Cover image for Women, families, and feminist politics : a global exploration
Women, families, and feminist politics : a global exploration
Conway-Turner, Kate.
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Publication Information:
New York : Haworth Press, [1998]

Physical Description:
ix, 258 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.
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HQ1154 .C6526 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Women and their roles within families must be understood within the context of ethnic traditions, religion, and culture. Women, Families, and Feminist Politics: A Global Exploration combines all of these aspects to evaluate the similarities and differences of women around the world. Readers will learn about diverse theories relating to women and their familial roles, the different categories of feminism, and how cultures and ethnic traditions shape and sometimes restrict a woman's identity.

Using feminist and sociocultural theories to critically examine the role of adult women within their families, Women, Families, and Feminist Politics offers ideas and suggestions on what has to be done in order for all of women's experiences and concerns to be valued and looked upon as important. In addition to providing you with an understanding of how customs and cultures contribute to societal standards set for women, Women, Families, and Feminist Politics discusses several factors that contribute to the formation of women's roles and identity, including: the economic situation of the family and the country in which the woman lives (a developed or developing country) cultural diversity in monogamous heterosexual marriage relations and specific marriage traditions, such as dowries family structures, such as nonnuclear, extended, polygamous, mixed religion relationships, mixed race relationships, or same-sex relationships reproduction and sexual standards in relation to religion, government policies, and world population gender equity in the workplace and programs for women in global development the health care needs of women and how they vary depending on culture, political philosophies, and resources women and violence in societal and family contexts, from war rapes, female circumcision, and footbinding to battery and sexual harassment

Women, Families, and Feminist Politics looks at the daily challenges and concerns of adult women within the context of family to help you understand the different needs of women in relation to their culture and ethnic background. Focusing on the importance of views concerning the meaning of women's social status, power, and success, Women, Families, and Feminist Politics contains case studies and statistical data that identify critical issues pertaining to you personally and to all women throughout the world. By understanding how women's families help shape their identities, you will be able to learn about the vast experiences of women and the inequalities we have yet to overcome.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This is a competent--if uninspired--synthesis of ideas about women's issues, including family status, sex and reproduction, education, work, health, and violence. Using case studies and interviews, the authors explore how the self-identity and roles of adult females differ and correspond cross-culturally depending on variables such as cultural context, ethnicity, and economic stratum. The material does not rise to the level of critical policy analysis--nor, apparently, is it intended to. An attempt at cultural relativism meets with mixed success. Discussions of bride-price and arranged marriages, for example, don't address (much less explain) why so many brides embrace these customs. Numerous references are outdated, yet some recent and highly relevant works are not included (e.g., regarding population, Sonia Corréa's Population and Reproductive Rights, CH, May '95; regarding violence against women, Dorothy A. Counts and Judith K. Brown's Sanctions and Sanctuary, 1992). Despite these flaws, however, the book will find wide appeal among those interested, at an introductory level, in feminist theory, anthropology, sociology, international development, women's health, and women's sexuality. Its major utility is its clear restatement of now-familiar ideas. General readers and undergraduate students. M. A. Gwynne; SUNY at Stony Brook

Table of Contents

About the Authorsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
Women, Cultural Change, and Cultural Debatep. 2
Ethnocentrism, Cultural Relativism, and the Feminist Perspectivep. 3
The Promise of Global Feminismp. 6
Challenges to Global Feminismp. 7
The Realities of Women Connecting to Womenp. 9
Overview of Chaptersp. 11
Key Wordsp. 15
Chapter 1. Marriage and Family Formationp. 17
Do "Masculine" and "Feminine" Roles Create Inequality Within Marriage Relationships?p. 18
The Impact of Age on Marital Patternsp. 21
How Are Bride-Prices/Wealth and Dowries Related to Women's Marital Experience?p. 23
Meeting Mr. Rightp. 29
Marriage Rites and Ceremoniesp. 31
What Does Love Have to Do with It?p. 36
Marital Dissolution: Has Liberal Divorce Legislation Helped or Harmed Women?p. 36
Remarriagep. 42
Summaryp. 44
Key Wordsp. 45
Chapter 2. Diversity Within Family Formationp. 47
Defining Familiesp. 47
Simple Householdsp. 48
Intercultural, Interracial, and Interreligous Couplingp. 58
Multiple-Family Householdsp. 61
Vertical and Horizontal Complexity Within Family Lifep. 65
Summaryp. 66
Key Wordsp. 68
Chapter 3. Population, Reproduction, Sexuality and Women's Statusp. 69
How Are Women's Lives Connected to the Population Explosion?p. 69
What Are the Consequences of Unchecked Population?p. 71
Cultural Norms, Gender Roles, and Fertilityp. 73
What Is the Relationship Between Women's Status and Fertility?p. 76
The Diversity and Controversy of Sexual Normsp. 77
Sexual Scripts Cross-Culturallyp. 78
Are Private Choices About Sexuality and Fertility Affected by Religious Ideals?p. 82
Islam: A Case Studyp. 83
Sexuality, Feminism, and Reproductive Technology: Historical Rootsp. 84
The Evolution of International Population Conferencesp. 87
The 1994 Conferencep. 88
National Population Policies and Women's Livesp. 90
Providing Effective Family Planning Programsp. 96
Successful Programs Designed for and by Womenp. 99
Summaryp. 101
Key Wordsp. 103
Chapter 4. Women and Work Worldwidep. 105
Women's Workp. 105
Real Work and Perceptions of Workp. 105
Including Women in International Economic Activityp. 107
The Global Assembly Linep. 117
Women's Official Labor Force Participationp. 122
Balancing Work and Familyp. 124
Educational and Training Inequitiesp. 126
Higher Educationp. 128
Role Models in Educationp. 129
Gender Segregation of the Labor Forcep. 130
Prejudice, Stereotypes, and Discriminationp. 131
Encouraging Trendsp. 133
Future Challengesp. 135
Summaryp. 136
Key Wordsp. 137
Chapter 5. Women and Health Carep. 139
Introductionp. 139
Case Studiesp. 143
Health Care for Zimbabwean Womenp. 144
Health Care in Norwayp. 156
Women and Health Care in Cubap. 161
Responding to Women's Health Needsp. 166
Summaryp. 169
Key Wordsp. 170
Chapter 6. Women and Violencep. 171
What Is the Relationship Between Ideology, Gender, and Violence?p. 171
Do the Roles Women Assume During War Lead to Liberation?p. 173
How Do the Economics of War Affect Women?p. 176
Women's Lives Destroyed by Warp. 177
What Conditions Face Women Refugees?p. 178
Why Do Men Rape During Wartime?p. 180
How Does Prostitution Contribute to Gender Violence During Wartime?p. 182
Female Sexual Slavery: Prostitution and Sex Tourismp. 186
How Has Global Economic Inequality Contributed to Sex Tourism and Trafficking in Women?p. 186
Structural Violence Against Womenp. 188
Battered Women: Can Safety Begin at Home?p. 194
Sexual Harassment: Can Women Be Comfortable in the Public World?p. 198
Rapep. 201
Can Violence Against Women Be Eliminated?p. 203
Summaryp. 205
Key Wordsp. 207
Conclusionsp. 209
Backlash/Rollbacksp. 210
Diversity and Sisterhoodp. 210
Women's Leadership and the Futurep. 211
A Bridge to the Futurep. 211
Notesp. 213
Glossaryp. 225
Bibliographyp. 233
Indexp. 249