The Generation Gap


It can be hard sometimes being a young woman in the international women’s movement. Sometimes I feel there is a sense that my commitment will never be enough because I know what I am worth. There is an idea that to truly be committed you need to work in the movement for nothing or next to nothing, you have forgo comfort and struggle so that you are hard and tough and can relate to the women you intend to serve. Older women in the movement seem to have an idea that you need to pay your dues in the harshest way possible before you are worth anything to the movement.

I believe strongly that there is value in experiencing how people other than myself live. However I do not believe that not being to work in an NGO for next to nothing for the rest of my life means I am any less committed to the international women’s movement.  Women’s work is devalued over an over again by the various societies we live in. What is the point of re-creating this pattern within our own organisations? If you want committed, strong and capable staff you cannot expect them to sustain themselves purely on passion forever.

This work is valuable to society and the world and balance needs to be found in providing services and advocacy and looking after staff  in whatever small ways we can so that they know their contribution means something, that their work is valued and so that their passion and commitment are not questioned every time they have to beg for just a little bit more so they can keep going a little bit further.

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Posted on June 20, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Over one hundred fifty years ago, champions of women’s rights in the United States, Britain, France, and Germany formed the world’s earliest international feminist movement. Joyous Greetings is the first book to tell their story. From Seneca Falls in upstate New York to the barricades of revolutionary Paris, from the Crystal Palace in London to small towns in the German Rhineland, early feminists united to fight for the cause of women. At the height of the Victorian period, they insisted their sex deserved full political equality, called for a new kind of marriage based on companionship, claimed the right to divorce and to get custody of their children, and argued that an unjust economic system forced women into poorly paid jobs. They rejected the traditional view that women’s subordination was preordained, natural, and universal. In restoring these daring activists’ achievements to history, Joyous Greetings passes on their inspiring and empowering message to today’s new generation of feminists.

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