Inspiring Thursday: Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf is often credited for her extensive contributions to English literature and the transformation of the modern novel. Her feminist genius, however, becomes even more evident in her academic writings. Now, more than 90 years later, we need her insight more than ever. Woolf was born January 25, 1882, the daughter of well-connected Victorian …

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Inspiring Thursday: bell hooks

In the introduction to “Feminism is for Everybody,” African American scholar bell hooks describes her discovery of feminism as an opposition to “the strongest patriarchal voice in my life — my mother’s voice” (Feminism is for Everybody, X). Identifying the internalized sexism that pervades social and cultural values, hooks can grapple with feminism in its …

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Inspiring Thursday: Alexandra Kollontai

In pre-revolutionary Russia, aristocratic women had little choice but to be expected to become faithful wives and devoted mothers, their lives revolving around domesticity and family duties. However, the Marxist revolutionary Alexandra Kollontai showed that it was possible to follow a different path. At the age of 27, she joined the Russian Social Democratic Labour …

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Reproductive rights in Croatia: Are there any left?

The status of women in Croatia has been severely downgraded in the recent years. While rapists and abusers keep walking out of courtrooms unpunished, women are slowly being stripped of their rights, one by one. After Ivana Ninčević-Lesandrić, a representative in the Parliament, shared her testimony (1.) of enduring a curettage procedure without anesthesia while …

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The lack of implementation of the Istanbul Convention in Italy

On September 10th, 2013, the Istanbul Convention was ratified by Italy and it entered into force almost one year later, on August 1st, 2014. By ratifying the Convention, Italy is obliged to prevent and eliminate violence against women (VAW), particularly by eradicating gender stereotypes which are deeply embedded in Italian culture. These are said to …

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Inspiring Thursday: Ni Una Menos

„Ni una menos! Vivas nos queremos!” (“Not one [woman] less! We want to stay alive!”) This “collective scream against machista violence”[1] is born in Argentina, a country where every 30 hours a woman is killed. In 1995, Susana Chávez, a Mexican poet, was the first to protest the femicides in Ciudad Juárez, writing the sentence …

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Inspiring Thursday: Franca Viola

1965, Sicily, Italy: a young woman named Franca Viola, abducted and raped for a week, had the courage to publicly refuse to marry her rapist, thus becoming the first Italian woman to defy a long-standing legal and cultural tradition that was harmful to women – the matrimonio riparatore (literally rehabilitating marriage, a sort of “marry-your-rapist” …

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