Feminism seeks a just distribution of resources and opportunities, freedom to express one’s views and control one’s life, and protection and stewardship of our common, natural environment. But this can’t happen when oppression and discrimination affect more than half of the world’s population.
So feminist movements seek to challenge and transform patriarchal systems in order to ensure that women and non-binary persons can use the power and resources that have typically accrued to men, especially men from already privileged groups (white men, men who belong to a majority religion, straight men, wealthy men, men from an upper caste, men from a dominant ethnic group, cisgender men, etc.) to transform our world into a just, free and sustainable world.
Feminist movements have led campaigns to achieve their vision of justice, freedom and happiness in many areas over the last 100+ years. And they have been incredibly successful at it, despite long odds. Think about it: securing votes for women, access to credit and banking, equal pay, decent work, abortion rights, access to contraception, parental leave, affordable child care; or ending sexual harassment at work, domestic violence, marital rape, child marriage or honor crimes… these all have been and continue to be battles begun and led by feminist groups… in 1920 or in 2021.
You can learn about how the COVID crisis brought together an international collective of feminists to imagine and call for a different world post-pandemic here.
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Feminism is the radical notion that women are human beings. – Marie Shear, quoted in Cheris Kramarae, A Feminist Dictionary, 1996.