting in the Sources directory for the media.
- Violence Topic Index in Sources Directory of Experts
A subject guide to experts and spokespersons on topics related to violence in the Sources directory for the media.
- Women Topic Index in Sources Directory of Experts
A subject guide to experts and spokespersons on topics related to women and women's issue in the Sources directory for the media.
News, activism alerts, and links to many resources for women.
Books, Films and Periodicals
- This is a small sampling of books related to women's issues in the
Connexions Online Library. For more books and other resources, check the Connexions Library
Subject Index, especially under topics such as
- Abortion: Stories from North and South
Author: Singer, Gail
- Beyond the Fragments
Feminism and the Making of Socialism
Author: Rowbotham, Sheila; Segal, Lynne; Wainright, Hilary
A call for various fractions of the left to unite and work for a socialism through grass-roots activism.
- Bridges of Power
Women's Multicultual Alliances
Author: Albrecht, Lisa; Bremer, Rose
Exploring the cultural sources of women's leadership this book views the processes and results that are possible when women come together to overcome not only gender based inequality but oppression based on race and class.
- Finding our Way
Rethinking Ecofeminist Politics
Author: Biehl, Janet
- First Contract
Women and the Fight to Unionize
Author: Conde, Carol, Beveridge, Karl
Looks at the "personal side" of the struggle of working women to organize themselves into unions and win first contracts.
- Getting There
Producing Photostories With Immigrant Women
Author: Barndt, Deborah, Cristall, Ferne, Marino, Dian
Photostories about immigrant women surviving in and adapting to a new culture.
Redefining the Limits
Author: Jivani, Y; Steeburgen, C; Mitchellm C. (eds.)
A collection of essays on girls. It examines girl culture, and the multi-faceted nature of girls' lived experiences. It also looks at "girl" power and the highly commercially lucrative and sexualized culture. The authors examine racism, girlhood gangs, sexuality, chatrooms, the politics of girlhood style and identity formation.The essays cover the many changing and complex aspects of girls in the 21st century.
- HERstory: Jeritan
Author: Ho Wing Yin, Cecilia (Director)
A story of Indonesian female migrant workers who left their homes to work as domestic helpers in Macao, China, a community consisting of mainly Chinese as well as a city of casinos and entertainment parlours.
- Invisible Force: Women Workers in Pakistan
Author: Gazdar, Aisha (Director)
Millions of women workers in Pakistan remain unaccounted for in official figures. Even those who are in the formal workforce face problems like lower wages for the same work as men and sexual harrasment.
- Look Me in the Eye
Old Woman, Aging, and Ageism
Author: Macdonald, Barbara; Rich, Cynthia
About ageism, aging, and the inevitability and imminence of death.
- The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Women Who Started It: The Memoir of Jo Ann Gibson Robinson
Author: Robinson, Jo Ann Gibson
Robinson recounts the origins and sustaining force of the famous boycott led by Montgomery's African American women.
- The No-Nonsense Guide to Women's Rights
Author: van der Gaag, Nikki
- Rosa Luxemburg, Women's Liberation, and Marx's Philosophy of Revolution
Author: Dunayevskaya, Raya
Part I - Rosa Luxemburg as Theoretician, as Activist, as Internationalist. Part II - The Women's Liberation Movement as Revolutionary Force and Reason. Part III - Karl Marx: From Critic of Hegel to Author of Capital and Theorist of "Revolution in Permanence."
- Sandino's Daughters Revisited
Feminism in Nicarauga
Author: Randall, Margaret
Randall's conversations with Nicaraguan women in their struggle against the dictator Somoza in 1979, brought the lives of a group of extraordinary female revolutionaries to the American and world public.Here Randall returns to interview many of the same women and others.
- Sandino's Daughters
Testimonies of Nicaraguan Women in Struggle
Author: Randall, Margaret; Yanz, Lynda (ed.)
Interviews with women who fought in the Nicaraguan revolution.
- Sisterhood, Interrupted
From Radical Women to Grrls Gone Wild
Author: Siegel, Deborah
A study of controversies in the feminist movement from the 1960s to the 2000s. Siegel wants readers to know about the multifaceted and contentious history of what is called feminism's "second wave" so that they can avoid both the trap of rebelling against its supposed stodgy "political correctness" and that of idealizing its supposedly harmonious "sisterhood".
- Sisterhood is Powerful
An Anthology of Writing From the Women's Liberation Movement
Author: Morgan, Robin (Editor)
The first comprehensive collection of writings from the Women's Liberation Movement, including articles, poems, photographs, and manifestos.
- Sisters in the Resistance
The Women's War to Free France
Author: Collins Weitz, Margaret
Weitz documented accounts of 70 women involved in the Resistance.
- The Socialist Feminist Project
A Contemporary Reader in Theory and Politcs
Author: Holmstrom, Nancy
Socialist feminist theorizing is flourishing today. This collection is intended to shows its strengths and resources and convey a sense of it as an ongoing project.
- Ten Thousand Roses
The Making of a Feminist Revolution
Author: Rebick, Judy
Using interviews with many feminist activists, Rebick provides an oral history of feminism in Canada from the 1960s through the 1990s.
- Woman's Consciousness, Man's World
Author: Rowbotham, Sheila
The cultural and economic liberation of women is inseparable from the creation of a society in which all people no longer have their lives stolen from them, and in which the conditions of their production and reproduction will no longer be distorted or held back by the subordination of sex, race, or class.
- Women Against Censorship
Author: Burstyn, Varda
Essays which argue that women have nothing to gain by allying themselves with anti-feminist forces and mainstream politicians. The contributors say that censorhip will be used against feminists who seek deep and permanent changes in the status quo.
- Women, Resistance and Revolution
Author: Rowbotham, Sheila
A wide-ranging survey of the roots of inequality and of the long but sporadic struggles to covercome it. Her narrative extends from the seventeenth century to present-day (1970s) Vietnam, showing how certain women hae struggled, in both revolutionary and repressive situations, to achieve liberation.
- Women's rights: What have men got to do with it?
New Internationalist November 2004
A look at the relations between men and women dealing with equality.
Learning from our History
Ten Thousand Roses: The Making of a Feminist Revolution -
An oral history of feminism in Canada from the 1960s through the 1990s. 2005.
When in Doubt, Do Both: The Times of My Life -
Chronicles the stirrings that led to the modern women's movement in Canada. 1994.
Resources for Activists
The Connexions Calendar - An event calendar for activists.
Media Names & Numbers - A comprehensive directory of Canada's print and broadcast media. (CX5857).
Sources - A directory that enables journalists to find spokespersons of organizations. Organizations that list themselves in Sources signficantly increase their odds of getting called by reporters when they are doing a story of their issues..
Donate or Volunteer
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