The New Fem­i­nist Agen­da: Defin­ing the Next Rev­o­lu­tion for Women, Work, and Family

  • From the Publisher
April 20, 2012
Fem­i­nists opened up thou­sands of doors in the 1960s and 1970s, but decades lat­er, are U.S. women where they thought they’d be? The answer is a resound­ing no.

Women now com­prise near­ly 60 per­cent of col­lege under­grad­u­ates and half of all med­ical and law stu­dents. They have entered the work­force in record num­bers, mak­ing the two-wage-earn­er fam­i­ly the norm. While women changed, how­ev­er, social struc­tures sur­round­ing work and fam­i­ly remained sta­t­ic. Afford­able, high-qual­i­ty child­care, paid fam­i­ly leave, and equal pay for equal work remain elu­sive for most women. The U.S. has also fall­en far behind oth­er coun­tries on the gen­der-equi­ty front with few­er women hold­ing fed­er­al offices and lead­ing the nation’s top pri­vate com­pa­nies.

It’s time, says for­mer U.S. Ambas­sador and Gov­er­nor Madeleine M. Kunin, to change that and ush­er in a new social rev­o­lu­tion. Our inabil­i­ty to invest in fam­i­lies leaves us vul­ner­a­ble to being reduced to sec­ond-rate sta­tus in the glob­al econ­o­my.

Look­ing back over five decades of advo­ca­cy, Kunin ana­lyzes where progress stalled, exam­ines the suc­cess­es of oth­er coun­tries, and charts the course for the next fem­i­nist rev­o­lu­tion — one that mobi­lizes women, and men, to call for the kind of gov­ern­ment and work­place poli­cies that can improve the lives of women and strength­en their families.

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