The ideas of feminism have always been in the history of mankind, since the society has predominantly evolved as patriarchal over the course of history. However, as a socio-political movement, feminism began to develop only in the late 19th - early 20th centuries. Since then, it has developed and improved under the influence of the transformations taking place in society, but nonetheless, it has always defended the rights of the representatives of the beautiful half of humanity.
The ideas of feminism are maintained by the great part of political and cultural female representatives who try to use their fame with the purpose of communicating feministic ideas to the wide audience and provide the social awareness as regards current feministic issues. One of such pro-feministic political leader is Hillary Clinton. Concentrating on the key issues of modern feministic movement, she not only raises the most controversial female problems that are referred to as oppressing in the society, but also determines their public discussion. One of the latest Clinton’s feministic addresses was conducted during the conference of the Women in the World Summit 2015, which involved the analysis of the role of the above mentioned movement and its members in the process of overcoming existing feministic struggles.
In her address on the sixth Women in the World Summit Hillary Clinton expressed her views on feminism and women’s rights, and spoke about what it is like to be a contemporary woman in terms of the past and current feministic issues. She started her speech with the story about hard childhood of her mother, thus providing the context for compassion and mutual support of feministic force required for successful realization of all potential feministic struggles. Even though she claimed that the best time to be born a woman is the last twenty years, many struggles still remain unsolved. Appealing to her participation in the Women in the World Summit in 1995, Clinton described the main ways of the struggle against gender inequality achievements. Mainly, she pointed out the progress in the countries of the third World, for example, Tanzanian girl’s right for property inheritance and Parliament of Rwanda with the significant part of females in its composition etc. Such claims help to signify the worldwide importance and the force of feministic power that gives an opportunity to millions of women to obtain their deserved rights.
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At the same time, Clinton provided the examples of the oppressing policy that takes place even in the contemporary state. She discussed the inequality payments, the hard work schedules and other socio-economic gaps that force women pay for being mothers. Besides, she claimed that the USA is on the 65th place in the rate of 142 countries in terms of equal payments. The issues of sexual assault and domestic violence frequently remain unsolved nowadays, and require much greater feministic force so as to provide the necessary security for all women around the world. Talking about sexual minorities, she emphasized the necessity to transform those cultural codes and religious believes that continue to provide the cases of evident discrimination. Moreover, Clinton discussed the importance of the right for women’s reproductive health and considered this issue as the primary in terms of feministic ideas promotion. In general, the main idea of her address is that feministic struggles have to be considered as global human’s problems the solving of which determines further development of each country in particular. Hence, the participation of each of the women is significant in terms of this agenda.
It should be mentioned that the discussed movement comprises three waves of feminism, the first of which emerged at the beginning of the 20th century, the second - in the 60s, and the third begins with 90s. Feminists of the first wave struggled for the equalization of women and men on the political and economic arena, for the right of women to vote in elections and to have good jobs, the right for education and equal with men participation in public life (Hammer, and Kellner 3). The second wave of feministic movement fought for equal social gender parity versus sexism and the imposition of model their behavior to females by society. They aimed to combat the stereotypes and wanted the public to finally recognize the autonomy and independence of women, as well as their right to determine their own destiny and lifestyle. The second wave comprised the variety of forms of feminism including Black and Lesbian, Marxist, Cultural, Liberal, which protected the cultural and national identity of women and right for participation in political matters (Gray, and Boddy 5). The discussion of the third wave is based on the notion of identity in terms of media concept, and its main issue lays in an attempt to understand how gender roles are constructed and whether it is possible to rearrange them (Lueptow).
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In some cases Hillary Clinton’s address implements the main concepts of all three waves. From the point of view of the first wave, she was speaking about the ever existing gap in secondary education access for many girls over the world. Talking about domestic violence that women experience in one out of three cases, she was appealing to the values of the second wave. Pointing out the significance to recognize the rights of sexual minorities, Clinton revealed the third wave issue about the possibility of rethinking the adopted social gender roles. The matter of reproductive health of women corresponds to the issues of both the second and the third wave of feministic movements.
In general, appealing to the concepts of all three feministic waves as the matters that require current attention of the feministic community reveals the fact that feministic movement’s phases do not substitute but rather complement each other. Therefore, some issues regarding women’s rights in the past remain relevant to the present. Hillary Clinton reinforced the key issues that combine the three feministic movements into one force with the primary aim of protecting female population of the world.