One Question is a monthly series in which we ask leading thinkers to give a brief answer to a single question.
This month, to mark International Women’s Day on March 8th, we asked a number of women academics:
What is the biggest challenge facing women today?
The response has been huge. Overall we have received 25 answers, and as such have split them into two parts. Part one can be found here. Please take the time to read through both.
Sara R. Farris
I think we should begin by acknowledging that not all women are the same and not all of them face the same challenges. The brutality of neoliberal capitalism in the last twenty years or so – with its anti-welfare agenda, its profound class inequalities and its intensification of racism – has deepened the divisions among women along class and racial lines in particular, but also along gender lines when we think of the exclusion that trans-women encounter in some feminist and women’s circles.
While the women belonging to the wealthy 1% of the population – and I am thinking of course of the ‘neoliberal feminists’ à la Sheryl Sandberg – face the challenge of feeling in full control of the corporate boardrooms and making even more money, the large majority of women, or the 99%, have the problem of making ends meet. Migrant and ethnic minority women face additional challenges insofar as the racism ingrained in western labour markets and societies at large relegates them to the most precarious, low-paid and under-valued jobs in the socially reproductive sector (as cleaners, nannies, domestic workers and so forth). READ MORE