For feminists like Catherine Hundleby, every day is women’s day. However, having a special day to help others recognize how much progress still needs to be made to create a truly equitable society for women is critical, the professor in philosophy and women’s studies says.
“It’s good to think back about how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go,” says Dr. Hundleby, who will appear on a CJAM radio talk show today to acknowledge International Women’s Day.
Each year around the world, International Women's Day is celebrated on March 8. Thousands of events occur throughout the month to mark the economic, political and social achievements of women.
However Hundleby says that women’s strides have hit a standstill. After spending a portion of her sabbatical at the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University, she has focused more of her attention on what’s referred to as “the stalled gender revolution.”
“There has been a gender revolution beginning in the 19th century and extending on through the 20th century and there have been massive improvements in the life of women, especially in wealthy nations such as ours,” she said. “But something stopped. Somewhere around 1990 things evened out. Although people have continued to fight for women’s rights in wealthy nations, we are not seeing any further benefits.”
Women are not making any more than they were in 1990, still earning about 80 to 85 cents for every dollar a man makes, there has been no increase in the number of women in government and no decline in the number of women living in poverty, Hundleby says.
A great deal of Hundelby’s attention is focused on androcentrism, an often unconscious tendency to treat masculinity as the typical standard or the ideal. She says it creeps into our everyday attitudes and behaviour in such simple ways as tending to interrupt women more often than men and lending more favourable credibility to male voices.
Listen to Hundleby on Research Matters, a weekly talk show on CJAM 99.1 FM that highlights the work of University of Windsor researchers and airs every Thursday at 4:30 p.m.