Some suggestions on campaigns that would really improve the lives of women.
1. In most of the world: Economic development for the majority of the world where women don’t have financial independence. Drop the cultural campaign on FGM. People forget that years ago the British campaign against these ‘un-Christian’ cultural practices was one of the triggers for the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya. It is a negligible issue in the modern world.
2. In the West: Free 24 hour nurseries and the right for women to decide if they need an abortion, not doctors. Childcare responsibilities create inequality, when most women hit their 30s. Women take a hit on their career progression when they have kids. Men and women earn the same wages for the same jobs in their 20s, so address this practical issue, it is not a ‘cultural’ issue.
3. In specific countries (Saudi Arabia, Pakistan etc) fight for the rights enjoyed by women in the west – eduction, contraception, economic independence, legal equality, marriage law reform etc
4. And crucially, freedom is central. To exercise your freedom you need to be resilient and independent. Modern feminism promotes the opposite.
Perhaps feminists should work on these practical matters. Waging a culture war is so destructive and, frankly, the lazy option.
© 8th March 2017